TV on the radio

Long promised as an integral part of the DAB revolution and now finally here, trials have begun this week of Visual Radio.Lucky Londoners with special

Long promised as an integral part of the DAB revolution and now finally here, trials have begun this week of Visual Radio.Lucky Londoners with specially designed iRiver sets will be able to see as well as hear stations Capital, Heart 106.2, Kiss 100, Magic 105.4, XFM or Virgin Xtreme. The rest of us will get our chance later in the year when the player and service launch nationwide.Unlike Nokia's FM-based stab at the medium, this version doesn't require GPRS or 3G to pipe the images but uses the bandwidth already available on DAB – much like Virgin's Lobster TV phone.We tuned in on Capital to find slideshow stills of news, weather, sport and traffic cams. Other slides included 'what's on, what's next', presenter info (complete with cheesy pic) and the studio webcam. Most of it seems to appear at random, though a nice 'Celebrity Lost Property' graphic flashed up when James Cannon played the competition's jingle.We're still to be convinced how useful it really is. Everything seems to scroll by a bit too slowly for our liking. Waiting for the weather to pop up could take five minutes.Apparently there are some ads on there too but we can't remember seeing any, though we do have a sudden urge to buy a new car and some hair gel.Have a play yourself by tuning in on the link below.

Essentials

DAB Visual Radio Contact: Commercial Radio Companies Association Related links: DAB Slideshow DemonstrationRelated stories: Picture radio draws closer