Digital stations launch as others switch to DAB+

Two more radio stations have launched across the UK on DAB digital radio.

Heart 70s began broadcasting on Friday, just one day after the launch of Heart 90s. The new station plays music from the 1970s and features artists such as Elton John, Queen, ABBA, CHIC and Stevie Wonder. The company behind the station says the “huge playlist packed with the ultimate feel good hits from the decade” will turn up the “feel good nostalgia”.

The breakfast show will be hosted by former Smooth presenter Carlos every weekday morning from 6am to 10am.

Heart 70s completes a new line-up of Heart radio stations. There are now Heart radio stations dedicated to the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s as well as dance music. The original Heart plays music from the 00s and today.

Capital XTRA Reloaded started this morning, playing old skool hip-hop, grime, garage, dance and RnB anthems. The playlist includes artists such as Usher, Drake, Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, Sean Paul and Rihanna. A weekday morning show is hosted by Sacha Brooks every weekday morning from 8am – 12 noon.

“This is a hugely exciting time for Capital XTRA as we launch a brand-new station dedicated to the biggest old skool anthems of all time, playing classic after classic, non-stop, 24/7,” said Al Smith, Deputy Managing Editor of Capital Xtra.

An existing radio station which plays old skool anthems, Kisstory, is the most popular commercial digital radio station.

Both of the new stations are available nationwide on DAB digital radio, in the newer DAB+ format. Not all radios are capable of receiving DAB+ radio stations. This is most often the case with older radios, but several new models are still on sale from major retailers which won’t receive the new stations.

A further two new stations will launch tomorrow.

Existing stations switch to DAB+

Two existing digital radio stations have switched from DAB to DAB+ in the last few days. The changes have been necessary to create the space for the new stations.

Heart 80s launched as a DAB station in 2017 and is also available on Sky and Virgin Media. The station was previously available in mono, but is now in stereo as a DAB+ station.

Capital XTRA has also switched from DAB to DAB+. The dance and urban station, previously known as Choice FM in London, has been available nationally for some time. Capital XTRA and new station Capital XTRA Reloaded now both broadcast at 40kbps in stereo.

Some listeners may find that they are no longer able to receive Heart 80s and Capital XTRA. If the stations are still unavailable after rescanning it may be necessary to purchase a new radio. Radios which have the digital radio tick mark are compatible with FM, DAB and DAB+ stations.