It's the Beginning of the End For FM Radio in Four European Countries

by VVN Music

Technology keeps marching on, leaving many of us behind and confused. Standard televisions are now HD TVs and they'll soon be replaced by 4K models. Vinyl went to CDs which went to digital (and, to some extent back to vinyl). Movies went Beta/VHS to VHS only to DVD to Blu-Ray to digital. Each new iteration of technology seems to be obsoleted faster that the last.

One that has been around untouched for decades is FM radio.  Originally patented in 1933 and first broadcast in the late-30's, modern FM became a standard of sound quality on June 1, 1961 when WGEM in Quincy, IL became the first stereo FM station in the country.

But FM radio may soon come to an end as Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) starts to be phased in around the world. According to experts, DAB costs only an eighth of FM and it has an ability for a much more clear sound but some consumers complain about very touch reception much like an over-the-air digital television cuts out for moments from time-to-time.

Norway will be the first to phase out the FM band in a transition that started in 2015 and will be complete by the end of this year. Already, the national radio network has started to switch their regional broadcasts from the standard to DAB, much to the chagrin of those without receivers including car and boat owners.

Plus, much like the transition from regular light bulbs to LED and other technologies that hit the U.S. a few years back, there isn't a lot of understanding and support from the general public. A recent poll showed that only 17% of the Norwegian people were in favor of the complete elimination of the FM band.

Still, Norway is not the only country making the switch. Switzerland is expected to have completed the transition by the end of 2020 while both Britain and Denmark are in talks about setting a date for shutting down the FM band.

It's expected that the rest of the world will follow suit over time.

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