Digital Audio Broadcasting
For other digital audio broadcasting
systems, see Digital radio.
Countries with DAB, DAB+ or DMB broad-
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), also
known as Eureka 147, is a digital radio tech-
nology for broadcasting radio stations, used
in several countries, particularly in the UK
and Europe. As of 2006, approximately 1,000
stations worldwide broadcast in the DAB
The DAB standard was designed in the
1980s, and receivers have been available in
many countries for several years. Proponents
claim the standard offers several benefits
over existing analogue FM radio, such as
more stations in the same broadcast spec-
trum, and increased resistance to noise, mul-
tipath, fading, and co-channel interference.
However, listening tests carried out by ex-
perts in the field of audio have shown that
the audio quality on DAB is lower than on FM
in the UK on stationary receivers, due to 98%
of stereo stations using a bit rate of 128
kbit/s with the MP2 audio codec, which re-
quires double that amount to achieve per-
ceived CD quality.
An upgraded version of the system was re-
leased in February 2007, which is called
DAB+. This is not backward-compatible with
DAB, which means that DAB-only receivers
will not be able to receive DAB+ broadcasts.
DAB+ is approximately twice as efficient as
DAB due to the adoption of the AAC+ audio
codec, and DAB+ can provide high quality
audio with as low as 64kbit/s. Reception
quality will also be more robust on DAB+
than on DAB due to the addition of Reed-So-
lomon error correction coding.
Italy, Malta, Switzerland have started
transmitting DAB+ stations. Hungary is due
to launch DAB+ stations in 2008 and Aus-
tralia and Germany are planning to launch
DAB+ in 2009. The radio industry in the UK
is expecting DAB+ stations
between 2010 and 2013, and podcast ser-
the DAB+ format will be
launched in the UK in 2009.
DAB has been under development since 1981
at the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT). In