dataphone digital service

Digital-television radio

Digital television radio (or DTR) is an informal term which describes the music channels that are provided with a digital television service. In terms of price and musical variety, DTR falls somewhere between regular AM or FM radio, and satellite radio. However, because it is delivered through a digital signal, the actual sound quality is, in theory, equal to satellite radio.

DTR cannot be purchased as a service on its own. To obtain it, one must subscribe to a digital television service, typically satellite television or digital cable. DTR music channels are usually provided as part of the "basic" television subscription service or package.

Number of channels

The number of music channels offered varies with each service provider. In the United States, DirecTV offers up to 72 channels of XM Satellite Radio, and Dish Network offers 95 channels, 65 provided by Sirius Satellite Radio, and a few offerings from Muzak for residential subscribers.

In Canada, Bell TV and Vidéotron offer 45 channels provided by Galaxie, while Star Choice, Shaw Digital Cable and Rogers Digital Cable each offer 40 music channels: 20 provided by Max Trax, the other 20 provided by Galaxie. In many markets, Rogers Cable also provides digital cable feeds of most local AM and FM radio stations; Rogers no longer offers the older model of cable FM service. Persona offers 39 channels from Galaxie and Maxtrax.

In the United Kingdom, digital television radio from satellite is received mainly by Sky Television customers, as part of their satellite television service, however other equipment is available to receive many of the non subscription radio and TV channels free. As of June 2004, there were approximately 90 radio stations on the Sky Digital service. Around 15 channels are available on the digital terrestrial television service, free of charge.

In Australia, Federal Government funded television stations ABC and SBS broadcast multiple music channels alongside their digital TV services. These stations are non-commercial, each featuring specific types of music such as Jazz, Blues or Classical, with the SBS channels featuring foreign and ethnic programming, which are not normally played on commercial radio.

Some cable and satellite television providers also simulcast AM and FM radio stations along with their DTR bundles.

Listening to DTR

One can listen to a DTR channel simply by entering the channel on one's television. However, this requires leaving the television on, and uses television speakers which are fairly limited in sound quality. Therefore, the recommended set-up is to connect the audio outputs of the television set-top box directly to a stereo system. Set-top boxes typically have an extra set of audio outputs to facilitate this. Also, as a song is playing, additional information such as the song title, artist and album typically appear on the television screen.

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