dab digital radio

Jack Schofield is still clueless when it comes to DAB Radio

I’ve blatantly plagiarised the headline of another frothing piece from Jack Schofield on DAB Digital Radio.

Sadly, the piece does him no credit. It might be acceptable to attack a regulator if they had a track record of making bad, ill-informed decisions that were unpopular with industry and consumers, but that doesn’t describe OFCOM and therefore his position that OFCOM is “muddling along” is unlikely to create much resonance with the reader.

It’s also desperately unwise to dismiss research out of hand.

Jack’s response to OFCOM’s independent research findings that consumers think DAB Digital Radio sounds fine is “This is, of course, nonsense.“. What a brilliantly crafted and well honed argument. Bravo.

The difficulty Jack now has is that he has thrown his reputation behind two key assumptions:

  • DAB sounds worse than FM
  • DAB+ will fix the problem and make everything sound CD quality

The problem is that there’s no evidence that either statement is true (in fact, absolutely the contrary). So how does Jack get out of this one? I’m not seeing any carefully thought out or well crafted arguments that might cause the reader to pause and think, so I’ll assume he’ll just bluster away, degrading his reputation on this issue as he continues.

Jack might get more credit if he stopped and analysed more carefully the risks and benefits of accelerating DAB+ migration, and to whom those risks and benefits would fall. But that would require understanding and assimilation of quite a lot of information and modelling complex outcomes. The kind of thing that radio broadcasters (with a huge interest in seeing a successful DAB market) and OFCOM (also with a huge interest in seeing a successful DAB market) do every day.

As a closing thought, I think you might want to e-mail Jack and ask him for how long he’s owned a DAB Digital Radio, and therefore on what basis he makes his rather dramatic statements of experience of audio quality.

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