back to article Stephen Fry's truly terrible mistake

It's little wonder that Stephen Fry holds such a place in the nation's affections. He's earned it through a string of unforgettable performances. There's his voiceover for Direct Line's pet insurance, his voiceover for the 2008 Argos catalogue, not to mention voiceovers for Anchor Butter, Tesco, Dairylea, Kenco, Coca Cola, …

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  1. Piloti
    WTF?

    Graham Linehan

    ... is he British ?

    P.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Much funnier...

      ...than Fry!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Linehan

    2. Neil 51
      Flame

      What....

      ..the British claiming an Irishman as one of theirs? But that's never happened before (see also: Dylan Moran, Spike Milligan, Peter O'Toole & Oscar Wilde)

      1. Elmer Phud Silver badge
        Happy

        Spike

        And why was Spike an Irishman?

        'cos the Brits said he was born abroad and wouldn't give him a passport.

        He offered himself up as being available for adoption by any country and the Irish said they'd give him a home.

  2. Pete B
    Stop

    Why?

    If the author of this article is to be believed I must be the only person in the UK completely happy with DAB - I've got multiple sets throughout the house and nary a problem, unlike the FM sets they replaced which all suffered from interference. I don't really want to turn a PC on to listen to the radio - a suggestion the author seems to be making - I'm pretty sure however bad in power use my DAB set is it won't be as bad as running a PC for the purpose!

  3. Monty Cantsin
    Thumb Down

    Shock horror!

    Actor accepts job offer! But since Fry twittered the opening of his iPad box, he should be more discerning in the tech standards he helps implement, not reading scripts for financial reward like, um... an actor.

    Oh, and if "deficiencies of DAB are well known enough not to need reiterating", then what were the subsequent 3 paragraphs for?

  4. Dave Murray

    Tech-Savvy

    The mistake is assuming Fry is tech-savvy. He isn't, he's just a magpie that likes shiny electronics.

  5. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    someone supposedly tech-savvy

    The man has a hard on ever time Apple brings out a new product. I wouldn't call that tech-savvy that just being a sad fanBoi'

    But we still love ya even if you are somewhat misguided and blinded by the golden apple.

    QI... is funny but Alan Davis annoys me

  6. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    B-->Z lists

    Rula Lenska was famously Lintilla in the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and therefore ranks in the major deity league of goddesses.

    1. Martin
      FAIL

      Internet radio is the way forward.

      Internet radio doesn't need a PC. It just needs (gosh!) an internet connection.

    2. Jolyon

      I'm DABtacus

      I'm also very happy with DAB.

      Have a set in every room.

      One of them also receives internet radio stations - nice to have the options.

    3. spodula

      I strongly suspect you are.

      I got a DAB set, Its currently sitting in the back of the cupboard, on the off chance that i can at some time in distant future get a decent signal. Of course it may be because i dont live near a major urban center.Saying that, i have freinds in Leeds saying that have major issues as well, so maybe not.

      None of my FM radio's have any problem including the wind up one i got for camping years ago.

      Your definately right about Internet radio. Firing up a PC just to listen to the radio is a silly idea.

    4. dirk_diggler
      Happy

      And me

      I've been perfectly happy with DAB. The sound quality is better than FM and I can receive broadcasts fine. I don't understand the DAB bashing on here, the specific implementation of the technology may have been wrong but going digital at some stage had to happen for radio.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        the sound quality is better?

        Either you have hearing damage or buy shitty radios.

        When my tuner accidentally got switched to DAB (still on r4, it was being smart), I was concerned that the thing was on the way out, as it sounded screwed. Muffled, harsh, warbly- like a crimionally low bitrate layer 2 audio stream which.. no wait, that's exactly what it was.

        Having taken part in properly controlled critical listening tests, I'm shocked how easy it is to get people to convince themselves that something sounds "good" by applying a v-shaped EQ curve or pressing "loudness", even if they can no longer discern what is being said.

      2. Displacement Activity

        @down-vote-tards

        Hey, they're happy with DAB. What on earth is the point of down-voting someone just because they're happy with what they've got? Or do you think they're too stupid to be allowed to express an opinion?

        @TheAuthor: have you actually *tried* using WinAmp in Mozambique?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Agreed

      I have one in the office at work, despite other complaints about DAB signal, I've found DAB is all that we can receive in the office. FM/AM? Forget about it.

      I'm not so sure about the enforced push to DAB, and would prefer Internet Radio - but you know what? They aint ever gonna allow us to use that at work!

      Also, what happens about my car radio in an Internet Radio only world? I'm f*cked if I'm paying a monthly subscription to have 3G/LTE or whatever in my car just so I can listen to the radio when I'm driving. Think DAB/FM coverage is bad? Just wait til you're reliant on 3G!

      DAB does the job, but it's probably not the way forward. Internet Radio on the other hand is DEFINITELY not the way forward for me.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Rula Lenska

      Not to mention Rock Follies, where we spotty teenagers got to see more of her, in a manner of speaking...

    7. Lamont Cranston
      Unhappy

      Not the only one, but one of a (very) few.

      I enthusiastically switched over to DAB shortly after it was launched (there are 3 set in my house), and fell out of love with it pretty quickly:

      - Portability: no, eats batteries, loses reception if you move about

      - Signal quality: what's that? Oh, "bubbling mud," again

      - Choice of stations: mostly rubbish (just like FM), find a good one and tire of it quick as the playlist repeats very frequently; that or the station disappears. Used to listed to BBC 6 and 7 quite a lot but I've pretty much heard all I want from 7 (no, I don't want another repeat of The Clitheroe Kid, thank you very much) and 6 very quickly vanished up its presenter's backsides. Thus, I'm left with NME (or Kerrang) for pop/indie, Planet Rock (for proper music, and a big hit with the kids, to boot!) and Radio 4. All in all, no big improvement from FM.

      Any other benefits? Scrolling text and a self-setting clock? Whoopee.

      Even got a Pure Highway for the car, but endless retuning was a pain (and none to good for road safety), such that I never bothered to fix it when the mounting arm broke.

      Some sort of digital switchover is probably inevitable, but I think I'd only be happy if:

      1) a decent technology is used (not one that gets upset by movement or being indoors)

      2) any current, legal,FM/AM/MW broadcaster that wants space on a multiplex can have it

      3) I get a respectable discount when replacing my then-useless DABs.

    8. Jaques Croissant
      WTF?

      "the tech standards he helps implement"?

      He doesn't. Tweeting about something isn't how one sets a standard. If it were, a lot of VERY FUCKUING BORING meetings in Geneva could be avoided.

      It takes actual engineers to exchange actual information until they want to murder themselves and each other, after some painful prototyping work to set standards. Going to a few press launches and blathering like a big fat 2.0tard isn't quite the same thing.

      1. Gulfie
        Thumb Up

        I'd like to correct your post.

        He's not so fat now.

    9. dpg21
      Thumb Up

      DAB fine radio

      I like my DAB radio too. The FM reception in my area means that there's a fair amount of hiss and crackle on my analogue radio, where as the DAB one is crystal clear. The hiss is not too bad when your listening to music, but it used to drive me mad when I was listening to radio 4.

    10. Wild Bill
      Thumb Down

      You don't need your PC on

      Just a wireless router. Internet radio sets are fantastic. The variety of stations available through them is mindblowing.

    11. John 62

      Internet radio: PC

      I think he meant that you only needed a PC to start broadcasting internet radio, whereas broadcasting over the air needs expensive transmitters (and a PC to get the signal to the transmitters).

  7. HighlightAll
    Unhappy

    Couldn't agree more

    I was shocked when I heard his voice pushing the nasty tech. If we could Web2.0 the ad he would go from 'Highest Ranked' to 'down ranked to oblivion.'

    Unhappy face. Disappointed.

  8. SuperTim

    bandwidth.

    I understand the need to compress some of the radio spectrum, but this radio scrappage scheme is bollocks. Who has a "radio" now anyway? I can't scrap the stereo in my car just because it is FM, it does other things as well that scapping it would mean forking out a lot of money for just the radio upgrade. I haven't got a standalone radio, and i am not tempted to get one just because it's DAB. I dont listen to radio (via sky and such) in the house much as there is lots of other entertainment, but if i did, it would be as part of a system not just a crappy little box with a tiny speaker. They dont make any offer of "upgrade" just "get rid of anything that has FM"

  9. Forget It

    dubious gag

    You got it entirely the wrong way round:

    DAB is BAD

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge
      FAIL

      Agreed

      The price increase just from FM to DAB is huge, let alone when you consider that my radio has better sound quality than most, and plays MP3's OGG etc. Ridiculous prices

      That said, you can get a DAB FM Transmitter for your car. You use the DAB radio to choose a station, which then transmits over FM to your Car radio.

      The question is, do you want to run an extra bit of kit (which is also far easier to nick as it's jsut suckered onto the windscreen a la satnav)? I'm buggered if I'm carrying that and my satnav whenever I get out of the car, so given the choice I'll just have to give radio a miss (until prices come down).

      Even fitting them in new cars won't do for me, even if I had the money to buy a new car, I'd probably want to move my Half Decent(TM) sound system across to the new car and replace the shitty system that is often in as standard.

      1. SuperTim

        DAB2FM device...

        But then i wont be able to "trade in" my FM radio if i still need it for this clever contraption to work. It also needs real estate in my car (which i dont have) and doesn't integrate with steering wheel controls. All in all it's a massive fudge.

      2. Hamstall
        FAIL

        In-car DAB

        I've just fitted a Pure "Highway" DAB receiver to my car. You can actually plumb it in to an audio input if your car has one, and the installation isn't bad.

        BUT...

        The coverage of the signal is absolutely lamentable.

  10. Tom 35 Silver badge

    thanks to open internet standards, has global reach.

    Just like iPlayer and Hulu then?

  11. Stewart Cunningham
    Dead Vulture

    DAB works fine for me

    How else am I supposed to listen to anything other than Radio1/2 or the local crap? Internet radio is useless as it isnt as portable (my laptop has crap speakers) and I can't use it at work due to bandwidth.

    How would you suggest I get 6music, kerrang, etc?

    Away to buy a DAB radio for the car. Yes I have TBs of music on mp3 but sometimes it's nice to hear something I dont already own.

    Whether I can believe the gumf on the box that suggests that DAB+ is only a firmware upgrade away is another story. For now it does the trick.

  12. Smallbrainfield
    Thumb Down

    I thought this was going to be a veiled

    Apple whine, but no, it's a DAB whine. I'm assuming Fry is getting paid for his voice-over? It's hardly going to kill his career, those Direct Lines ads are doing a far better job at that.

    DAB might be shite, but I can get a decent signal and listen to 6music in the office.

    And for your information, the average mule is far more practical than a Mini Cooper, as anyone with legs will tell you.

  13. Pugs
    Terminator

    Power Usage

    I was thinking this week on how terrible my current DAB (Pure model) radio was a power usage. The old radio we had in the bathroom would go for months without a battery change but the new one goes through at least a set every few weeks.

    Pure do sell a rechargeable "green" battery pack, but the fact that it cost about 70% of the value of the radio put me off a bit.

    (Both radios took the same type and number of batteries!)

  14. Nosher
    Stop

    Internet Radio my arse

    Yeah, because internet radio would work *really* well in my car on the drive to work - 53 miles each way with perfect DAB coverage across Suffolk and into Cambridge with the enjoyable company of 6Music. Don't get me wrong - I love inernet radio. At home. With a computer (or my Squeezebox). With broadband. Please just stop slagging DAB - you clearly don't actually use it. Only a few of the issues you constantly raise are legit - yes DAB+ would be better, etc, etc. but it's hardly the end of the world if it doesn't work in Europe (you've clearly not listened to French radio) but the audio quality issue is completely bogus - it sounds perfectly good in the car and on my Pure Evoke Flow in the kitchen, and is shed-loads better than the AM tech which seemed to suffice for Radio 1 until 1988 - nobody moaned constantly about that (much). Enough already!

  15. Piro
    FAIL

    Stephen Fry, you disappoint

    First, your lust for the iPad, second, plugging DAB.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Register's mistake

    Is The Register's mistake trying to lay into the lovely Stephen Fry? Leave him alone!

    1. Piro

      Internet Radio is not anywhere near as bad as you imagine

      Even over GPRS, I can get near-continuous streaming on my htc magic on a 32kbps AAC+ stream (which sounds way better than.. that sounds). Tested on a 40+ odd mile trip.

      With a roof mounted aerial and slightly better 3G coverage, you could stream something far higher quality than DAB+.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      6music, eh?

      You do realise that 6music is on the chopping block, don't you? Hardly worth going DAB for that....

    3. David Beck
      Thumb Down

      Doesn't work in France?

      Or ANY other European country. French radio may be crap to you but there are good classical stations and more importantly there are good travel bulletins regarding the autoroutes, fortunately these remain on FM too.

      I would also like to point out not everyone lives around Cambridge and where I live in Oxfordshire, while FM is fine, DAB is almost non-existent.

      When DAB signals are available at the same density and quality as FM and a DAB receiver can operate for 20 hours on a single AAA cell I will become interested.

  17. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Go

    Slightly off topic...

    The Nokia Home Music thing... anyone know if it will stream media content off of my Synology DS109j as this could be jst what I am looking for.

    Thanks.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Slightly off topic...

      If the Synology box acts as a UPnP server, then it should. If not, you'll have to plug it in directly. But I'm still testing...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internet Radio

    Not sure that is the solution - my internet doesn't work so well in the car, or on the beach, or the race track.

    If 3G was uncapped and universally available then great, but it's not.

    DAB works great for me in my house but I do have a big DAB tower that was recently erected on the hill just over the road. However I have also used it at other locations where you go from 99% signal to 30% (and the bubbling) just by moving the aerial a centimetre to one side. I guess that when coverage is extended and the power increased then it will be a lot better, although I can't ever see it being an easy transition from cheap FM sets.

  19. mmm mmm

    DAB

    I live in London and can't get a decent signal on anything I'd consider worth listening to (rock and alternative channels mostly) although an experimental go at radio 1, 2, and 4 were shocking as well. To my mind (or ear at least), it sounds like the broadcasts are being dragged over sandpaper or emery cloth. It's awful.

  20. Slatters
    FAIL

    Thank you!

    I'll admit I'm already biased - I can't stand Stephen Fry for many reasons - but still I was stunned to hear him fronting this shameless nonsense. With the exception of a minority for whom DAB is "good enough", we all know why it sucks.

    It just verifies what I've long thought - Fry is merely a BBC (and maybe Apple) shill. At last I'm not the only one to notice!

    I guess it also goes some way to demonstrate that he isn't clued up about technology at all - he presumably just likes shiney new things with a price tag. And showing them off to the world. Part and parcel really of the personality type that insists on boosting popularity by twitter...contemptible man. Go away.

  21. Mr Brush
    Happy

    Unlike most Appletards

    Mr Fry freely admits he is a w*nker.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Im am only suprised at your simshock

    S. Fry was a bankrupt (all senses),druggy thief that managed to play a part in the brilliant Black Adder of course he is after the money, DUH

    P.S. I dont see him as a nation treasure

  23. Matthew Malthouse
    Dead Vulture

    Dab on wheels... or not.

    DAB's oaky...

    Unless you want to go abroad - and 3K of the 4K miles I've driven in the last 8 months have been in continental Europe.

    So no DAB car replacement for me.

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  25. Lutin

    Internet radio on the go

    DAB's dead baby, DAB's dead.

    You can use internet radio on the go (and in a car!) if you can get internet on your phone. This is what I use to listen to 6 music and french stations (which are magnifique) on my daily commute.

    Get yourself acquainted with moodio.fm and you don't even need 3g.

    (btw before anyone starts moaning about data charges, i'm on a cheapo O2 simplicity and never once been charged extra)

  26. RustyNailed
    Thumb Down

    Slightly Unfair

    From the authors own link, Stephen Frys "indiscriminate love of a voiceover cheque" amounts to one voiceover this year (not including the DAB one which is not listed). Of course, he indiscriminately did 5 last year (ignoring that 4 were for the same brand), 1 in 2008 and 2 in 2007. A shocking number amounting to 10 in the last 3.5 years, or 6 for different brands. How could he be so ruthlessly indiscriminate?

    Whatever the merits, or lack of, DAB, I'm not sure the attack is justified for the reasons suggested by the article, and based on data the author links to. Not really sure what the motivation for this article really was.....

  27. max allan

    Maybe it will work?

    If Fry's campaign works and everyone switches to DAB, maybe some of the problems with it will go away. The radios will be cheaper, coverage better etc...

    Is there any sort of link explaining this scrappage thing yet? (I know I could google it, but I'm lazy)

  28. fLaMePrOoF
    Dead Vulture

    I'm DEEPLY dissapointed...

    That you think it in any way informative or appropriate to turn your issues with the the DAB platform into a scathing personal attack on Stephen Fry...

    He's an actor and voice-over work is part of his stock and trade, which is certainly less distasteful than pompous oppinionated gutter journalism, (yes you have managed to drag a serious and important debate about DAB into the gutter with this 'article'). Why the hell does a voice over have to be considered an endorsement? Have you checked that every peice of work you've referenced was actually done by him? If a company wants his voice they'll get it anyway either from him or a sound-alike.

    He's never claimed to be a 'tech savy' comentator, but rather confessed quite openly and bravely to being a bi-polar gadget addicted shop-a-holic who compulsively buys more technology than he has need or use for.

    Shame on you for this garbage, SHAME.

  29. Steve Walker
    Happy

    DAB suits me in the kitchen fine

    @SuperTim "Who has a "radio" now anyway?", I do in the kitchen and one for my dossing about room, I enjoy news & sports on BBC 5 Live, which without either a connection to the internet or SKY I can only get at a listen able way is via DAB, yes it may not be "2010" to listen to the radio but I do and I am pretty sure a lot of people *do*. I happen to enjoy visualizing the commentary from Motson!

    @Nosher spot on mate, I can imagine internet radio tethered by a 3G phone/dongle in the car = utter wank.

    I think that yes DAB+ or whatever would be nice in the future but for now my kitcehn DAB does me just fine. And no I cannot use MW in the kitchen as anything electrical kills it - something DAB has no troubles with AND I get 5 live sports extra as a bonus.

    Just my low bit rate view :-(

  30. wiltshirejohn
    Unhappy

    andanotherthing....

    ..all the arguments about the (lack of) quality of DAB have been well rehearsed - and fallen on the dismally cloth-like ears of those in authority!

    But what really pisses me off is the thought of scrapping about a thousand quids worth of good quality F.M. receivers.

    And then this smug git keep telling me this new stuff is so much better when FACT it ain't.

    OK they _may_ solve the problems with mobile reception in cars and the sound quality of sets currently on offer may be good enough for background listening etc. but what the F**K do I replace my HiFi systems with.

    wiltshirejohn

  31. Shaun Rolph

    Unlike Willie, a pimp, not a ponce.

    Willie Donaldson's 'Dictionary of National Celebrity' famously defined him as "A stupid person's idea of a clever person". I hope, Andrew, you're not suggesting he's also just a technophobe's idea of a geek, without anything more than a superficial love of toys? (The wonderful 'conversation agency' wearesocial winched him into the Twitter saddle).

  32. adrianww
    FAIL

    I'm glad...

    ...that some people seem to be able to get decent DAB service, 'cos I know that there seems to be a fairly large area of south-west Co Durham where it's bloody useless. While FM, and even AM, reception is pretty fine and dandy.

    Please let them replace this expensive cack with something better. Please.

    And Stephen - shame on you for flogging this dead horse. Although I'll let it go 'cos it's just a job at the end of the day and everyone deserves to earn a living somehow.

    DAB - Epic Fail (unless you're lucky enough to live somewhere where it works...)

  33. CM
    FAIL

    He has form

    Those Direct Line ads. He purrs that you have to go to their site because DL quotes are not available on the consolidators, as if this is a *good* thing! That lost it for me. Plugging old valve radios, sorry, DAB with its wide lapel and bell-bottom codecs and complimentary boiling mud is more dosh to his account, and the last desperate attempt by a gov-subsidised sinking industry.

    Handing in good radios as an "amnesty", what next? How failed can Marketing be?

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      But is Fry really an actor?

      He's certainly getting a lot of acting work these days, but I don't really think of him as "an actor" any more. He's a personality, a commentator, and perhaps the closest thing the average TV viewer will see to a philosopher.

      When he sells tea, I still see the actor. But what I see in this campaign is different -- I see a trusted media figure, a man of unquestionable intellect, giving me advice. (Fortunately, I already know his advice is wrong.)

      You can say that this is my fault, but it's pretty damned normal really, and is, after all, the reason they're using him for the campaign in the first place.

      1. CADmonkey

        Actor?

        He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his lead role in a Hollywood film.

        Perhaps we have different dictionaries.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Killer quote!

      "Willie Donaldson's 'Dictionary of National Celebrity' famously defined him as "A stupid person's idea of a clever person""

      This I shall remember. It is good.

    3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Out of Curiosity

      Possible no-one knows for certain but:

      If everyone follows this advice - use your phone to stream over 3G/GPRS instead of DAB/FM - could the networks cope? Or do we think that their current infrastructure might fall over?

      Obviously, they could upgrade the infrastructure, but that takes time and money. I'm also not that taken with the quality of the speakers on my phone. I suppose I could hook up a FM transmitter to overcome the issue - but then that's two bits of kit I need to carry instead of the one I carry anyway.

      DAB aint the way forward, but I'm still not conviced that Internet Radio is either, despite the benefits. Not that a perfect solution is really acheivable.

    4. John 62
      Badgers

      Direct quotes

      you pays your money you makes your choice. go to a comparison site where they get a slice of the commission so they can make ads with meerkats or go direct where they use the money to render a telephone on wheels.

      Badgers, cos it's the closest thing to meerkats

    5. Annihilator
      Megaphone

      voice over = endorsement

      "Why the hell does a voice over have to be considered an endorsement?"

      Because whether you agree with it or not, people hear/see the person and assume that they agree with the product in question. I, for example, believe that Richard Hammond and Alan Hansen both think Morrisons is a good supermarket.

      Consider the alternative - do you think that Stephen Fry would accept the work if he believed DAB radio was horrendous?

      1. Mr Brush
        FAIL

        title goes here

        Like Carol Vorderman (who is good at sums) endorsing FirstPlus as a sound financial investment?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Oooh look, someone offended one of his twittertard acolytes

      ..a group of people that I dislike even more than the fair Mr. Orlowski, which is going some.

  34. Aberdeen Angus
    Unhappy

    Nothing wrong with DAB

    Just had a little count and we have six DAB radios in the house and they all do what they are supposed to. Without interference. Or dropped signal. At the push of a button. Sound good too, for portable devices. And we get 6 Music (for now) and 5 Live Sports X etc.

    So no routers, servers, internet connections, wifi, modems, encryption, ISPs etc. to worry about.

    Just in case you are thinking I'm a complete luddite, most of my music listening at home is streamed from the pay version of Spotify so I get the internet bit too. But there's nothing wrong with DAB.

  35. The Dark Lord
    FAIL

    Commercial greed

    So is Mr Orlowski's rant (for that's all it is) a rant about DAB being bad or Stephen Fry's voiceover appearing to convey that he endorses the bad product? Seems poorly aimed either way.

    DAB has been a victim of the broadcasters' desire to reduce signal quality to the consumer's tolerance threshold in a desperate aim to shovel more shit at us. You only have to see the sprawl of stations (especially on TV) peddling generic rubbish at terrible quality. In this light, it's not hard to see why internet radio is succeeding: it is at least possible to find some high bandwidth streams that don't sound appallingly compressed on anything other than supermarket brand hi-fi.

    Not for nothing have Pure gained the greatest DAB penetration with a portable set whose speaker placement means it may as well be playing a mono signal from 1955.

    Broadcasters: give us fewer channels with better programmes, in better quality. Stop assaulting our audio/visual senses with dumbed down crap.

  36. McBread
    Dead Vulture

    Content is King!

    DAB might have some technical and financial issues but it also has 6Music (for now), which makes it culturally more valuable than the entire output of FM put together. Quality of Content trumps quality of transmission every time, and FM offers an woefully, woefully narrow diet.

    I'd rather listen to 6Music/NME Radio/Planet Rock/XFM/Amazing via a windup radio played via a speaker from a musical-christmas car, while underwater, than be sat in the corner of the recording studio of most FM stations...

  37. Christian Berger Silver badge

    the rest of the world

    The rest of the world sees the UK DAB progress as an amazing feat. You actually have sets at home. You can probably go to a store and just buy one without having to get it ordered. In Germany that's simply impossible.

  38. Zoyd Wheeler

    Anger management

    Andrew, have you considered anger management?

    Seriously. This post is so mis-judged on almost every level.

    Stephen Fry is a superb comic actor. He has also made a lot of money doing advertising deals. This is what many actors do. Get over it. Your introduction to this post is both childish and an embarrassment.

    DAB is a limited technology, anybody that works in technology or radio knows this, although the vast majority of people with DAB radios still seem to like them. Just as the vast majority of people 'seem to like' using Internet Explorer, because it does what they want it to do. We will no doubt transition to DAB+ /internet radio in the coming years as listeners and the industry both begin to realise what are the best ways of doing so.

    Do you - or a sub, or anybody else - actually re-read your posts? Or do you just bash them out in the grip of a pique about something that you haven't really thought through and then hit 'post'?

    I ask this because your geek-elitist whining really grates. It is just not helpful or informative or even welcome. It is just off-putting. You really should try harder to formulate arguments to convince others of your thoughts and ideas, instead of this childish ranting against what you seem to wrongly perceive to be 'the man'.

    Get. Over. It.

  39. AceRimmer
    Stop

    Can you do this

    http://scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/radio/homemade_radio.html

    With DAB?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Anger management

      You sound quite angry yourself, there "Zoyd". I'm worried.

      But at least you got it off your chest, with the bonus of Completely Missing The Point.

      Better out than in.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Stephen Fry's priorities

    I note that at the moment he is promoting prostate cancer awareness via http://thegreatdragrace.org/

    You should write and tell him to stop wasting his time and concentrate on the important stuff like DAB radio.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Wrong type of drag

      I thought it was 1/4 mile

  41. Neur0mancer
    FAIL

    Don't forget

    Robert Webb is also doing voiceovers for the fantastic value 'trade in'. Apparently "It's brilllllliant", swapping an fm radio for dab

  42. boltar Silver badge

    Where's Richard Hammond when you need him?

    "technology-illiterate, hand-me-the-cheque B- or C-list celeb, we wouldn't be too surprised."

    I wonder if Hammond will fire his agent for missing this perfect gig for him?

  43. AlgernonFlowers4

    Pleas Don't Scrap DAB Just Yet!

    Because I have just bought a very expensive Yamaha Y40D surround sound bar with in-built DAB tuner and it sounds awesome!

  44. Rogerborg

    I'm sure you'd turn down the gig, Andrew

    If you were ever asked. Which you won't be. Ever.

  45. Elsie
    WTF?

    Tech Expert

    Why do the BBC continually get tech soundbites (or rather, glowing recommendations of Apple products) from Mr Fry? His tech knowledge begins and ends with Twitter. I can boil a kettle. Does that make me a Michelin Chef cable of running a top restaurant?

    As for DAB, I've given up with it at home as more often than not it drops the connection so I use an Internet readio instead. As for the car, unless I pay £££ I can't have it and my guess is it would be awful!.

  46. neobroadcaster
    FAIL

    FM stations not on DAB

    This particularly narks me. Not Mr.Fry as I do like him generally, but the whole "Give up your FM and go to DAB" stance.

    I am a director for a community radio station for the area, and we are only permitted on FM and internet, so everyone goes for this DAB trade-in scheme, we loose our audience, we loose our advertisers and the whole community radio as we know it in the UK dies. (OK, I know its not got the best future with Ofcom already, but still).

    So if this is going to work, it needs to be done better, whoever is leading this seems not to care about anyone who can't afford the huge premium to get a DAB channel. Oh that'll be the BBC then....

  47. Number6

    Holding Out

    I'm not going to spend money on DAB radios with the current state of affairs. If they turn off the analogue transmitters then I'll either listen to stuff via the internet or go without.

    Perhaps when the running costs of a DAB portable radio match that of an FM radio, and the coverage is as good as or better, I might be persuaded.

    1. ChrisC

      How many DAB sets are purely DAB though?

      The 3 DAB sets I personally own, plus the countless others I've looked at over the years, all have the ability to receive both DAB and FM transmissions.

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      But...

      My DAB radio has FM as well (Not AM etc though) so I could still listen to you. At least whilst that area of spectrum is in use.

      There are a couple of flaws though;

      - I assume not every DAB has an FM Tuner as well

      - There's no guarantee they wont make it very hard to be/stay FM in an attempt to boost DAB

      Although I largely disagree with the article (why target Stephen Fry? The points made are semi valid) I do think it's people like you who will really suffer.

      Also, from the comments here I'm getting the impression that DAB coverage is better outside Towns/Cities? Seems a little backward.

      For people talking about 3G, consider this:

      In my special brand of the future, there is no DAB or FM Radio. We've gone 100% Internet radio.

      Although you may be able to listen to Internet Radio using your phone/laptop for free at the moment (all inclusive data package etc.). When an Internet connection is _necessary_, what are the odds that your new car/radio will have a monthly contract attached. So you'll pay £20 (for example) a month for your 10G connectivity (OK so it may not be called 10G!).

      I'd much rather pay for a radio once, rather than having to pay monthly. Of course it may be that connectivity will be freely available, but it has to be paid for somehow (probably in the cost of the radio?)

      Given the choice, I'd stick with FM, but at work neither FM or the Internet are an option so it has to be DAB. I'd have preferred the DAB money to be spent on boosting FM reception, but at least I can listen to the radio at work now!

  48. Jonathon Green
    Stop

    Internet Radio

    Excuse me a minute, I'm just off to tell my eighty-something year old mother that she should throw out the DAB radios she's got in the kitchen and bedroom (which she's perfectly happy with, and which unlike the FM radios they replaced carriy a range of stations she wants to listen to and can tune in to easily and consistently regardless of what the fridge, freezer and washing machine are doing) in favour of signing up for a broadband internet package which she has no other use for, installing and configuring a router (which will run 24/7 consuming power all the time unlike the DAB radio which runs for a couple of hours a day at most), and then buying yet another piece of kit to actually listen to stuff with. What's that Mum, you don't fancy that idea? How odd...

    Internet radio is a bloody silly idea because it requires the end user to invest in lumps of infrastructure and pay a subscription just to listen to the wireless, whether they want to do anything else with it or not.

    Sky/Freeview are crap because nobody makes a dedicated portable radio equivalent (and you'd look really bloody silly carrying a Sky dish or a terrestrial TV antenna around the house with you).

    FM's broken because there just isn't the bandwidth available to carry a decent selection of national and local channels.

    DAB's not perfect but it's here, and it works well enough for most people for most purposes most of the time (which lets fact it is as much as you've ever been able to say for FM - in my particular not-especially-rural corner of Eastern England all you'll reliably get on FM without an external antenna is taxis and passing aircraft...) and anyone who wants to scrap it in favour of something completely incompatible will have to make a better case than they've managed so far to convince me...

    --

    Jonathon.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Internet Radio

      "Internet radio is a bloody silly idea because it requires the end user to invest in lumps of infrastructure and pay a subscription just to listen to the wireless, whether they want to do anything else with it or not."

      No it doesn't.

      By the way, I am intrigued to find out what stations does your Mum wants to listen to that she can't receive via FM.

      1Xtra? The Asian Network? Panjab FM? The Polish Network? The British Forces Broadcasting Service?

      Do tell.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Curious

        How does Internet Radio not require the end user to invest in a broadband connection?

        Surely an Internet Radio needs access to the um.. Internet? OK so perhaps some may be available with 3G on pay as you go/contract but either way you're having to pay to listen to the radio.

        Of course, you may know of a radio that offers free connectivity for people that don't have/want the Internet.

        Also, people criticise the price of DAB radios - have you seen the price of a dedicated Internet Radio????? Ouch!

    2. Oz

      Re Internet Radio

      The problem is that your experience is not everyone's. My FM reception is brilliant, but my DAB is flaky at best. I listen to music on the radio, and I just can't stand the bubbling effect as the signal goes in and out. For me, unlike, you, DAB is not the panacea - much as I would like to be.

  49. NoOnions
    FAIL

    DAB - depends where you live

    DAB might well be fine for some, but until 2012 it sucks for me (I'm in North Kent). In the morning my DAB radio works fine for me in the kitchen - in the evening I get the 'bubbling mud' problem. My DAB radios simply do not work at all in the conservatory or lounge - (as I have a small house we are only talking a few metres from the kitchen). I have to balance my kitchen DAB radio high up for a decent signal.

    Coverage is the problem. I was listening to 5Live on DAB when the F1 coverage moved to 5Live F1. I searched for the station, found it and then my radio said that the station was off-line.

    My cheap Sony AM/FM radio works anywhere. At home I can get 5Live in the bathroom (on AM), the battery lasts well over a year and it just works.

    Until the Digital Change-Over fully happens in 2012 DAB will not do well (IMHO)

    NoOnions

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: DAB - depends where you live

      "Until the Digital Change-Over fully happens in 2012 DAB will not do well (IMHO)"

      Um, there is no switchover.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/19/carter_radio_dumb_media/

      1. NoOnions
        Unhappy

        Aw, damn!

        Andrew, I had stupidly assumed that when TV goes fully digital that they would also be able to boost the DAB signal strength - (I didn't mean to suggest that radio was going digital only). Is there no link at all? Is my naff DAB signal simply down to poor transmitters in my area?

  50. Slatters
    WTF?

    @AlgernonFlowers4

    I'm confused, how can ~128Kbps mono MP2 ever sound awesome?

    DAB's "good enough" for a portable radio that doesn't actually move far and runs off the mains, but not anything more serious. I might not mind the DAB push so much, were it not for efforts to switch off FM further down the road!

  51. john devoy

    nice if you can get it

    The people all for DAB will be the ones living in perfect reception areas. The problem with these new digital systems is thats all or nothing, those that live in poor reception areas will get nothing; but since when have the HAVEs cared about the HAVE NOTS.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      I assumed

      that he meant music played through it from other sources sounded awesome.

      That said, unless you are an audiophile DAB generally sounds good enough (given a decent signal of course)

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Agreed

      I agree that you either have it or you don't

      It was/is my biggest gripe with Freeview. With terrestrial you can watch a weak signal (through fuzz admittedly) but you've no hope with digital.

      The same goes for the radio, and coverage seems to be very patchy (to the point some locations in the office get 0% signal - my office aint that big!)

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Let me read that again

    "DAB radios, on the other hand, stop working once you cross the Channel."

    WHAT! FUCK THAT!

  53. Gav
    Thumb Down

    Sound quality

    I can't believe anyone can trumpet about internet radio, while also having a go at DAB for its sound quality.

    Internet radio is great, but sound quality is not its forte. And then there's the lags and breaks in audio when the buffer runs dry.

    Besides that, broadcasting to a large number of people over a well defined geographical area through the internet is madness. If you and your neighbour are listening to the same radio programme, you have two copies of exactly the same information being streamed down the same wires. It's a huge waste of bandwidth and resources.

  54. Titus Aduxass

    FM Vs DAB === Windows Vs Mac

    ...is and equally tedious.

    For what it's worth I have both analogue and digital radios; I use both flavours. I prefer the convenience of DAB and I listen to Test Match Special on Long Wave in my car.

    1. Pete B

      Multicast...

      Is the answer to carrying multiple copies of the same info all the way from the 'broadcaster'. But that'd require BT to get its act together so don't hold your breath on that either.

  55. Alex Gollner
    Thumb Down

    Fry used as excuse to get on hobby-horse.

    Media uses Stephen Fry to promote position on DAB - Andrew used his name in the headline. Don't think that made his argument more interesting and relevant.

  56. Octoberon
    Pirate

    It's a small big world

    I can forgive Stephen this DAB foolishness because of his fine work making us love SackBoy in Little Big Planet ("For every rude-shaped creation you make a little Sackboy dies.").

    He does seem to have a unquenchable penchant for fiddling with male-oriented accessories. We should expect nothing less that a few comments on what's enveloping our aerials.

    Also, is he gay?

  57. richard 69
    Flame

    oh, stephen you can't help yourself

    yep those direct line/kenco/argos voiceovers are the sign of a man wholikes to be seen as highbrow but will take any skanky pound note.....

    i went off fry when he tried to defend the mp expenses row with some line about 'oh, we've all stolen from the stationery cupboard'.....silly, out of touch twat...hope he's reading these comments...

    oh, and DAB - love it especially 6music which will be saved, i have no problems with DAB - internet radio over wireless though is a fooking waste of time....

  58. scub
    Boffin

    Girls

    I like to hook up my ridiculously small DAB radio to my 200 Watt bass combo amp and blast out a popular rock station on sunny days. FM has a hiss and so is crap.

    There, stop being a bunch of girls, Mr fry played a first world war general or whatever in blackadder goes forth, and thus makes him frightfully groovy ( and funny)

    Go find something, somebody else to pick on.

    BAH!

  59. Tom 7 Silver badge

    @holding out

    I'm not going to trade in my fm's

    1) Because the DAB signal here is crap

    2) They are all styled by some retro fanatic and all look shit -and (compared to my electrostatic speakers) don't actually sound very good at all despite the hype - when they're not drowning due to lack of signal

    3) even with trade in the prices of sets are EXTORTIONATE.

    4) internet radio will do me - and I can listen to most of the content when I want.

  60. PirateSlayer
    Heart

    Excellent

    A very nice summary of Fry's career to date. Made me laugh out loud anyway!

  61. ColonelClaw
    FAIL

    Huh?

    So let me understand this - you're bashing him for doing lots of voice-over work on adverts?

    Isn't he an actor? Last time I checked they need to make a living like the rest of us.

  62. Neur0mancer
    FAIL

    Debacle

    The launch of the DAB system in the UK has got to go down as the most incompetent technical decision ever made in the history of broadcasting.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What's with the Fry Hating?

    As far as I can see, your two topics are totally unrelated. Your argument appears to go like this:

    1. I hate Stephen Fry

    2. I hate the DAB scheme

    3. Fry is doing a voice over for the DAM scheme

    4. Therefore he must be to blame and even if he isn't I'll still use it as an opportunity to slag both of them off

    What crap. The DAB scheme wasn't Fry's idea and if he believes in it, why shouldn't he use his influence to promote it? If people are against it, they should speak out about it themselves instead of trying to silence or denounce people with different opinions.

    Let's not get personal, eh?

  64. Timbo
    Coat

    Yet another poor piece of journalism....

    All we ever get from Mr Orlowski (on the subject of DAB) is complete and total "it's pants" opinion.....it's almost like the same old record being played over and over again....

    IMHO, for most people DAB works very well - it's not strictly "hi-fi" on many stations (excepting Radio 3) but as most people aren't actually listening to it "intently", and simply have it on in the background, whilst doing something else, it's more than good enough....

    And in time, if the techie bods want to improve the DAB radio broadcast standard, then fine.....after all, it's happened before on TV's - going from 405 to 625 and now to HD.....the only difference is that that took 40 years...

    So, Mr O...give DAB a chance....and stop boring us with your completely over the top ridicule of it.....it's SO repetitive...and so predictable.....and it's hardly worth reading.....

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Tech savvy?

    Since when has Stephen Fry ever be considered 'tech savvy'? Using an Iphone does not make one tech savvy.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Fry

    Increasingly he reminds me of Peter Cook, spiraling into a world of narcissistic irrelevance, while Dudley went onto to Hollywood and more stellar things....only House scores quite a bit better than 10 - and Cook would never have done Kingdom.

    1. McBread
      FAIL

      terrible joke incoming...

      "All we ever get from Mr Orlowski (on the subject of DAB) is complete and total "it's pants" opinion.....it's almost like the same old record being played over and over again...."

      A bit like the music selection on FM...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the prols have a different idea of what tech savvy is

      based entirely around brand names. i.e. the bigger the brand names you drop, the more tech savvy you evidently are.

      If Fry started talking about the awesome new C++ code he just wrote to implement SQL support in his homegrown database engine his fans would just assume he's a complete idiot and they'd start tweeting crap at him such as "just use Windows 7, it has better wallpapers lol" or "OMG hav u heard the headphones that come with the new ipod. dare AMAZING" or "you should write it in Visual Basic, that's what I do and I have a GCSE in compotors so I no what I'm talking about" or some other such useless bullshit.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "give DAB a chance"

      You *are* having a laff!?

      There are people who were born in the same year as DAB who now have children of their own!

      What the hell kind of chance do you want to give it? No one else is seriously rolling out DAB. Anyone who has any serious plans is going for DAB+ or another system.

      No matter what hype the radio industry, government or anti-DAB anoraks want to spout, the definitive yard stick for me is the motor industry. Ford and all the other major car manufactures simply have no time for it because they know it's a dead parrot. Every now and then, they're strongarmed into a campaign promoting one specific new model that has DAB as standard and within weeks you never see it again because they get too many complaints from customers (maybe they're stupid customers, who cares - they don't like it in their car and want analogue instead) and the costs are too high.

      You'll know what the future of radio will be the moment you see car manufacturers putting it into all their cars. Until then, ignore awareness campaigns, special offers, websites, articles, promises and even actual products. You can now buy radios that are FM, DAB and Wi-Fi all in one. They do not sell because people don't want it, they just want FM, and they're certainly not going to spend £150 on a kitchen radio when an FM-only equivalent sounds better for £20!

      In fact, that last statement may hold the key to why they chose Fry for the current campaign. Buying an iPhone or iPad makes no sense, yet loads of people do. Perhaps what the DAB people are trying to do is recreate the same illogical desire for DAB radios, and as Fry is the UK voice of the iPhone, who better?

      It won't work though.

  67. John 62
    FAIL

    DAB's real problem

    the real problem with DAB is that the pips are late. Try having an analogue radio in one room and a digital radio (DAB/Freeview) in the next.

  68. Laurence Blunt

    What about Freeview radio?

    I have not tried one, but there are a bunch of Freeview/USB devices for TV on your PC around that have quite small uni-directional antennas.

    If that's good enough to get a picture, surely it must be possible to make a dedicated radio?

  69. Obvious Robert
    FAIL

    Internet radio fail

    Sorry, am I the only person in the country who still uses a (DAB) radio to wake me up in the morning? What the hell makes you think I want to be arsing around with a PC, router and a potentially dodgy broadband connection to do that?

    I can just see it now, turning up late for work and having to explain to my boss "well, my broadband was down, so my internet radio failed to wake me up...". Yeah, right.

    I love Spotify et al, but they have their place, and DAB radios have their's as well.

    1. David Beck

      Mobile Phone

      I, and I suspect millions of others, use a mobile phone as an alarm. I wish you luck with you employer if there is a power outage.

  70. The old man from scene 24

    I quite liked the article

    I thought that was one of the most beautifully constructed piece of irony I've seen all year, Andrew. Frankly I don't care which sacred cows you trampled, given how well you did it.

  71. DP

    FM complemented by Internet

    FM radio is not going away. Not in the foreseeable future. It works very well for almost everyone, almost everywhere—about 99%.

    The BBC is increasing their DAB coverage from about 86% to 90% in 2011—with about double the transmitters and double the physical network and transmission costs—under the current license fee agreement. Commercial radio has not committed financially beyond their current 86%. They are struggling to pay for that (leaving transmission slots to specialist stations for short terms).

    To get to 95% DAB coverage is about another doubling in transmitters and costs. To get to about the same 99% DAB coverage as FM is another doubling in transmitters and costs. Neither the BBC nor commercial radio can pay for expansion to 95% or 99% DAB without Government authorization, financial support—which seems increasingly unlikely. In the meantime, participants’ licenses get extended, devices get sold, and leadership remains respected and funded. Facts get short shrift, dissed. http://grantgoddardradioblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/cost-of-upgrading-dab-radio-why-it-will.html

    Internet radio complements terrestrial radio—all broadcast systems, analog and digital: FM, AM, MW, DAB, DAB+, DMB, HD, etc. Internet radio adds location-shifting and time-shifting—wherever you are, wherever they are, and whenever.

    Broadband, mobile broadband, Wi-Fi and 4G are driving Internet access and use wider and deeper in our lives. Including Internet radio. Capacity for Internet radio, particularly as a complement to FM, is not a problem—only declared one by the DAB protagonists. (Video, with much greater promotion, is more than 10X more difficult.)

  72. janimal

    what did you expect?

    I expect a comedian / actor to have about as much authority in the field of technology as a jaded, second rate, technology blogger does in climate change or copyright law personally.

    As for DAB radio, we've had one for 4 maybe 5 years alongside some traditional FM radios. Depending where we have lived either one, the other and occasionally both have worked.

    However I can't agree more about the power requirements of DAB, we'll never bother trying to run our DAB on batteries after the first time.

  73. Andus McCoatover
    Coffee/keyboard

    Another smegging keyboard laid to rest...

    "Now it's a car crash with Stephen Fry telling us there's room for one more car at the back".

    Ta, muchly, El Reg ;-)

    But seriously, what the hell is wrong with FM? Reasonably good quality - not CD, but pretty close. At least we could build our own radios, if we had the desire, plus fire up that old Quad receiver in the garage.

    Like the internet does for Amateur Radio, it kinda sucks the fun, skill and learning experience out of it.

    Thank fuc*k I'll be retired - or dead - soon. "Yoof of Today" will end up wielding knives, not soldering irons when they want to learn how to make a it o' cash.

  74. Haku

    He's a smooth talking bar steward don't you know.

    You forgot about his classic Heineken adverts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVqghPdRqpc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgwFVjbNnik

  75. Alex 14
    Thumb Up

    A title

    I think some of those ads that Fry did voiceovers for were shown on Sky TV channels so...Can't be all bad, eh?

  76. heyrick Silver badge

    Internet radio recommendations?

    I see a lot of posts regarding internet radio by plugging a gadget into an ADSL router. I am looking for something like this, with only two-and-a-half criteria; namely: 1. Inexpensive. 2. Can receive most, if not all, of the stuff listed on Shoutcast. 2-and-a-half: WiFi support would be *very* nice, but not essential.

    Recommendations? Maybe with all this hoo-ha over DAB, it is time to point out other options...

  77. Alan Bourke
    FAIL

    Regarding Graham Linehan ...

    ... I assume what the author meant was that he has had most of not all of his success in comedy in Britain, not that he is British.

    So Fry is a bit of a voice-over whore. Who knew.

  78. 14Finders
    Stop

    Sorry if I'm confused

    Doesn't all the campaign information, including Fry's voiceover, all talk about "digital radio".

    Surely that would include "more modern digital radio broadcast technology, such as DVB-H or DAB+"? One might even go so far as to say it includes Internet radio devices, which would surely be another form of digital radio?

    "Digital radio" may have become synonymous with DAB, but I don't see the rant here being spurred by anything other than resentment for a particular campaign being less informative than it perhaps should be. This would certainly be my interpretation of the author's opinion.

    (The grammar pedant in me would also like to point out the author's gross abuse of the comma in the article. It becomes quite difficult to read.)

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Think you're right

      When the Beeb talks about people listening on Digital they mean DAB, T'internet etc. So yeah, for them at least you're correct.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The emperors new clothes

    I thought I was the only one puzzled by Stephen Fry's recent accession to the 'national treasure' throne.

    I have nothing against him, and like QI, but he's just as capable of spouting tripe as the next man, even when the next man is the stranger sat next to you in a pub at 11pm on a Friday night.

    It's bizarre how the public have elevated him to his present status. Perhaps people still feel the gap left by Princess Diana and the Beckhams, and are now adopting Stephen instead?

    His defence of the first iPhone was irrational, and I seem to recall that after some criticism he wrote a piece for the Guardian basically admitting there was no logical reason for it to be good but he was just infatuated by its loveliness. He sounded like one of those new mothers who thinks they're the first woman to have a baby. Some of the things he's endorsed since then have been questionable too. His technology opinions are no more definitive or wise than Jason Bradbury's. Even Barry Fox spoke more sense, albeit about televisions, which were cutting edge at the time.

    People hang on every word Fry Twitters like one of those friends of Queen Elizabeth I whose jokes everyone would laugh at or poems everyone would applaud even though they were tripe. It was just that being a close personal friend of the monarch made them part of the in-crown and people followed blindly, hoping that some of their coolness would rub off.

    If you're one of his followers, understand that you are Lord Percy whilst he is Lord Flash. Not quite sure who Queenie is though, which makes the whole affair even more bizarre.

    I'm not bashing Stephen Fry, just the cult that has gathered around him like a shoal of fish. I don't get it, any more than victims who contracted the viral "Wasaaaaaap" from the Budweiser adverts. or people who buy OK/hello magazine every week in case there's some Paris gossip.

  80. VictoriaJane

    You Said It fLaMePrOoF

    I couldn't agree more. Focus on the technology and its short comings - that's potentially interesting. Don't attack a successful performer for doing his job. Your article is simply mean.

  81. James Whale

    Faulty premise

    Arguing that DAB is inferior to internet radio is not a valid premise for suggesting it should not replace FM.

  82. Anomalous Cowturd
    Happy

    @ janimal

    God, I wish I had said that!

    You've made my evening, thanks.

  83. gizmo23

    Pandora

    "Your WinAmp receiver is as good in Mozambique as it is in Manhattan"

    So why can't I listen to Pandora?

    And please explain how I can get internet radio without an ISP-provided (i.e. subscription) connection. And don't say PAYG mobile, there are several dozen places I visit regularly where even the GPRS signal drops below one bar every couple of minutes.

  84. sizbut

    The Original Word

    To hear Stephen Fry's advert for DAB...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/extra/video/p004dk37

  85. Chief sub

    Am I the only one...

    ,,,who gets the "DAB Profundis" reference?

    I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been "The Picture of DABian Gray",

  86. scub

    Noddy holder

    Noddy Holders turn now surely?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Noddy Holder

      I really wouldn't be surprised if Noddy Holder can't hear any difference between Capital FM on an FM radio and, say, 'Amazing Radio' on DAB.

      In fact, what would surprise me is Noddy Holder hearing anything above 4Khz and lower than 90dB.

      Yes, it's ten-past-two.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Think I'll pass

    In theory DAB should be great, but what is the point if it's a downgrade. If they made it CD quality (lossless 44.1khz 16bit stereo) then I could see the appeal as it would be more in-line with acceptable sounding audio. Anything more would be a bonus.

    As it is no...

  88. Adam Williamson 1
    FAIL

    Earth to Andrew

    "It's simple. It's Stephen Fry's indiscriminate love of a voiceover cheque. And it's the ruin of his reputation."

    No, really, it isn't. Andrew, I know it's hard to believe, but the rest of the world does not place such a huge value on your personal hobby horses as you do. Out of all the people in the UK, probably less than 1% would consider it a terrible blow to Stephen Fry's reputation that he does voiceovers for a digital radio switchover campaign (I mean, sheesh). If he were actively endorsing eating babies, maybe you'd have a point.

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