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13 November 2014

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You are in: Oxford > BBC Oxford > Articles > BBC Oxford on your RDS radio

BBC Oxford RDS display

BBC Oxford on your RDS radio

BBC Oxford is making behind-the-scenes changes to its transmitters to stop some radios retuning automatically to other BBC local radio stations. Find out more about the change and what you might need to do as a result.

What's happening to BBC Oxford?

From the morning of Tuesday 31st March 2009, if you have a Radio Data System (RDS) radio and BBC Oxford stored as a preset, you'll need to manually tune to the station again by finding the right frequency and re-save it as a preset.

When some RDS radios are switched on, they might display an error message or tune to a different station. To listen to BBC Oxford as normal, you'll just need to tune your radio to the right frequency - 95.2 FM.

Are you changing the frequencies, then?

No - the frequencies and transmitters stay as they are at the moment. The only change is to the bit of RDS information which tells your radio what service it is tuned to. So if you tune by finding the frequency, you're not affected at all.

Why are you doing this?

We're trialling a change to the way that the RDS information is sent.

At the moment, BBC local radio stations are grouped into rather large families and most RDS radios tune seamlessly between them. This is great if you're travelling a long way and want to listen to BBC local radio all the way. But we also know that many people can't always stay with the station they want to listen to, without the radio re-tuning to something else.

What we're doing is taking BBC Oxford out of the group, so your radio should now stick with it and shouldn't re-tune to anything else.

So if you're annoyed when you're listening to BBC Oxford on the move that sometimes you get transferred over to BBC Berkshire, BBC Northamptonshire or to BBC Three Counties, we hope that this will be the fix for you.

What is RDS? Is it the same as digital?

RDS is the radio data system, a technology which was invented in the late 1980s and which allows some data to be broadcast alongside an FM radio station. This data is used to display the station name, to re-tune between transmitters for the station, and flag up travel bulletins.

RDS is not the same as DAB digital radio, which is an entirely different type of transmission. Digital radio offers crackle-free reception and a much wider range of services.

But because all RDS radios have a display of some sort, some of the very oldest have the word 'digital' printed on the case, which can be a bit confusing - but this is just referring to the display, not to the way it receives radio services.

Currently BBC Oxford is not available on DAB digital radio.

I don't know if I've got an RDS radio. How do I check?

The simplest way is to think how you tune your FM radio. If you have to remember to go to 95.2 FM, then you almost certainly haven't got an RDS radio. If you tune by selecting 'BBC Oxfd' when tuned to BBC Oxford, then you have an RDS radio.

Almost every car radio is an RDS radio and increasingly new radios for the home have RDS in them as well. If you have a dual-band FM and DAB digital radio receiver, then it is likely to use RDS on FM as well.

Most RDS radios show the RDS logo somewhere: either on the case or display, or in the packaging or manual. Look for a pair of intersecting circles, shaped like an eight on its side.

Do I need to re-tune before 31st March?

No - the new information will only be broadcast from the morning of 31st March, so if you re-tune before then, you'll have to re-tune again. It should be as simple as going to the frequency and pressing a button to re-store it.

I don't know how to re-store the presets on my radio

For many - but not all - radios, storing a preset is as simple as pressing and holding the memory button you want it to be on. Other radios need you to press a 'preset' button first. As there are so many different types of radio, we're afraid it's just not possible to offer individual assistance. If you get stuck, your best option is to consult your radio's manual.

I haven't got an RDS radio

This change will have no effect on non-RDS radios.

I listen online

This will have no effect on those who listen online.

Are you changing the station? Are the presenters going to change?

No - all we're doing is making a slight modification to the RDS information. Everything else is staying just as it is at the moment.

Does this mean that the travel bulletins from BBC Oxford won't interrupt the national radio stations any more?

No - there's no change being made to the way that travel bulletins are signalled. If you wish to turn this feature off on your radio, this can usually be done by pressing the TA or TP button. Check your radio's manual for more detailed instructions.

I can't get BBC Oxford where I live / my coverage isn't very good - will this sort things out?

No, we're afraid not - we're not making any changes to where the transmitters are located or the coverage that they provide at this time. This change is just to the RDS information that's transmitted alongside the signal; it doesn't change the signal itself. You can always find BBC Oxford live on the internet (see the links on the top right hand side of this page).

last updated: 26/03/2009 at 09:30
created: 16/03/2009

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