12 February 2008

bbc discontinuing shortwave to europe

Bad news for fans of the BBC's shortwave transmissions in Europe, as well as in other locations where the European transmissions could be heard. Quoting bbc.co.uk:
The remaining BBC World Service shortwave transmissions to Europe will close on 18th February 2008.

This change is being made in line with listener trends in radio. Increasing numbers of people around the world are choosing to listen to radio on a range of other platforms including FM, satellite and online, with fewer listening on shortwave.
This news came to me via Google News. More information is provided on bbc.co.uk. I haven't followed this story too carefully, so I don't know whether there are shortwave transmitters that will be repurposed or shut down as a result.

3 comments:

cdr said...

this is sad news. but i guess not surprising.

mainly because its impossibe to listen to the BBC in decent quality. theres the pathetic 16kbps realaudio stream which causes physical ear pain after about 30 seconds.

FM stations carry a half hour here or there to fill out their schedule, but nothing consistent.

does BBC know how much their coverage sucks? maybe they dont care

weatherall said...

cdr, thanks for posting your comments. I would never rely on RealAudio as a primary source of news. Of course, I am atypical in BBC's view because I am a shortwave hobbyist first, BBC fan somewhere after that.

Paul said...

cdr: The BBC World service has had a Windows Media stream (effectively mpeg, since it can be decoded with ffmpeg) for quite some time, that is running at 32kbps, I think. It's definitely better quality than the shortwave transmissions:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/meta/tx/nb/live_infent_au_nb.asx

Don't get me wrong, I think switching off their shortwave transmitters is a really bad idea, but you don't have to put up with the terrible Realaudio stream anymore.