DAB to be fitted in all Euro Cars by 2014
All the way back in 1997 Arcam were the first manufacturer in the world to sell a DAB radio tuner for the home. The Alpha 10 tuner was quite a success, despite the lack of actual coverage for the fledgling format. Now things are very different of course with some 85% of the population* and both national and local stations being in abundance.
Tuner sales have also gone from strength to strength and now DAB clock and kitchen radios can be found for only a small premium on FM models. So you have to ask yourself why DAB has been so slow to catch on for in car use? In fact many of the technical advantages of DAB are more suited to in-car use than in-home.
The answer lies in the somewhat lacklustre support for DAB in other countries and the car manufacturers reluctance to fit UK specific radios in their cars. A few (mainly prestige) manufacturers have offered DAB as an option but that that maybe all about to change.
This week a pan-european group of car makers announced an agreement to fit DAB as standard in cars by 2014 before the big digital switchover in 2015. This means even basic car models will come with DAB radios with the units able to work across Europe where broadcasts are in DAB, DAB+ and the DMB standard. Ford and Vauxhall have already signed up and where they lead, others tend to follow.
As to the effect this will have on the quality of broadcasts, we will just have to wait and see.
* Source http://www.uk-dab.info/coverage.php