Friday, February 05, 2010

radio revolt

I read in the Guardian this week that the UK broadcasting authorities aim to switch off analogue radio signals by 2015, and to speed up the switchover they want to introduce a scrappage scheme (like the one for old cars last year) to entice people to trade in their old radios for digital ones.

Now I understand that the people who sell the digital radios want to make loads of money, but why would radio users give up something that is absolutely indestructible and works a lifetime, only to buy new, probably less reliable gear that does the same for a lot more money? Considering my experience with CD and DVD players, these digital devices last about three years if you're lucky.

Our (analogue) radios, by contrast, are all doing fine, and the oldest is over 30. There is at least one in almost every room in the house (come to think of it, some rooms have more than one), so I'm supposed to be throwing them all away to buy something that will be horribly expensive and probably broken in three years time? I don't think so.

I hear the switchover date depends on how many DAB radios get sold. So there is a simple way of stopping it. If people don't buy digital radios, we can keep the technology that costs virtually nothing and actually works.

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