Now more shops are reopening, revamp your radio in home and in car
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Now more shops are reopening, revamp your radio in home and in car
Now more shops are reopening, revamp your radio in home and in car

Over the last few months, while you’ve been staying home and staying safe, you’ve been enjoying your favourite stations more than ever –  filling your home with music, conversation, news, and much more.

So now that the shops are beginning to reopen, why not treat yourself to a new DAB digital radio or smart speaker, or upgrade your car stereo to take all the stations you’ve been enjoying at home, with you on the road?

Revamp your radio at home
Digital radio brings so much more to enjoy to your home with great features such as extra stations, easy search and tune, digital quality sound, and in some cases Bluetooth. Some digital radios are internet-enabled bringing you even more features such as podcasts and programmes on demand.

If you're listening via smart speaker, you can ask your device to play your favourite station or podcast by name. 

There are now 53 national stations available on DAB/DAB+ with national commercial stations having grown to 42 thanks to new stations launched in the last year, such as Smooth Chill, Heart Dance, Capital XTRA Reloaded, Times Radio and Scala Radio. They join 11 BBC stations, including BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio 4 Extra, and Radio 1 Xtra. Plus hundreds of local stations.

Electrical retailers John Lewis & Partners, Currys and Argos are all now reopening their stores and have measures in place to allow you to shop safely. You'll find a great range of DAB digital radios and smart speakers available on line and instore.  Click on the retailer name above to find out which stores are reopening when and where.

Revamp your radio in car
There are a range of great DAB digital radio replacement radios and adapters available from Halfords and other car audio specialists. You can even integrate your smartphone into your car stereo with an app integrated stereo. Find out more here.  This will allow you to listen to your favourite stations via DAB, as well as via a station app.

Or you can listen to your favourite station or radio app by connecting your smartphone to your car stereo with an aux in cable, a USB connection or via Bluetooth and take all the stations you enjoy at home with you on the road.

Download your favourite station's mobile app such as Absolute Radio, Scala Radio or Radio X, or your preferred radio and audio mobile app such as Global Player, BBC Sounds or Radioplayer, on your smartphone and then listen through your car stereo by connecting your smartphone one of the following ways:

Aux in
Most cars feature a 3.5mm aux in jack, either on the stereo unit or underneath it. This allows you to plug in an aux in or lightning cable from your smartphone directly into your stereo.  You can buy an aux in or lightning cable in store and online at retailers including Currys, Argos, Halfords and Amazon.

Bluetooth 
Most newer cars now come with built-in Bluetooth. You can connect your phone to your car’s Bluetooth by pairing it like you would any other device, and listen to your favourite station via app. Bluetooth is convenient because once paired, your phone will automatically connect to your car and it also has the benefit of allowing hands-free calling.

USB connection
Lots of cars now come with a USB connection. This allows you to connect your phone to listen to your favourite station and radio app - as well as charge up your device.

You’ll need a USB cable that you keep in your car, and depending on your device, this could be a lightning cable, a micro USB cable or a USB-C cable. Find the one that's right for your smartphone in store and online at retailers including Currys, Argos, and Halfords.

If your car has a USB connection, it is a great way to listen to radio via your smartphone. Not only does it provide a reliable connection and clear audio, it also charges your device and lets you make hands-free calls at the same time.

Safety first. Remember to keep your focus on the road at all times and it is illegal to hold a phone while you are driving - you must have hands-free access. Find out more from GOV.UK here and further guidance from the RAC here.

Why extending analogue is good news for digital
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Why extending analogue is good news for digital
Why extending analogue is good news for digital

Blog by Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK

This week DCMS confirmed Government’s decision to allow Ofcom to extend the licences of the three national analogue commercial radio stations Classic FM, talkSPORT, and Absolute Radio for a further 10 year period when they expire early in 2022.

This follows a DCMS industry consultation at the beginning of 2020 which established that the industry continues to support the Government’s policy objective of working towards a digital future for radio, and supporting industry through this transition, but wanted a period of stability for commercial radio analogue licences.

The Government report recognised the progress made by digital radio, with digital listening having grown in the 10 years since the Digital Radio Action Plan from just over 20% to now nearly 60%, and highlighted that ‘current trends suggest that analogue could account for 10% or less of listening by the end of the decade.'

So what does this decision mean and what are the implications for digital radio in the UK?

Firstly, it means the provision of certainty for Classic FM, which can continue to broadcast on FM, and for talkSPORT and Absolute Radio, which can continue to broadcast on AM, for the next 10 years . This is good news for the commercial broadcasters as it means they will be spared the distraction of competing for their licences and allowed the benefit of certainty while they focus their efforts and attention on recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

It is good news too for the millions of listeners who love these three stations and while the majority of listening to these stations is now digital, there are still many who are listening on analogue radios, particularly in cars.

It’s also good news for digital radio. Why? Because it signals the pre-dominant position of digital broadcasting in the UK where DAB listening has now overtaken FM. 10 years ago, Government looked to support the growth of digital radio by seeking commitment from commercial broadcasters for digital carriage. Today, digital radio is firmly established and needs less incentive to gain commercial support. Indeed, the overwhelming response in the industry consultation was that digital services are an integral part of the business for commercial stations, not an add-on.

The response states that the trend to digital is sufficiently advanced that Government are 'inclined to agree that this is likely to take matters towards a natural endpoint for analogue broadcasting by the end of the decade.' This will no doubt be considered by the current Radio and Audio Review that is scheduled to report in March 2021. Despite the accepted strong position of digital radio, DCMS has kept in place the requirement for analogue stations to have digital carriage and has added the future option for local commercial stations to satisfy this carriage on small-scale multiplexes.

The Minister of Media and Data John Whittingdale also talks about turning the Department’s attention to providing similar long-term certainty to digital radio growth and looks ahead to the licence for national DAB multiplex Digital One - home to 21 popular national commercial radio stations - which expires in 2023.

There is still much to do to create the conditions for sustained digital radio growth - the majority of radios sold in the UK are still analogue, as are the majority of car radios on the road, and there is limited national DAB capacity but this Government decision and consultation suggests that digital radio is firmly established in the UK, and that the consumer-led transition to digital radio will be sustained over the next 10 years.

Read the DCMS consultation response here.

New national news station Times Radio hits the airwaves – find out how to listen
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New national news station Times Radio hits the airwaves – find out how to listen
New national news station Times Radio hits the airwaves – find out how to listen

New national news station, Times Radio, launched at 6am this  morning, Monday, 29 June.

With a presenter line up that features a host of leading broadcasters, journalists, and commentators, including Mariella FrostrupAasmah MirStig AbellJohn PienaarCathy Newman, and Giles Coren, Times Radio is available nationally on DAB, online and via app and smart speakers.

How to listen to Times Radio:

DAB digital radio
Times Radio should automatically appear in the list of stations on your DAB radio.  Ensure your DAB radio is fully up to date with all your available stations, including Times Radio by retuning. Retuning is an easy process. Press the auto tune or auto scan button on your DAB digital radio or go into the menu and press auto tune.  If you need help retuning, you can find further information here.*

The Times Radio app
You can download the free Times Radio app for iOS or Android, so you can listen on the move on your smartphone or tablet, or via Bluetooth on your connected speaker.

On your smart speaker
You can listen on your smart speaker via TuneIn. To listen on Amazon Echo, say 'Alexa, play Times Radio'. Or on Google Home, say 'OK Google, play Times Radio'.

If it can't find it, say 'Alexa, play Times Radio on TuneIn' for Amazon Echo or 'OK Google, play Times Radio on TuneIn' for Google Home.

Initially, you may need to ask 'Alexa, play Times Radio' a couple of times, and enable the Times Radio skill in the Alexa skill store. 

Times Radio is also available on other smart speakers e.g. Apple Homepod or Bose.

Online
You can listen online at times.radio.

Find out more here.

In your car
Most new cars now come with digital radio fitted as standard, but if you don't have digital radio in your car, there are number of ways to upgrade your car stereo to listen to digital stations.

You can listen via the Times Radio app  by connecting your smartphone to your car stereo with an aux in cable, a USB connection, or via Bluetooth. Find out more.

Or you can upgrade your car radio to a digital radio with an easy install adapter or a replacement digital radio. There are a range of products to choose from, with prices starting at around £99, and they often come with extra features such as Bluetooth and hands free. Go to your local car dealer, car audio specialist or Halfords and look for the Digital Radio Tick Mark.

Find out everything you need to know about upgrading your car to digital radio here.

Listen to Times Radio from 6.30am on Monday 29 June on your DAB digital radio, smart speaker, via  app or online.

*If you can’t find Times Radio on your DAB radio, then it is possible that you might not be able to receive the station on DAB at your postcode. To confirm whether Times Radio is available at your address on DAB, click on Check Your Available Stations on the top right corner of this page and then enter your postcode details into the Postcode Checker. If you don't see the station listen, don't worry. You can listen on your smart speaker, via app or online, as above.

New national news station Times Radio launches at 6am on Monday 29 June
Read More
New national news station Times Radio launches at 6am on Monday 29 June
New national news station Times Radio launches at 6am on Monday 29 June

New national news station, Times Radio, launches at 6am this Monday, 29 June.

With a presenter line up that features a host of leading broadcasters, journalists, and commentators, including Mariella FrostrupAasmah MirStig AbellJohn PienaarCathy Newman, and Giles Coren, Times Radio will be available nationally on DAB, online and via app and smart speakers.

How to listen to Times Radio:

DAB digital radio
Times Radio should automatically appear in the list of stations on your DAB radio.  Ensure your DAB radio is fully up to date with all your available stations, including Times Radio by retuning. Retuning is an easy process. Press the auto tune or auto scan button on your DAB digital radio or go into the menu and press auto tune.  If you need help retuning, you can find further information here.*

The Times Radio app
You can download the free Times Radio app for iOS or Android, so you can listen on the move on your smartphone or tablet, or via Bluetooth on your connected speaker.

On your smart speaker
You can listen on your smart speaker via  TuneIn. To listen on Amazon Echo, say 'Alexa, play Times Radio'. Or on Google Home, say 'OK Google, play Times Radio'.

If it can't find it, say 'Alexa, play Times Radio on TuneIn' for Amazon Echo or 'OK Google, play Times Radio on TuneIn' for Google Home.

Initially, you may need to ask 'Alexa, play Times Radio' a couple of times, and enable the Times Radio skill in the Alexa skill store. 

Times Radio is also available on other smart speakers e.g. Apple Homepod or Bose.

Online
You can listen online at times.radio.

Find out more here.

In your car
Most new cars now come with digital radio fitted as standard, but if you don't have digital radio in your car, there are number of ways to upgrade your car stereo to listen to digital stations.

You can listen via the Times Radio app by connecting your smartphone to your car stereo with an aux in cable, a USB connection, or via Bluetooth. Find out more.

Or you can upgrade your car radio to a digital radio with an easy install adapter or a replacement digital radio. There are a range of products to choose from, with prices starting at around £99, and they often come with extra features such as Bluetooth and hands free. Go to your local car dealer, car audio specialist or Halfords and look for the Digital Radio Tick Mark.

Find out everything you need to know about upgrading your car to digital radio here.

Listen to Times Radio from 6.30am on Monday 29 June on your DAB digital radio, smart speaker, via  app or online.

*If you can’t find Times Radio on your DAB radio, then it is possible that you might not be able to receive the station on DAB at your postcode. To confirm whether Times Radio is available at your address on DAB, click on Check Your Available Stations on the top right corner of this page and then enter your postcode details into the Postcode Checker. If you don't see the station listen, don't worry. You can listen on your smart speaker, via app or online, as above.

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