Digital One is a clutch of radio stations on DAB, or multiplex, that has been broadcasting to Britain for more than ten years. It includes Classic FM, TalkSport and Planet Rock. But because of “frequency scarcity” and “regulatory issues”, two arcane and abstruse reasons which I can’t be bothered to investigate, Digital One was not available in Northern Ireland until last month.
Of the fourteen stations in this multiplex, BFBS is the one I tune into most often. That’s not to say I can’t pick it up on FM; I can, but the signal from Ballykinlar is very weak in Downpatrick. It takes very careful positioning of the radio and the extended aerial for the signal to come through and even then there’s still a lot of hissing. With DAB I have no such hassle. I don’t have to be close to an army base to get decent reception.