Some in UK saying not so fast on the digital radio switchover


A proposal to ditch analog radio broadcast and switch to digital by 2015 is drawing heat across the pond in Great Britain, with at least one industry veteran calling the plan “barking mad.”

Critics say the expense of adopting digital is more than many can afford at this point, particularly when as much as 20% of the nation cannot even receive a digital signal yet. According to an article at, the recently-announced “scrappage” program, offering discounts to citizens who swap an analog receiver for a digital receiver, is not attractive enough for many to take advantage of.

A former radio broadcaster said the madness was the plan to scrap 50 million analog receivers which are in absolutely fine working order, particularly while digital radio receivers tend to be power hogs and digital signals tend to be unreliable.

Another ex-broadcaster invoked the age-old “if-it-ain’t-broke” adage, and also noted the high cost of replacing analog equipment, particularly for people who use four or five receivers.

A huge problem is seen in getting digital into automobiles – it is said that it could easily cost 300 pounds to fit an older model vehicle with a new receiver and antenna.