Home London DAB stations
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London's local radio stations are transmitted in 3 DAB multiplexes - CE London (Channel 12C - 227.36MHz), Switch London (Channel 12A - 223.93MHz) and DRg London (Channel 11B - 218.64MHz). A full list of London DAB radio stations is provided in the table below, with updates following the multiplex changes in Spring 2012. We list frequencies, channel information, station genres and transmission bit rates.
Several DAB relay transmitters are used to extend DAB digital radio coverage around greater London to a radius of around 25 to 30 miles, subject to terrain.
Fill-in DAB relays are situated at Alexandra Palace, Bluebell Hill, Reigate, Guildford, Zouches Farm, Hemel Hempstead, High Wycombe, Stoke d'Abernon and Kemsing and operate on the same multiplex channels as the primary DAB transmitter sites at Croydon and Crystal Palace, but at reduced power levels.
Four new DAB transmitters were commissioned in April 2012 to improve reception in Central London including one at the BT Telecoms Tower in time for the Olympic Games.
The coverage area of London DAB radio (including low power relay transmitters) extends beyond the boundaries of the M25 to comfortably include East Berkshire and the Guildford, Slough and Windsor conurbations to the west.
Reading, Berkshire is outside the coverage area of London DAB services, although reception may be possible in favourable locations with a clear view to the east or south east if a high gain directional DAB aerial is used. It's worth noting that there is a fill-in DAB transmitter in Guildford which carries the London DAB multiplexes if Crystal Palace reception is not possible in locations to the west of London.
London DAB reception may also be possible in Woking, Aldershot, Camberley, Bracknell and Maidenhead although these towns are on the extremity of the Drg London DAB coverage map, and would require a roof-top directional DAB aerial and favourable local terrain for reliable reception of all multiplexes. A separate coverage map for Switch London DAB Radio from the Crystal Palace transmitter is also available.
To the south of London, DAB coverage extends to Reigate, Redhill and Crawley (Sussex); whilst to the east of town Southend in Essex is in an outer fringe reception area.
DAB radio coverage to the north of London is boosted by several relay transmitters, allowing reception of London's local DAB radio stations in Luton, Hemel Hempstead, St. Albans, Hatfield and Stevenage.
The outer fringe of London DAB coverage to the north extends out to Letchworth and Hitchin in Hertfordshire and Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. Fringe reception areas would require an roof-top DAB aerial installation (a directional high gain DAB aerial is recommended) and no guarantee of reception reliability is given, especially in valleys or where buildings, trees or other nearby obstructions exist.
As an alternative to DAB, London's local radio stations are also available on Sky TV and channel numbers are provided in the table below for convenience.
Given the pitifully low transmission bitrates used on several London DAB multiplexes, there are audio quality benefits when listening to digital radio through your Sky digibox rather than via DAB.
Recent changes to the London DAB multiplexes have seen Heart 106.2 and Magic 105.4's DAB transmission changed from 112kbps to 128Kbps on the CE London 1 multiplex, resulting in a noticeably improved audio quality.
The Arrow which offers a great selection of popular Rock Music is a new addition on the London 3 Multiplex in November 2010 transmitted at 128Kbp/s in stereo.
On August 19th 2010, Smooth Radio ceased broadcasting on the London 2 Multiplex and can now be found on the Digital 1 National Multiplex at 80Kbp/s in Mono!
In order to launch more DAB radio stations without expanding the transmission infrastructure (which would of course cost money), several popular stations are now broadcasting in Mono on DAB to free up more transmission capacity, with some Absolute Radio "spin-offs" like Absolute 70's now broadcast at just 64Kbp/s in Mono. Most rational thinking people accept that this data rate is unsuitable for anything other than voice.
The effects of these unwelcome changes further reduces the appeal of the UK DAB service to the listening audience who continue to suffer inferior sound quality when compared to FM!
|London DAB Radio Station||Genre||Bitrate||Sky Radio Channel|
BBC National DAB Multiplex - Channel 12B (225.64MHz)
|BBC Radio 1||Pop Music||128Kbps Stereo||0101|
|BBC Radio 1Xtra||Other Music||128Kbps Stereo
|BBC Radio 2||Pop Music||128Kbps Stereo||0102|
|BBC Radio 3||Cultures||192Kbps Stereo||0103|
|BBC Radio 4||Varied Speech||128Kbps Stereo||0104|
|BBC Radio 4 Extra||Varied Speech||80Kbps Mono||0131|
|BBC Radio 5 Live||News||64Kbps Mono||0105|
|BBC Radio 5 Sport Extra||Sports||64Kbps Mono||0144|
|BBC Radio 6 Music||Rock Music||128Kbps Stereo||0120|
|BBC Radio 7||Varied Speech||80Kbps Mono||0131|
|BBC Asian Network||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||0119|
|BBC World Service||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||0115|
BBC National Commercial DAB Multiplex - Channel 11D (222.06MHz)
|Talk Sport||Sport||64Kbps Mono||0108|
|Absolute Radio||Rock Music||112Kbps Stereo
|Absolute Radio Extra||Rock Music||112Kbps Stereo||-|
|Classic FM||Serious Classics||160Kbps Stereo||0106|
|Planet Rock||Rock Music||112Kbps Stereo||0110|
|BFBS Radio||Pop Music||80Kbps Mono||0211|
|Amazing Radio||Pop Music||64Kbps Mono||NA|
|Premier Christian||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||0123|
|UCB UK Christian||Religion||64Kbps Mono||-|
|Absolute Radio 80's||Pop Music||112Kbps Stereo||0200|
|Absolute Radio 90's||Pop Music||64Kbps Mono||0203|
|Jazz FM National||Jazz Music||80Kbps Mono||0202|
|Smooth Radio UK||Easy Listening||80Kbps Mono||0128|
|Smooth Radio 70's||Easy Listening||80Kbps Mono||-|
London 1 Multiplex - Owned by CE Digital - Channel 12C (227.36MHz)
|Heart 106.2 London||Pop Music||128Kbps Stereo||0111|
|Chill||Other Music||64Kbps Mono
|Kiss 100||Pop Music||128Kbps Stereo||0178|
|LBC 97.3||Varied Speech||80Kbps Mono||0124|
|Capital||Pop Music||128Kbps Stereo||0109|
|Magic 105.4||Easy Listening||128Kbps Stereo||0180|
|Choice FM||Pop Music||128Kbps Stereo||0114|
|Sunrise Radio||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||0133|
|heat radio||Pop Music||112Kbps Stereo||0179|
London 2 Multiplex - Owned by Switchdigital - Channel 12A (223.93MHz)
|UCB Inspirational||Religion||64Kbps Mono||586 (TV)|
|French Radio London||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||NA|
|Kerrang!||Rock Music||80Kbps Mono||368 (TV)|
|Gold - London||Pop Music (Oldies)||112Kbps Stereo||0121|
|Punjabi Radio||Other Music||64Kbps Mono||0187|
|XFM||Rock Music||112Kbps Stereo||0113|
|BBC London (see note 2)||Varied Speech||128Kbps Stereo||0152*|
|The Hits||Pop Music||112Kbps Stereo||NA|
|Spectrum Radio||Other Music||64Kbps Mono||0185|
|Sout Al Khaleej||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||NA|
|Absolute Radio 70's||70's Music||64Kbps Mono||-|
|Absolute Radio 00's||Pop Music||64Kbps Mono||-|
|Voice of Russia||Varied Speech||48Kbps Mono||-|
|UCB Gospel||Religion||64Kbps Mono||0135|
London 3 Multiplex - Owned by DRg London - Channel 11B (218.64MHz)
|Polish Radio London||Pop Music||96Kbps Mono||0213|
|LBC News 1152||News||48Kbps Mono||NA|
|Fun Kids||Children's||80Kbps Mono||0171|
|Absolute Classic Rock||Rock Music||64Kbps Mono||0201|
|Absolute Radio 60's||60's Music||64Kbps Mono||-|
|Kismat Radio||Other Music||80Kbps Mono||0173|
|Desi Radio||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||NA|
|Premier Gospel||Religion||80Kbps Mono||0123|
|Gaydar Radio||Varied Speech||128Kbps Stereo||0158|
|Rainbow Radio||Cultures||64Kbps Mono||0207|
|Colourful||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||0194|
|Panjab Radio||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||0130|
|IBC Asia||Varied Speech||64Kbps mono||NA|
|IBC Tamil||Cultures||64Kbps Mono||NA|
|The Arrow||Rock Music||128Kbps Stereo||NA|
|The Wireless||Varied Speech||64Kbps Mono||NA|
To retune a Digital Radio, you will need to invoke an 'Autotune' or 'Station Scan' on your DAB radio. Autotune procedures vary depending on which model of DAB radio you have - for Pure DAB radios refer to the Pure User Manual for your particular radio which can be downloaded in PDF format at Pure.com Support.
BBC London is only available to London postcodes on Sky TV channel 0152. However as BBC London is transmitted on Astra 28.2E - Frequency: 10.803 GHz, Horizontal polarisation, S/R 22000, FEC 5/6 - it can be added to your Sky Digibox regardless of where you are in the UK, by accessing "Services > Add Channels". The links below provide further help on this topic.