MOST of us have heard of DAB Radio but not everyone owns a digital radio set.
DAB, or Digital Audio Broadcasting, has been with us since the early 1990s but the take up rate has been much slower than with digital TV.
Virtually everyone in the UK is now able to take advantage of the extra channels and services available through digital TV.
However, DAB Radio offers many advantages over standard analogue AM and FM radio.
What's more, uncertainty surrounding DAB radio looks largely to have been lifted now that many of today's sets are fitted with DAB+ chips so that they can operate in those countries that have adopted the more advanced DAB+ format.
As long as you are able to receive a strong signal, with DAB radio, you can listen to your favourite stations in digital quality without the hiss and crackle that can affect analogue radio. The good news is that the BBC is building more DAB transmitters to extend coverage while independent transmission providers are also working to improve the signal strengths of commercial stations.
There are many advantages offered by DAB radio listening.
Firstly, you don't have to remember station frequencies as the majority of DAB sets list all the stations available within your area. You simply select the radio station you wish to listen to by name.
If you've enjoyed listening to a particular piece of music but can't remember the title, DAB has the answer as scrolling text is available with many DAB stations making it easier to name your favourite tune.
While economic uncertainty has seen a number of digital only stations close new stations are arriving to replace them.
With DAB, you can get your favourite FM/AM stations from the BBC and independent broadcasters as well as plenty of digital-only stations.
Many car dealers now offer DAB as part of the deal.
You can even listen into BFBS Radio dedicated to serving the armed forces. Then there are the larger regional stations which also broadcast on the DAB platform where there are stations broadcasting the latest hits, golden oldies, Asian music and information, Chill, Hip Hop and R'n'B, Christian programming, classical music, rock, jazz, soul, current affairs and news, world news, sport, health and the environment.
Another advantage of digital radio over listening to analogue radio is that some DAB sets include pause and rewind features along with stop, start, listen again. Some advanced radios even enable you to record.
Top-end home models offer an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) allowing you to plan your listening, with daily listings that let you schedule your choice of programmes for listening to now or later, or even up to seven days in advance.
A number of the latest models also include internet radio and iPod docks.
Many people today listen to the radio in their vehicles more often than they do at home. Manufacturers know this and as a result there's an impressive selection of in-car DAB radio systems now available from leading market players.