Questions

My radio is missing digital stations after re-tuning

Some digital radio users have found that Absolute 80s, Planet Rock and Premier Christian Radio are no longer available after re-tuning.

This is due to the stations moving to a different network of digital radio transmitters. Your radio might not have found a strong enough signal to store them in the station list.

In February 2016 a second national digital radio network was launched with 18 radio stations. Some of these are new stations, like Magic Chilled and Virgin Radio, but others have moved from the original network. These are Absolute 80s, Planet Rock and Premier Christian Radio.

If you find that you still receive stations like Classic FM, but not those three, it’s likely your radio hasn’t found the new network when performing an auto-scan. The new Sound Digital network has a smaller coverage area than the original network – reaching between 73% and 75% of UK adults.

This contrasts with the original network which covers more than 90% of the population.

You may also be missing KISSTORY and heat radio

In some parts of the UK, like the North East, you might have received KISSTORY and heat radio along with Metro Radio and BBC Newcastle.

As KISSTORY and heat radio are part of the new national network they are no longer transmitted on those local networks. For many listeners the change wouldn’t have been apparent, but some will now find that they are missing several stations which they could receive earlier this year.

Finding the missing stations

You can first use a coverage checker to see which stations you should be able to receive:

Digital Radio UK Coverage Checker

If your radio is always in the same location you can try moving it to another place in your home and re-tune it there. If the radio stores the missing stations you can bring it back to its original location and see if you can still receive the stations.

We’ve heard of a kitchen radio not receiving new stations like talkRADIO and Virgin Radio. The owner tried several locations before re-tuning in their garage. After picking up the new stations there they moved the radio back to the kitchen where it still successfully receives them.

If you still don’t receive the missing stations it could be that you’re not able to receive the signal from the new network. If listening to Planet Rock, Absolute 80s and the other stations on a portable radio is important to you there are models which include both DAB and internet radio. All of the stations which have moved, and thousands of others, are available online and a combined DAB and internet radio would allow you to continue listening without using a PC, laptop or smartphone.

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