What is a Secondary Service and how do I tune in?

Flexibility within the DAB system means that secondary services can be brought onto the multiplex to allow broadcasters to create ‘part-time’ channels. Radio 4’s LW output is transmitted as a secondary service to Radio 4’s main output. Yesterday in Parliament and The Daily Service are broadcast on DAB in this way.

Similarly, 5 Live Sports Extra allows 5 Live to double its live sports coverage at certain times and is the digital radio home of Test Match Special.

To find out when 5 Live Sports Extra is next scheduled to broadcast, visit: www.bbc.co.uk/5livesportsextra/

To access a secondary service you need to tune in when the service is actually broadcasting. That way your DAB set will store the station in its memory. If you try tuning in when the station is not broadcasting the display screen will state: ‘Station Off Air’ or ‘Station Unavailable’.

Many DAB tuners (hi-fi separates) utilise an LED display, which will illuminate when a secondary service is about to commence a transmission, and some tuners are programmable so that the radio will automatically switch to the secondary service of your choice.