European broadcasters and radio manufacturers have given their backing to plans for a unified digital radio service – potentially ending consumer confusion over the current systems used across Europe. Go Anywhere is a new standard that its backers hope will mean consumers can buy digital radios in the UK and use them in any European country.
The move, announced by WorldDMB and the European Broadcasting Union, could mean that radios using different digital radio systems, such as DAB in the UK and DAB+ in the rest of Europe, will work throughout Europe.
Quentin Howard, President, WorldDMB, said ‘consumers [will] benefit from … more competition resulting in a greater choice of innovative digital radio products. Broadcasters can plan … with confidence, safe in the knowledge that these new digital radios will receive their services … and gives the consumer further confidence that the future of radio is digital.‘
Good news for consumers
The specifications cover three types of products: cheaper entry-level models, table-top radios with colour screens and advanced features, and mobile devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players.
It’s also good news for in-car digital radio, as the new standards define user-friendly features like automatic retuning between digital and analogue services, and advanced travel and traffic services for real time satellite navigation. This should lead to a wider range of car manufacturers offering digital radios as standard, and an easier life for radio-listeners on road trips to the Continent.
Which? digital radio expert, Lizzy Payne, is optimistic, saying ‘This is great news for consumers. It has the potential to make factory fitted in-car DAB more widespread and affordable. It will also allow owners of DAB sets to listen to radio when they holiday in Europe.‘
Which? has reviews of a wide range of digital radios, together with free expert buying advice.