UK National DAB Muxes

dabDAB radio stations in the United Kingdom are broadcast on a number of frequency blocks on VHF Band III. The original plan devised in Wiesbaden for the framework of DAB in Europe was to allocate frequency blocks 11B to 12D for UK DAB broadcasting. However, as part of its Review of Radio, Ofcom has expanded the frequency allocations for DAB and has advertised local and a national ensemble licence on blocks outside the original Wiesbaden plan on 10B to 10D and 11A. Block 5A has also been reserved for the launch of local ensembles.

For more information see: Digital Radio Independent and BBC (PDF)
For more information on DAB see: DAB Ensembles Worldwide

Bitrates & Sound Quality

MagicThere is much criticism of the poor flat quality of DAB services in the UK, this is due to a policy of ‘quantity over quality’, even on BBC DAB. This along with the continued use of the outdated DAB technology, results in a service that has a far inferior sound quality to FM radio. DAB is far less efficient than the newer DAB+ technology.

Joint Stereo – Audio mode in which two channels forming a stereo pair (left and right) are encoded within one bit stream and for which stereophonic irrelevance or redundancy is exploited for further bit reduction.
BBC Radio 4 on DABMono LSF (Low Sampling Frequency) – Low bitrate encoding with halved sampling rate.
HE-AAC (High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding) – More efficient high-quality multichannel and stereo audio codec used with DAB+.

DAB
Audio codec: MPEG 1 Layer II
Better than FM quality requires 192-256 kbps
Similar to FM quality requires 160-192 kbps
Acceptable, worse than FM 128-160 kbps
(Based on stereo services)

DAB+ 
Audio codec: aacPlus v2
Better than FM quality requires 56-96 kbps
Similar to FM quality requires 40-64 kbps
Acceptable, worse than FM 24-48 kbps
(Based on stereo services)


DAB Ensembles last updated: February 5, 2018

BBC National DAB

BBC Radio 2 on DABBBC National DAB is a Digital audio broadcasting multiplex owned and operated by the BBC and is transmitted from a number of transmitter sites across the country; it only carries BBC radio stations.

Part Time Services

The BBC National DAB multiplex makes extensive use of dynamic ensemble reconfiguration to allow a number of part time services to broadcast. While these additional services are on air the bit rates of (one or more of) BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5, and data services are reduced.

BBC Data Services

Digital radio text is the scrolling information that is broadcast along with the audio content on DAB. This can be dynamic programme information, an email address or phone number for a particular show, news headlines and sports results – and on some music networks ‘now playing’ track information. Some of the latest DAB products can pick up a broadcast EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) which provides free, useful information programme information for up to 7 days in advance prior to broadcast, allowing users to record a particular show automatically – or even an entire series of programmes.

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/reception/radio/digitalradio

BBC National DAB
Station
Service ID
Bitrate
Audio
Description
BBC Radio 1
C221
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
Youth orientated Popular music and speech.
BBC Radio 2
C222
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
Adult-oriented Pop Music
BBC Radio 3
C223
160-192 kbps
Joint Stereo
Classical Music
BBC Radio 4 (FM)
C224
80-128 kbps
Joint Stereo
News & Speech
BBC Radio 5 Live
C225
64-80 kbps
Mono
Live news and sport
BBC 6 Music
C22B
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
Classic rock Alternative rock Funk Indie Jazz Hip Hop
BBC Radio 4 Extra
C22C
80 kbps
Mono
Comedy, Drama, and Children’s programming
BBC 1Xtra
C22A
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
New Black / urban music
BBC Asian Network
C236
64 kbps
Mono
South Asian orientated
BBC World Service
C238
64 kbps
Mono
English language version of the BBC World Service
BBC Guide
E1C79E5E
16-32 kbps
Data
Hidden service, EPG data
Multiplex Label: BBC National DAB
Operator: BBC
Transmission Standard: DAB
Block 12B: 225.648 MHz
Allotment: G__90001 UK BBC
Transmitter Sites: BBC DAB Transmitters (PDF)
Service Info: Digital Radio
On-Air: September 1995
BBC National DAB – CU Allocation BBC National DAB – FIC Datarate
BBC National DAB CU Allocation BBC National DAB FIC Datarate
BBC Radio 1 on DAB BBC National DAB – Ensemble
BBC Radio 1 MISC BBC DAB Ensemble

 


 

Digital One

Digital One

Digital One launched in November 1999, and has held the only digital radio licence for national commercial radio in the UK ever since. It broadcasts a broad range of content including traffic data services and some of the UK’s most profitable radio stations.

The company is wholly owned by Arqiva, one of the UK’s biggest communications infrastructure companies which operate across broadcast, satellite and mobile communications markets. Digital One’s head office is in central London alongside other Arqiva businesses.

Digital One is committed to the long-term promotion of digital radio in the UK and beyond. Together with the BBC and the big commercial radio groups, it is active in organisations including Digital Radio UK and WorldDMB (an international partnership of broadcasters, manufacturers and regulators).

Website: www.ukdigitalradio.com

Digital One
Service Service ID Bitrate Audio Description
Absolute Radio
C1C0
80 kbps
Mono
Adult contemporary music, carries London output during programme splits, but with national news.
Absolute 90s
CAC2
80 kbps
Mono
90s Music.
Capital UK
C5DA
80 kbps
Mono
Pop Music.
Heart 80s
C3C0
80 kbps
Mono
80s music.
Capital Xtra
C37B
112 kbps Joint stereo Urban & Dance Music.
Classic FM
C2A1
128 kbps
Joint stereo
Classical music.
Heart extra
CFS1 80 kbps Mono Rhythmic AC & Hot AC.
Heart 80s
C1DC 80 kbps Mono 80s Music.
KISS C5C0 80 kbps Mono LSF A London based station specialising in hip hop, R&B, urban and electronic dance music owned by Bauer Radio.
LBC
C0C2
64 kbps
Mono
News & Talk.
Magic
C0C6
80 kbps
Mono
Melodic soft adult contemporary hits.
Radio X
C4CD 80 kbps Mono
Rock Music.
Smooth Extra
C6C0
80 kbps
Mono LSF
Easy Listening.
Talksport
C0C0
64 kbps
Mono
Sport & Talk.
UCB1 UK
C4CA
64 kbps
Mono LSF
Christian music.
INRIX UK TPEG
E1C000BA
16 kbps
Data
Hidden service.
Multiplex Label: Digital1 Network
Operator: Digital One
Transmission Standard: DAB
England, Wales & N. Ireland: Block 11D: 222.064MHz
Allotment: G__60001 England I
Allotment: G__60002 Wales I
Scotland: Block 12A: 223.936MHz
Allotment: G__60011 Scotland I
Transmitter Sites: Digital One Transmitters
On-Air: April 1999
D1 National – CU Allocation D1 National – FIC Datarate
D1 CU Allocation D1 FIC Datarate
D1 National – FIG Statistics D1 National – Ensemble
D1 FIG Statistics

 



Sound Digital

Sound DigitalSound Digital, the joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer Media and UTV Media. The UK’s second national commercial DAB digital radio multiplex network will launch on Monday 29th February 2016. Three of them will be broadcasting in DAB+ – Fun Kids, Jazz FM and a new service called Magic Chilled from Bauer.
There is no information on the bitrates that will be used by the various stations at present.

Tuning to Block 11A
The frequency allocated to the second national commercial multiplex lies outside the range of the seven blocks used during the initial UK DAB roll-out. Some older radios may not include Block 11A in their automatic scans. In this case, select the option “Full Scan” in the receiver’s menus. This may also be called a “Rest of the World” scan, as opposed to a “UK” scan.

Website: www.sounddigital.co.uk

SDL National
Service Service ID Bitrate Audio Description
Absolute 80s C8D8 24 kbps Mono 80s music. (Bauer Media)
ForcesRadio BFBS (DAB+) C5E0  64 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Pop  Music
Fun Kids (DAB+) C5D8 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 National children’s radio station. (Folder Media)
Heat radio CFD8 80 kbps Mono Pop music, celebrity gossip and entertainment. (Bauer Media)
Jazz FM Stereo (DAB+) CAD7 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Jazz Music. (Jazz FM)
KISSTORY C4D8 80 kbps Mono ‘Old skool’ dance tunes and anthems. (Bauer Media)
Magic Chilled (DAB+) CED7 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Relaxing and melodic music. (Bauer Media)
Mellow Magic C5D8 80 kbps Mono Relaxing and melodic music. (Bauer Media)
Panjab Radio CED8 56 kbps Mono LSF Delivering extra choice for British Sikhs and Panjabi speakers. (Panjab Radio)
Planet Rock C7D8 80 kbps Mono Classic rock music. (Bauer Media)
Premier Christian Radio CCD8 64 kbps Mono LSF Christian music and speech. (Premier Media Group)
Premier Praise! CDD8 64 kbps Mono LSF Christian music and speech. (Premier Media Group)
Sunrise National C9D8 64 kbps Mono LSF Asian music and speech programmes. (Sunrise Radio)
talkRADIO C0D8 64 kbps Mono LSF News and current affairs. Launching March 21st 2016. (UTV Media)
talkSPORT2 C1D8 64 kbps Mono LSF Live sports and sports talk. (UTV Media)
UCB2 C8D8 64 kbps Mono LSF Christian Music. (United Christian Broadcasters)
Union Jack (DAB+) C7FF 24 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 British Music
Virgin Radio C3D8 80 kbps Mono Rock and pop music. (UTV Media)
Multiplex Label: SDL National
Operator: Sound Digital (Arqiva/Bauer/UTV)
Transmission Standard: DAB & DAB+
Block 11A: 216.928 MHz
Allotment: G__60004 England II
Allotment: G__60032 Isle of Man II
Allotment: G__60022 Northern Ireland II
Allotment: G__60012 Scotland II
Allotment: G__60005 Wales II
Transmitter Sites: 45 transmitters across the UK, providing coverage for 73% – 75% of UK households and 63% – 65% of major UK roads.
On-Air: February 29, 2016
SDL National – CU Allocation SDL National – FIC Datarate
Sound Digital CU Allocation SDL National FIC Datarate
SDL National – FIG Statistics SDL National – Ensemble
SDL National FIG Statistics SDL National Multiplex Configuration
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