Radio stations around Australia put aside their differences and joined together today to promote digital radio through a series of events which included live broadcasts and entertainment.
The "Radio United" outside broadcasts involved over 40 stations this morning with events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
According to organisers Commercial Radio Australia, thousands of people attended the events around the country, with the largest crowd gathering in Sydney.
CNET Australia attended the launch in Sydney's Martin Place, which featured not only 16 radio stations, but several digital radio manufacturers as well. Bands, free coffee and people in foam suits dominated the day as crowds of people thronged to see their favourite breakfast announcers.
One of digital's biggest advantages is the improvement in quality over AM broadcasts, and the AM talk radio stations were there in force. Digital content director at Austereo Jaime Chaux pointed to the talk radio stalls and said: "Usually all these guys hate each other so the fact that they're all here together is nothing short of miraculous."
Celebrities who attended the event included singer Guy Sebastian, actor Brian Brown, MasterChef winner Julie (below), and the NSW Premier Nathan Rees.
Click through to see some of the event highlights, and the gadgets you can listen to digital radio on — including the iRiver B30 MP3 player which displays broadcasted artwork.
MasterChef 2009 winner Julie Goodwin poses with Nova's Kate Ritchie at the Radio United event.
ABC Radio officially launched its digital service today as well. ABC Sydney 702 announcer Adam Spencer was on hand to demonstrate the differences between analog and digital with a helpful demonstration. He played a song (
While most of the products were for models that are already on the market, Sangean showed off its forthcoming DPR-25+ (AU$329), which includes an auxiliary jack for MP3 players, a line out and a rechargeable battery.
The Pure Highway is currently the only digital in-car radio available in Australia. It attaches to your windscreen like a GPS and can either connect via a 3.5mm connector, or the seemingly backwards FM transmission method. Dedicated head units won't be available until 2010.