Commercial radio stations in Adelaide SAFM, FIVE AA, Nova 91.9, Triple M, Mix 102.3, Cruise 1323, Radar, Pink Radio, NovaNation and Koffee add to Adelaide’s rich radio history on Monday, 18 May 2009 when they begin broadcasting for the first time in DAB+ digital radio.

Digital Radio Channel Plans (DRCPs) released by the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) show Adelaide has one of the highest levels of coverage from day one of the new technology – with well over 90% of the Adelaide population able to access digital radio.

Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia the industry body that has driven the move to digital radio said the extensive work with ACMA, Adelaide’s terrain and the position of the Mount Lofty tower will enable Adelaide listeners to receive exception digital radio coverage.

“Adelaide’s digital radio switch on is another landmark achievement for the industry in Australia following the successful commencement of DAB+ digital radio services in Perth and Melbourne,” said Ms Warner.

“The potential digital radio offers for AFL followers in Adelaide is very exciting. Adelaide Crows fans will be able to listen to the game on digital radio while scrolling text can provide Port Adelaide and other AFL team score updates and game statistics on screen or you will be able to pause and then rewind if you missed who kicked a goal - these are all possible with the new capabilities of digital radio,’ said Ms Warner.

Ms Warner said for the first week to 10 days the DAB+ broadcasts in Adelaide will be in interference test mode which means that the power will be lower at night while any interference is assessed.

“The digital radio switch on in Melbourne and Perth went very smoothly, traffic to our website and our retailer partner websites has increased with listeners seeking more information about digital radio.”

“The switch on of digital radio is a culmination of seven years work with the Federal Government, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), commercial broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, together with retailers and manufacturers of digital radios to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated switch on of a compelling new way of listening to radio,” said Ms Warner.

Digital radio is the radio you know and love plus new programming such as Austereo’s Radar and Pink Radio and DMG’s NovaNation and Koffee, digital quality sound and interference free reception, the ability to tune to the station by name, rather than frequency, and on some radios, the ability to pause and rewind a few minutes if you missed a song you like, plus scrolling news, sport and weather text and the capacity to transmit on screen on some receivers, a picture of a radio host, cover of a CD or a product picture.

“The Australian radio industry has invested in and created its digital future and will compete with other digital technologies and continue to maintain radio’s relevance in listener’s lives,” said Ms Warner

AM and FM services will continue to be broadcast for sometime to allow for the change over of the estimated 50 million analogue radios currently owned by Australians.

Digital radio is free to air – all you need is a new digital receiver – no subscription fees or signing up, just tune in. Listeners can go to the website and type in their postcode to see if they live in an area where they can receive digital radio or where they will be able to buy a digital radio.

Alternatively, simply SMS your postcode to the mobile phone number 0409DRPLUS (0409 377 587) to find out if you can receive digital radio in your area.

DAB+ digital radios will be available in all shapes and sizes including MP3 style devices, hi fi, portable players, clock radios, car adaptors and PC radios. Prices will vary depending on their features. Entry level radios are likely to start from around A$150 and a radio with all the digital capabilities will start at around A$299.

Manufacturers producing DAB+ digital radios include; Pure, Roberts, Bush, Revo, Grundig, iRiver, Sangean, Yamaha and Teac with other manufactures expected to introduce further products throughout 2009.

Digital radios will be available to purchase throughout May at leading retailers including; Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, The Good Guys, Myer, David Jones, Clive Peeters, Retravision, Big W and specialist retailers.

Commercial digital radio services are expected to be switched on in Brisbane on 25 May and Sydney 30 May barring any weather delays.

ABC and SBS are expected to commence digital services throughout June/July. Please continue to check the website where information will be regularly updated.