Revo In-Car DAB Digital Radio
Revo In-Car DAB Digital Radio
Date: Jan 2005
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Uses: Add the world of DAB radio to your car, home or personal DAB.
DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting and has been growing in popularity here in the UK over the last few years. The reason behind DAB is purely that the technology being digital allows for a greater number of stations to occupy the same range as the traditional analogue systems.
Benefits of digital radio:
Crystal clear Digital Sound and reliable reception, results in CD-like quality audio output. Instead of being limited to the standard bands of FM/AM there are at the time of writing approaching 200 different digital radio stations to choose from. No matter your preferred genre you should be able to find several offerings for your ears to enjoy.
What is the Revo?
The Revo product range is a DAB radio unit that has been designed and developed in the United Kingdom. The main unit is designed to be connected directly into your current vehicles and as a result allows you to keep your existing CD/Radio system. The Revo uses the aerial or auxiliary connectors from your current system to integrate the DAB into your audio world.
The unit comes complete with a docking cradle so the unit will remain stable no matter how you drive whilst listening to your preferred music. If you are not comfortable fitting the device yourself you can call the number supplied with the unit and arrange for the Revo to be professionally installed for a fee of £49.95.
What you get:
The Revo Unit:
With dimensions of 12.5cm width x 7cm in height and with a depth of just 3cm. The Revo is on the same scale as a PDA or mobile phone. It is very stylish and well designed, it does look very modern with its black and silver colour scheme. It would blend in easily against any car interior and of course any interior as it can become a portable device.
On the top of the unit in the centre is small Mute button which with its placement allows for easy access. Towards the left is a smaller button which turns on/off the units backlight.
The front of the unit has a Revo logo centred above a LCD display. On the sides of the display are six buttons, five are for selecting pre-selects, and one allows you to scan for stations. Below the LCD screen is a central button to select and on either side arrow buttons which allow you to scroll through the stations available and then select your choice. On either side of these scrolling buttons are a menu and display buttons, the arrow and select buttons allow you to navigate through the options.
On the reverse of the unit is a slider switch which allows the Revo to be locked or unlocked from the docking cradle.
The main unit comes complete with everything you will need to DIY the Revo into your own vehicle, or of course allow a professional to do install it. Although this will cost you £50 it will take less time than if you did it yourself, and they will be able to leave the cables discreetly hidden. The last thing you want is for cables to be poking out of every crevice.
However for the purposes of the review I installed the Revo without the modulator, buy following the instructions and illustrations provided. Installation took around 20mins, but this was mainly due to the time taken to remove the stereo and feed the wiring around the facia of the dash and front console.
Once the unit was all connected it took just a couple of minutes to setup the unit, the first thing was to acquire the stations available to do this you only need to press the scan button and it will begin searching you also have a progress bar appear on the LCD so you can easily monitor the scan.
Once the scan had finished you call scroll through the stations via the arrow buttons and then select the station, all stations are stored in alphanumeric order. To set a preset as you would with a traditional audio unit just hold one of the number keys for a few seconds.
When the unit is playing the station and current track name is displayed on the LCD screen, to view more information you can press the Display button which will then allow you to view details of the broadcaster, signal strength, genre, date and time.
If you do not want to use the Revo you can put the unit into a standby mode by pressing the mute button. The Revo unit enters the standby mode once the ignition is active to bring it out of standby you can press any key.
Unlike normal stereos where the only way to sort stations is by pre-select the Revo allows you to alter the Station Order. You can use the default alphanumeric, favourite stations, active stations, trim and favourite pre-selects. The last option allows your favourite stations to automatically be assigned to the numbered keys.
To alter the Station order options you need to use the menu and scroll through. Other options available are a tuning aid this is useful to find the ideal location for indoor use. Another option DRC allows you to alter the DRC range which basically acts like a balance or filter and makes quieter output more defined.
The layout of both the buttons and menu options make the Revo a easy unit to use other nice touches such as if the signal strength falls below 45 (range 1-99) the unit will automatically mute.
Another personal reason why I like DAB is that you do not get signal fluctuations when you go under motorway bridges with a traditional setup the signal would drop and you would be deafened by noise until the signal is restored, at least with this unit you know that the unit will mute. Also if you are speaking to someone within the vehicle you can press the mute button instead of having to alter the volume.
Revo Additonal Add-ons:
Revo Dock - Designed to be connected to the audio system in your home and add all the benefits of Revo and the many DAB stations.
Revo Go - On the move and after a portable DAB digital radio? Well with this kit of a rechargeable battery pack and allowing you to connect headphones to the Revo you can go anywhere and still listen to DAB.
Well I did say they have really thought about this and designed it with various locations in mind. If you had the Revo connected to your home audio system rather than having to get up to change to another pre-select or to scan for another station you could easily use the thin Revo remote to control the unit.
Available as another optional extra for £14.95 buys you a 9cm x 5cm remote control. The remote control replicates every function on the Revo itself, from the top you have mute, select, menu and display buttons. Below are the numbers to select your pre-selects.
The main selling point for buying a Revo is because the makers have thought things through and designed the Revo to be the only DAB you will need. How? well if you use multiple cars and purchase an additional docking kit you can the unit can be connected to many additional docks the unit looks good where ever you place it.
Although people may be put off by the price yes £200 is a lot of money but if you compare a similar DAB unit for your vehicle you will find it hard to find anything which comes close to the Revo. Of course the Revo also allows you to remove it from its cradle and use it as a portable DAB or as a DAB in your home with additional docking stations.