Thesis // The Roll Out of Digital Audio Broadcasting in Ireland

Thesis - Roll out of DAB in Ireland - nessymon

Thesis - Roll out of DAB in Ireland - nessymon

Ok, I better give this its full title

The Roll Out of Digital Audio Broadcasting in Ireland and Explorations into the Future Radio Landscape

In 2012, I was finishing my degree in Dublin City University, a BSc in Multimedia. I decided to do a thesis on The Roll Out of Digital Audio Broadcasting in Ireland. At the initial presentation stage, I was told I needed to cut back, that I was trying to do a Phd in three months with this. So I ended up with what we have here.

I really enjoyed researching this and chatting to everyone about digital radio in Ireland.

Why put this online now?

Over the past few weeks, people have asked me if they could read my thesis. You have two options for that. You could go to the library in Dublin City University and sit own and read my written book or, now, you could read it here.

Although my thesis covers online radio, satellite radio and what most people consider digital radio, your little radio box that also has FM, it’s a shame that in the five years since I wrote this, that not a lot seems to have changed with DAB in Ireland. Even RTÉ 2XM, on which I present The London Ear, is still technically in a trial.

I guess some of the interest has come since this article has appeared on RadioToday about the closure of dB Digital Broadcasting’s DAB multiplex.

Topics covered in my Thesis

  • Digital Audio Broadcasting in Ireland
    • Digital Broadcasting from The Broadcaster’s View
    • DAB Formats
    • Regulation Issues
    • More Choice?
  • IP Based Radio
    • Irish Statistics
    • Audience Listening Habits
    • Broadcast Bandwidth Concerns
    • How Internet Audio Stream Providers Work
    • 4G Rollout in Ireland.
    • WiFi Radio Case Study: BuzzRadio.fm
  • Satellite Radio
  • Converging Platforms
    • Hybrid Radio
    • Smartphone App Development
    • Radio You Can See
  • Other Digital Possibilities
    • HD Radio
    • Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)
    • Alternative Radio Business
  • Future DAB/DAB+ Trials in Ireland

People I spoke to for my thesis

  • Dusty Rhodes,
  • Andy Green, Brendan Kehoe, Total Broadcast
  • Robin Crowley, Gaydar Radio
  • Donal Quinlan, Cork FM
  • Paul Campbell, Amazing Radio
  • Greg Parke, BuzzRadio.fm
  • Garvan Rigby, Spirit Radio
  • Dave Timpson,RTÉ
  • PatBalfe, Communicorp
  • Peter Bradshaw, United Christian Broadcasting
  • Gregory Orton, Solaris Mobile
  • Denzil Lacey, Zava Media
  • Lisa Ní Choisdealbha, Independent Broadcasters of Ireland
  • SimonYoung, Radio/TV Presenter

Read My Thesis Here

You can read my thesis here. Click and it will open in a new page or you can save it, Right Click Save As..

Please do realise that everything was present and correct in 2012, things happen, things change, companies change, personnel change, life changes. Trump gets voted POTUS.

Contact me and DCU if you want to use anything from this

Yes, I wrote this, but the physical book in property of Dublin City University. If you want to use anything from this, please contact me and DCU.

Want me to do more?

I really enjoyed researching this. I hope you enjoy reading it. I would love to have the opportunity to study this further. If anyone would like offer me grants to update or bring this to Phd level, please get in touch. I would be eternally grateful.

Roll Out of DAB in Ireland – Vanessa Monaghan – Copyright nessymon 2012

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Dublin City: The Frequency Fell Silent – Long Live Radio

Vintage radio - The Frequency Fell Silent: Long live radio

Vintage radio - The Frequency Fell Silent: Long live radio

As Dublin City loses an alternative radio station, it might just be the time for a rebirth

Today, Dublin city lost TXFM, the indie rock station closed its faders for the last time at 2000.
TXFM - The Frequency Fell Silent  - Long Live Radio - nessymon.com
It’s not the first time this has happened in Dublin, that a station so well loved, so connected with it’s audience fell silent.

This time for me, it’s different. I haven’t been living in Dublin since Phantom became TXFM, it didn’t have the same draw for me now. But I know what it’s like when a station you love so much closes.

Picture a 16 year old me, sitting at home in my bedroom in Co. Meath. It’s New Years Eve 1988 and I’m devastated as my favourite pirate radio stations have to close to be in with a shot of becoming a legit station a few months later.

Sunshine 101 - The Frequency Fell Silent  - Long Live Radio - nessymon.comI always listened to Q102 but Sunshine had stolen my heart. I sat with an arm full of blank cassettes capturing the music they played in those days, just incase I’d never hear them again.

I think it was Robbie Robertson who said a few words about the previous years’ broadcasts and they finished with Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Music was my life, these presenters knew the music I liked, they gave me the trivia I needed to know (life before the internet eh?). They were my buddies. Afterwards there was just a dark nothingness.

I searched for some sort of radio channel to get my fix. Shortwave, nah. Longwave, nah. FM, there was just the RTE stations now. I had to give Medium wave a try. 909, 5 Live was primarily what you’d listen to MW for. A live match before there was Sky Sports on demand, football games on your phone. We listened in my Dad’s car and if you drove under an electric cable the interference was terrible.

I had a little twin cassette radio player in my bedroom and with, what I called, the death of radio, went searching further a field. Radio Luxembourg, yip, the station my Mam had told me were the first outside Ireland to play Larry Cunningham. She had told of how she knew Larry and how she sat up to hear his song ‘A Ballad of Jim Reeves’on the radio. This crackling gem became my salvation.

Why do I tell you this?

Phantom - The Frequency Fell Silent  - Long Live Radio - nessymon.comI remember when my cousin Martina, first told me about this pirate radio station she thought that I would be into. I listened, she was right. As Phantom went from a pirate broadcasting over Whelan’s, the hallowed Dublin music venue to a legal, legit station, I went along for the journey, even being a guest on Edel Coffey’s show on what, if I remember correctly was the first or second day of broadcasting. It legitimately became the centre of the Dublin music scene.

Leaving Ireland, I stopped listening to a lot of Irish radio. It made me homesick to be honest. I wanted to go to gigs on a Tuesday night in the Academy 2 (I know – the bloody Academy 2) I’ve been doing a radio show on RTE 2XM for a few years now and dipping my toe into the Dublin scene but listening all the time to Irish radio just hurt.

RTE 2XM - The Frequency Fell Silent: Long live radioTXFM closed today because the guys in suits didn’t want it on air. It’s all about money and although it gave its devoted audience what they wanted, it wasn’t enough for the suits.

What it does leave behind though is showing that there is a need for legitimate indie rock radio (if that’s what you want to call it). There’s a need for music that’s not mainstream, that’s left of centre and the reaction online on TXFM’s closing shows that. And while 105.2 is just static tonight in Dublin, there’s still a passion for music, there’s still a passion for radio.
8 Radio.com - The Frequency Fell Silent: Long live radio

This isn’t an advert for my radio show but look at RTE 2XM, look at 8Radio, playing new Irish and alternative music. Although filled with passionate and knowledgable volunteers, we mightn’t be broadcasting from garden sheds anymore, we mightn’t have to be ready to leg it our of the studio at a moment’s notice but the drive, determination and love of music and wanting to share that still exists. It might have just changed platforms.

Vintage radio from here

Buzz FM

Occasionally blasts from a previous lifetime crosses paths with current lifelines. Once such event happened maybe a year ago when I met Greg Parke again through Facebook (Big up the power of social media and networking).

I had met Greg many years ago when he was running Energy Radio in Navan, Co. Meath, (coincidently mentioned in ‘Running up that Hill’). Lyndsey Dolan and Bernard Woods aka Captain Hollywood, were also jocks on the station. Lyndsey is now a regular on CountryMix here in Ireland.

Bernard died two years ago after being in a coma following a car crash. Proud to say I knew him. A neighbour from home and fellow jock! Hollywood’s (Bernard will always be Hollywood to me) brother, songwriter Billy Woods is a friend and actually helped me move last time I had to!

I did a night-time show 9-12, also did a drive time show. I prerecorded a few shows for the odd occasion that my work schedules clashed. One of the weirdest things ever is listening to the radio and hearing yourself presenting while you’re working another job!

So that’s a bit of background. Today I was on Facebook again and had heard through Greg about Buzz FM.. didn’t know much so I started investigating.. (its playing Shakespear’s Sister – You’re History as we speak:) It’s good!

A decent mix of music! Since I tuned in La Roux, Shakira, Aztec Camera.. pretty eclectic mix!

The station is online at http://www.buzzradio.fm/ and there are plans to go FM in Europe… better move than going DAB methinks!

The way things are economically I’m sure the general public, me included, are watching all their pennies and I don’t think DAB radios have come down in price enough for every home to have one yet. Saying that I don’t think that Station bosses have the money to push the DAB side of things…

Greg, you’re an inspiration! Keep fighting the fight!