Drivers will soon be able to listen to digital radio in their vehicle without having to install a new stereo, after high street store Halfords launched the first-ever analogue radio conversion kit.
The kit, which will cost under £100 will go on sale Nov 8 and will enable anyone to listen to digital radio stations in their vehicle.
The government still has not set a precise date for the radio digital switchover; however, 2015 has been set as a target for at least half of consumers’ radio listening to be on DAB radio. Drivers have been disappointed that digital radio has so far been inaccessible in cars and this has been a major stumbling block in achieving the digital switchover.
Ford Ennals, Digital Radio UK’s chief executive, has been speaking at the Radio Festival in Manchester, saying “I hope Halford’s new kit will be the first step to changing the listening habits of all drivers, who account for 20% of all radio listening.
The launch of the new Sonichi in-car digital radio from Halfords is a vital step in ensuring that drivers can take advantage of all the benefits.”
Drivers who wish to upgrade the in-car stereo over to digital will have to buy the Sonichi S1000 In-Car Digital Radio Adaptor. It works by using an external antenna which is attached to the windscreen of the vehicle, and auto tune technology which finds the best signal. It will feature 36 DAB and four FM station presets, so that drivers can change between the two. Motorists should remember to inform their insurance company of any modifications to their car when getting a motor insurance quote.
The signal for digital radio covers the majority of motorways and roads. The coverage will begin to get patchier while driving on B roads. Ennals is keen to point out that transmitters are being added all the time.