Digital Radio event rocks Sydney!

Digital radio is go! CNET Australia brings you the latest gadgets and all the celebrities from today's massive digital radio launch.

Ty Pendlebury
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Ty Pendlebury
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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.

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Kyle and Jackie O were conspicuously absent from the day, but that didn't stop the 2Day FM stand from attracting an audience. All of the bad juju was to come later in the day when Austereo (and

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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 (

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How fitting, a mutant cross between the Looney Tunes' monster and King Kong promoting today's launch of the Japanese-sounding "Gorilla Super Digi" channel.

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Recent immigrant from Queensland, Mike Goldman holds his iPhone up to get a comment from a member of the crowd while an artist paints his impression of "Gorilla Super Digi".
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We're not quite sure what this is all about, but it seems Fred the Horse has been a naughty boy. He has lipstick on his collar.

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Local band Bluejuice play live on the Nova stage.

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Staff from The Edge 96.One spend most of the morning dancing and blowing bubbles to promote their digital channel. Reality TV fans may recognise 2007

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Vega's Tony Squires asks

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Away from the myriad of people, Commercial Radio Australia set up a tent to promote the different manufacturers of digital radios in Australia.

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Manufacturers who had their wares on display included Pure Digital, Sangean, Bush, Roberts, Yamaha and iRiver.

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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.

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The iRiver B30 is a unique device in that it is the first MP3 player capable of receiving DAB+ broadcasts. It's also the smallest digital radio on the market.

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The player is also the only one that can display cover art sent over the airwaves. Here it displays Mix's current track.

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If the station also broadcasts weather, the B30 will display that too.

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Press another button and you can read the news

(Credit: Ty Pendlebury)

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Pioneer is the distributor of Pure Digital radios in Australia, and they had one of their pimped-out vehicles on display as well.

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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.

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