Can I tune into Virgin Radio manually?

I cannot get Chris Evans on Virgin Radio with a new DAB radio. Can I tune into it manually?
– Kev

When you scan for stations on an FM or AM radio you might find that the radio skips past a radio station you know you can receive. It’s normally possible to hold the left or right tuning buttons to go manually to the frequency. Often the radio station will sound fine or have some background hiss, but not enough to make it impossible to listen to.

Digital radios don’t tend to have this sort of functionality. If you hold the left or right buttons the radio will probably just scroll through the list of stored radio stations.

It is possible on some digital radios to manually tune into a DAB frequency, but first it’s worth trying to find Virgin Radio with the automatic rescan functions.

First check whether you should be able to receive Virgin Radio. Although the station has good coverage in much of the UK, it doesn’t reach as much of the population as the BBC national stations and commercial stations like KISSTORY and Heart 80s. There is an online coverage checker you can use with your postcode.

If you should be able to get Virgin Radio it’s worth using the rescan or retune function in the DAB radio. Ensure the aerial is vertical and fully extended. You could also try taking the radio to a higher location or somewhere else in your home to do the rescan.

Finally you could try carrying out a factory reset of the radio. This will clear the list of stored stations, but also any presets and alarms. The radio will scan after the reset.

Using manual tuning on a DAB radio

Unlike AM and FM radio stations, digital stations don’t advertise their DAB frequencies. However, you can often find them by searching online. The DAB frequency for Virgin Radio is 216.928 MHz – and this frequency applies for all of the stations on the 11A block. We have looked at digital radio ensembles and blocks in another question.

Using the Sony XDR-P1DBP we can press Menu, and then DAB Manual Tune. A list of DAB blocks and frequencies are shown. Scroll down to block 11A – or 216.928 MHz and press enter. If the radio can receive the stations, the radio shows the name of the multiplex or ensemble: SDL Digital. When the signal is insufficient the radio displays a message that the service is not available.

If the radio did find the stations we can scroll through the list normally to find them. This process could differ depending on the radio you have.


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