DAB+ - Upgrade to DAB Digital Radio
What is DAB+?
DAB+ is based on the original DAB standard but uses a more efficient audio codec. Whereas DAB uses MPEG Audio Layer II (better known as MP2), DAB+ uses HE-AAC v2 (better known as MP4 or AAC+). This allows equivalent or better subjective audio quality to be broadcast at lower bit rates. The increased efficiency offers benefits for Governments and Regulators (even better spectrum efficiency), broadcasters (lower costs per station) and consumers (a wider choice of stations).
DAB+ is designed to provide the same functionality as the original DAB radio services including services following (e.g. to the same service on another DAB ensemble or its FM simulcast), traffic announcements and PAD multimedia data (e.g. dynamic labels such as title artist information or news headlines; complementary graphics and images etc.)
Read a detailed description of how DAB+ works, including results from field tests.
- Latest MPEG-4 audio codec delivers exceptional performance efficiency
- More stations can be broadcast on a multiplex
- Greater station choice for consumer
- More efficient use of radio spectrum
- Lower transmission costs for digital stations
- New receivers backwards compatible with existing MPEG Audio Layer II broadcasts
- Current MPEG Audio Layer II services and consumers unaffected
- Compatible with existing scrolling text and multimedia services
- Robust audio delivery
- Optimised for live broadcast radio
- Broadcasters/regulators can select either standard MPEG Audio Layer II, or the additional audio coding, or both, to suit their country
- Fast re-tuning response time (low zapping delay)
- MPEG Surround is possible
Many countries around the world have acknowledged the benefits of DAB+ for their indvidual markets. The Australian Government has announced DAB+ as the official digital radio standard in the country, with a commercial roll out being succesfully implemented from May 2009, and Malta became the first European country to launch a DAB+ network in 2008. Other countries such as Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Malaysia and China have also expressed their interest in rolling out commercial DAB+ services. Tests and trials are being carried out around the world. Manufacturers are also ensuring DAB+'s quick roll out with an increasing number of DAB+ receivers in the market.