New digital radio stations are being launched all the time. Occasionally stations ‘move’ to a different place on digital radio. You can make sure you’re not missing out on the stations you should receive by re-tuning your DAB radio.
Re-tuning is a simple process where the radio scans for all available digital stations and stores them in the alphabetical station list.
Re-tuning your digital radio
To get started you need to find the retune option on your radio.
On some models there is a dedicated button – sometimes called ‘scan’, ‘re tune’, ‘auto scan’ or similar depending on the model.
When you press the button the radio will start scanning for digital stations.
If you don’t have a dedicated button you should have an option in the menu. Press the menu button and look for the auto scan option – again the exact term depends on your radio.
Press the enter or OK button, or push in the station knob if your radio has one. The radio will start scanning for new stations. If you don’t see either of these options on your radio or hi-fi check the manual, or contact the radio manufacturer.
Once the process starts it should take less than a minute and all the stations your radio can receive will be listed alphabetically.
Sometimes you’ll get an additional option for the sort of scan you want to do. A ‘full scan’ is the best way to ensure any new stations and changes are picked up.
Now stations are missing!
Sometimes when a scan is finished you might notice stations are missing.
Occasionally stations leave digital radio and are no longer available. If you still get the station on another radio or know it should be there it’s likely the radio didn’t find a strong enough signal.
Try moving the radio and making sure the aerial is fully extended. Sometimes the smallest adjustments will make all the difference. Once you’ve done this you can try scanning again.
Old stations are still in the list!
Normally an auto scan will only list the stations which you can actually receive. But some radios leave old stations in the list, and you may even have duplicates.
When you try to listen to them the display might show ‘NO SIGNAL or there might be no sound. Your radio may have an option in the menu to purge these stations from the list – check the manual or contact the radio manufacturer for more details.
The scan didn’t find the station I wanted
Sometimes when a scan is finished you might not see a station you wanted to listen to. In the most of the UK you should receive a mix of local and national stations. If you don’t receive the ones you are looking for it could be because the signal wasn’t strong enough.
Not all radio stations are broadcast in all parts of the UK. Some stations are only available in geographical areas such as London or the North East. You may also find that if you can receive a station on FM you can’t receive it on DAB. You can use a postcode checker to find out which stations you should be able to receive.
Finally you might find that you can’t pick up new national stations like Jazz FM and Fun Kids. These stations use a new technology called DAB+. Whilst many new radios will receive these stations, some older models don’t understand the new signal. They might not show up at all, or you can select them from the station list but there’s no sound.
In some cases it’s possible to upgrade your radio with a software update, but you may have to buy a new digital radio to receive the stations.
Satellite, cable and apps
If you listen to digital radio stations on these services you shouldn’t need to take any action. The providers of satellite and cable systems, and online listening apps, can make any required changes without you needing to re-tune or adjust your receiver.