BCfm Suffers Fire

Bristol community radio station BCfm suffered an unfortunate fire recently, destroying their studio. Although the full cause is not yet known, an electrical fault is the suspected cause.

The station has already recommenced limited broadcasts, and have launched a fundraiser to raise some money towards rebuild costs. Whilst the station does have insurance, it is not yet known how much will be covered.

To donate to the fundraiser go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-rebuild-bcfm-after.

DAB Developments

Following the recent rebranding of Cyber Hot Hits to Cyber Radio (reflecting a more varied playlist), the station labels are being update on the small scale DAB multiplexes that the station broadcasts on. The station has confirmed that the relabeling will take place once the relisting process is complete.

On the Bristol (main) multiplex SoulTrain Radio has lowered its bit rate to 56 kbps. Although still broadcasting in mono, sound quality has been reduced.

Updating the previous news article, Rathergood Radio has replaced The Wireless on the London 3 multiplex, and is broadcasting in mono at 64 kbps.

Goldmine DAB has joined the Cornwall local multiplex and is broadcasting in mono at a bit rate of 56 kbps. On the trial Brighton small scale multiplex, Platform B has joined broadcasting using DAB+ (as said in previous posts, check radio compatibility), broadcasting in stereo at 64 kbps.

DAB Line Up Changes

Sam FM has rejoined the Bristol DAB multiplex, but is using a very low bit rate of 56 kbps mono, offering extremely poor audio quality for listeners.

On the Trial Manchester multiplex, Imagine Radio has joined, broadcasing at 48 kbps stereo DAB+. As the station is using the newer DAB+ format, not all radio radios will receive Imagine Radio. Solar Radio has left the Trial Manchester multiplex.

Small Scale DAB Extensions

All current small-scale DAB multiplexes in the UK have had their licenses extended untilĀ March 31st, 2020. These multiplexes allow small commercial and community stations the opportunity to broadcast on DAB at an affordable cost.

The current small-scale multiplexes are:

  • Aldershot
  • Birmingham
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Cambridge
  • Glasgow
  • Central London
  • Manchester
  • Norwich
  • Portsmouth

The license extension is to allow Ofcom time to consider the most appropriate method for licensing permanent small-scale DAB multiplexes.

22/07/2018: News Round Up

Here are some of the stories from the past two weeks:

Community radio station 88.3 Centreforce has joined DAB in London, broadcasting on the London 2 multiplex, using the newer DAB+ format at 32 kbps.

Encore Radio appears to have left the North Yorkshire DAB multiplex. Reports are conflicting with the Frequency Finder website having first reporting the change, but Wohnort DAB is shows the station to be broadcasting in North Yorkshire. More updates will follow on this story.

Radio Ceredigion, owned by Nation Broadcasting, has reapplied for the license as Nation Radio. The 96.6, 97.4 and 103.3 FM transmitters will be used to fill a gap in Nation Radio’s FM and DAB network, allowing Nation Radio to have near full Wales coverage. Radio Ceredigion achieves 16% reach and a market share of slightly under 5%.

Nation Broadcasting are applying for the Sam FM Bristol license, under the name of Jack FM. A larger report on this development will be published in the next week.

Also at Nation Broadcasting, the role out of the new Sun FM logo has been completed with the launch of the a new website. There have also bee some tweaks to the schedule, presumably relating to the untangling of the station from it’s former owners UKRD.

Original 106 has been given permission to change its music format, by dropping the requirement to play album tracks. It has been suggested, however, that the station will continue to play album tracks and classic rock music.

15/06/2018: News Round Up

Here is the news from the past week:

45 Radio has joined the Norwich trial small scale DAB multiplex,using DAB+ at 48 kbps. This service is aimed at listeners aged 45 and over. Jazz FM has switched to DAB+ at 40 kbps, and is no longer available on all radios.

Flame Christian has ceased broadcasting on the Manchester trial multiplex.

The requested format change for London AM and DAB station Love Sport has been approved by Ofcom, meaning the station is no longer required to provide talk based programmes on subjects such as business.

Celador station The Breeze has retained its license to broadcast in Bristol on FM.

TalkSPORT has retained global Premier League football audio rights, and will provide coverage until theĀ 2021/22 season.

Trial Bristol Service Changes

There have been several recent changes on the Trial Bristol small scale DAB multiplex.

Sam FM has joined the multiplex, using the original format of DAB. Presumably, this is a simulcast of the local FM service, but I have yet to confirm this.

Angel Vintage, BFBS Gurkha, and Hub Radio have switched to using DAB+, meaning that not all receivers will be compatible with these stations.

Cyber Hot Hits, Cyber Rock, and Resonance Extra have joined the multiplex, and also use DAB+.

BFBS Beats has left the multiplex.