RedTrain Express, a jazz service from The Jazz UK has started testing on DAB digital radio to the Portsmouth area. We hope to reveal more information about the launch details due course.
In other news, we have closed the Information Channel to make way for this exciting new service.
Update (11/10/15): The RedTrain Express is still testing. Final tweaks will be undertaken on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th October which may mean the service is interrupted for a period of time or times. The official service launch is 15th October, enjoy!
We’re pleased to announce that Gaydio has started testing this evening on our Portsmouth DAB mini-multiplex. This means if you rescan your DAB digital radio, and you live in the Portsmouth area, you’ll find the station added to the station list of your radio.
Gaydio will launch with normal programming soon. Gaydio is the world’s largest LGB&T radio station, and already broadcasts on DAB digital radio in major cities in the UK (London, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Brighton). We are pleased to be able to bring their unique programming to the Portsmouth area.
To rescan your radio, most radio sets have an ‘Autotune’ or ‘Scan’ button, which you press to do this. If you don’t have such a button, you may find this option in the menu.
Remember, older DAB digital radio sets (especially those manufactured before 2007) may require a ‘Full Autotune’ or a ‘Rest of World’ scan to find our services. To do this, simply hold down your Autotune or Scan button for 5 or 6 seconds. If this does not work please refer to the manual of your radio.
Later in October, we will add RedTrain Express from The Jazz UK to our DAB mini-multiplex. RedTrain Express will feature 21st Century Jazz, Funk and Fusion. We’ll let you know when test commence.
We hope to announce further additional DAB digital radio services for the Portsmouth area over the coming days.
It’s been nearly a month since we started broadcasting our new DAB digital radio services to the City of Portsmouth as part of an Ofcom trial. One of the objectives of this trial is to see how small scale broadcasters manage with technical side of DAB transmission.
Listeners may have noticed that Express FM on DAB has been a little quieter than other DAB services. We are pleased to report that today improvements have been made to the link from Express FM to our DAB transmitter which has resulted in the audio of Express FM being a similar level to our other services.
Listeners of The Flash may have noticed that over the last week there have been several outages to their DAB service over the last few days. We have replaced their encoder (a box which sends their audio from their studio to us) with a new encoder, which should improve reliability.
Finally, we hope that JAMM Radio will be able to finally commence DAB broadcasting within the next week.
New DAB digital radio services for the City of Portsmouth launched this morning as part of ground breaking trial, licensed by broadcast and telecoms regulator Ofcom. The purpose of the trial is to test the feasibility of small scale DAB digital radio broadcasting to individual towns and cities, and Portsmouth is one of just ten locations in the country to be chosen.
Six stations are taking part in the trial, led by Havant based Angel Radio. If the nine month trial proves successful it will lead to the licensing of long term broadcasts.
The new services available on DAB digital radio to Portsmouth are:
ANGELxtra – A spin off service from Angel Radio broadcasting dance band music from the 1920s to 1950s by day with vintage easy listening music by night.
Express FM – Passionately Portsmouth, the popular local community radio service is now available on DAB digital radio, featuring great music, talk, and live Portsmouth FC commentary.
The Flash – An alternative to pop music, with a diet of classic rock, blues and tracks from local bands with studios based in Havant.
Mango Vibe – A dance music service aimed at young adults playing upfront music and specialist dance programming.
100% Hits Triple Radio – A service aimed at those too old for Radio 1, but too young for Radio 2 playing a mixture of familiar current and classic hits.
JAMM Radio – The student station of Highbury College, JAMM Radio plays chart hits and guilty pleasures with programmes made for students by students.
To find these new services, listeners will first need to perform a one-off ‘autotune’ on their DAB digital radio. Once an autotune has been performed, the new stations can then be found by searching for the name of the station in the station list.*
A website about the project has been established at www.solentwireless.com and an Information Channel will also provide periodic updates for listeners. It will be possible to receive the new DAB signal for the six new services within the City of Portsmouth and parts of Portchester, Havant, Hayling Island and Gosport. Transmission services are being provided by Hampshire based Commtronix, who have installed the transmitter at Highbury College’s iconic Tower building in Portsmouth.
Station Director of Express FM, Cheryl Buggy said:
“Like Angel radio, we are one of the longest running community stations in the country, with our third licence term recently approved by Ofcom, and Express is proudly ‘Passionately Portsmouth’, based as we are in the heart of the city. Our listenership is strong both on FM and online, and is growing steadily, especially with regards to our Portsmouth FC coverage, so to be able to add a digital choice to our repertoire is bound to be a bonus. It’s also great to be part of a pioneering venture, as our partnership in this trial is one of a select few in the country.”
Media Programme Manager at Highbury College, Kara Hall said:
“We are so excited to be part of this ground breaking venture. JAMM radio is a station run by young people, for young people. More and more people are choosing to listen to radio online and through DAB so this will give us the chance to reach even more young people in Portsmouth. Our aim is to entertain and inform 14 to 19 year olds with fantastic music and young presenters who understand the issues that teenagers face. This is an amazing opportunity not just for us but for the whole community of Portsmouth. We are excited to have the only Further Education College student radio station participating in the trial.”
Founder of The Flash, Martin Kirby said:
“We have been operating as an internet station for over three years now, with the occasional temporary FM broadcast, but to have the chance to take part in this trial is by far the most exciting opportunity we have had so far and will enable us to offer our unique service to a wider audience. The Ofcom trial is a great idea and will make local DAB digital radio broadcasting viable for smaller ‘not for profit’ services like ours to serve our communities and create more choice for the listener.”
Station Manager of Angel Radio, Tony Smith said:
” Our new ANGELxtra service brings a unique choice for Portsmouth’s fans of all things vintage and retro. With this service, Angel Radio builds on its reputation as the home of pure nostalgia. We are proud to be working with our broadcasting partners to bring this exciting venture to the Portsmouth area.”
Managing Director of Mango Vibe, Robbie Harrison said:
“We’re really excited about this opportunity to bring a fresh new sound to Portsmouth. We also want to hear from local DJs who want to get involved, please get in touch with us at Mango Vibe.”
Chief Executive of Digital Radio UK, Ford Ennals said:
“Listeners in the Portsmouth area love digital radio with over 41% of radio listening being on a digital platform and with almost 52% of homes having a DAB radio.** These small scale DAB trials are very exciting as they encourage innovation and competition delivering six great new stations broadcast on DAB digital radio and encompassing stations from all sectors of the radio industry, including community, student and small local stations.
“Angel Radio have assembled a first-rate content line up for this nine month trial, incorporating the great range of services that small stations offer including music services, community services featuring talk and sport, and student radio. We would encourage listeners to re-tune their DAB radios to make sure that they can receive these new stations available to listeners in the City of Portsmouth.”
Notes to editors:
* Some radios that were manufactured before the year 2007 may require a Full autotune or Rest of World scan to find the services. On many radios this is done by simply holding down the autotune button for five or six seconds. Please refer to the radio instruction manual if this does not work.
** Data from RAJAR Q2 2015 Capital South Coast TSA (all services).
A placeholder for JAMM Radio is currently on-air, regular programming will commence in September.
We are now broadcasting placeholders for our services ANGELxtra, Express FM, JAMM Radio, Mango Vibe, The Flash and 100% Triple Hits Radio. We are also broadcasting an Information Channel which will provide information about our broadcasts.
To tune in and listen to our test transmissions you’ll need to perform what is often called an ‘autotune’ on your radio. On many DAB digital radio sets, to do this simply press the Autotune button on your set. On other radios this option may be found in the menu. Please refer to your manual if you are not sure how to do this.
Some older DAB digital radio sets, particularly those manufacturered before 2007 may not automatically find our stations during an autotune (or fast autotune). On older DAB digital radio sets you may need to perform a Full Autotune or what is called a Rest of World scan. To perform this, try holding down your autotune button for five or six seconds. If this does not work, consult your manual. Finally, if you are still unable to find our services, if you radio allows it, try a manual search for frequency 7D.
Our coverage area is the City of Portsmouth. It is highly unlikely there will be reliable coverage north of Portsdown Hill, however coverage may spill over to parts of Hayling Island and Gosport. We’d be interested to know where you can receive our services, please get in touch with us!
Because we are conducting test transmissions, broadcasts are liable to interruptions from time to time, please bear with us.
A quick update from us. Last Thursday we commenced our first test transmissions of our new DAB digital radio services to the Portsmouth area. We powered down our transmitter at the end of Thursday evening and hope to resume tests later in the week. We’ll let you know when this happens and hope to reveal our official launch date soon.
Today we have been busy installation our transmission equipment. This morning, whilst the weather was good, we started off by assembling our transmission antenna. After this we then installed the transmitter and multiplexer. In simple terms, the transmitter generates our signal and the multiplexer takes the studio feeds from our services and presents them to the transmitter.
Whilst we have had a successful day, you won’t be able to listen to our transmissions just yet. We still have some behind the scenes work to do with the IT network we will use and Ofcom have to inspect our transmission equipment to ensure they are satisfied it is set up correctly.
Once we are happy everything works correctly and we have the go ahead from Ofcom we will announce a launch date, please bear with us, we hope not to take too long.