Pure reason removes the question mark on digital radios

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: How many people does it take to re-tune a digital radio? One, you’ve just got to know which buttons to press. A leading Hi-Fi specialist retailer contacted Current.com.au to explain how easy it is to re-tune a digital radio; and a leading supplier says you don’t need a factory re-set.

“You just unplug it, turn it off and on and it tunes itself,” said John Messer, proprietor of Hi-Fi specialist retailer in Adelaide, Blackwood Sound.

“It finds the time and it finds all the stations for you as soon as you plug it in again…it takes only about 10 or 15 seconds to re-tune.”

Graeme Redman, the managing director of Pure Australasia, a digital radio supplier, also said re-tuning a digital radio is virtually automatic.

“It’s a simple process, it applies to all digital radios because it’s the way digital radio works, it’s not manufacturer or model specific,” Redman said. “You’ve got to do a re-scan, some call it scan, some call it re-scan, we call it an auto tune because it’s automatic, you press the button, it goes away and scans through every station and lists them all.”

When radio stations begin broadcasting new digital radio signals, such as the new programs coming from the ABC and SBS for example, the digital radio will need to be re-tuned to pick these stations up.

“When a new station comes on, you will need to do an auto tune and all that does then is scan for all available stations, including the new one, and lists them all in your station list,” said Redman.

While a factory reset is an option — and it does not mean sending the unit back to the manufacturer — Redman says this is overkill.

“There are two ways you can do it, you can either do an auto scan or a factory reset, both of which are described in the user guides that come with the product,” he said.

“We don’t recommend a factory reset, which is the other way of doing it, because a factory reset will also reset all of your customised settings. So if you’ve got pre-set stations or you’ve customised some of the settings in any way then they would get reset to factory defaults.”

Another issue is the question mark that may be displayed on the digital radio’s LCD screen.

“The confusion that happened in Sydney was that anyone who tuned a radio before the permanent broadcasts started picked up all of the trial stations,” Redman said.

“When the permanent broadcast started they turned off all of the trial stations [but] the radios still remembered all of the old station IDs and if it was auto tuned again it then added all of the new station IDs, so then you had a station list that had all of the new stations plus all of the old ones, but when a station is inactive or off the air you get a question mark on the screen in front of the station name.”

Redman said this is easy to fix and again does not require a factory reset.

“We’ve got a function called trim station list, which is there specifically to remove inactive stations. You hit the button trim station list and it deletes everything with a question mark in front of it — it simply removes all of the inactive stations, leaving you with all the new ones,” he said.

Failing all of this, there is the last resort of a factory reset, which includes an auto tune or a re-scan anyway.

“The last step of a factory reset, which is 100 per cent automatic, is auto tune,” said Redman. “It deletes memory and re-sets everything to the factory defaults and then does an auto scan, none of which you have to worry about because it does the whole lot automatically.”

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