Monday, May 29, 2023

Going For A Retro Look

In 2016, I bought myself a Roberts Stream 93i Radio to have on one of my bedside tables. It was a really cool purchase because I have used it to listen to some of my favourite radio stations from across the Internet.

The radio has become even more important to me following that court case which meant that Internet radio apps could only play domestic radio channels on my iPhone app. 

Anyway, to cut a long story short - the Roberts Stream 93i is still in working order. However, I was browsing other radios made by Roberts a couple of weeks back and found one I fell in love with.

The Roberts Revival iStream 3L has a retro look and comes in many colours. I opted for the 'Sunburst' colour. I would not have bought it in any other design. This one looks a beaut!

Even though my previous radio has most of the same features as the newer model, it for sure is an upgrade in a number of ways.

The most notable thing I discovered is the battery situation. On my first Internet radio, I had to pay extra for a battery pack that fits in the back of the model. This can then be charged by the mains and allows me to move it around other parts of my home (if I wanted to).

I could have used batteries, but I always use the power supply/battery pack option.

The new radio is more convenient because it no longer requires a battery pack. All I had to do was find compatible rechargeable batteries and then flick a switch before inserting them into the bottom of the radio. Doing this allows the batteries to charge up when the power adapter is in the radio.

As you'll be able to see - in the video above - the first thing I did upon taking out the radio and setting things up is find one of my go to stations on the Web - Insomnia Radio. It plays old episodes from Jean Shepherd's radio show twenty-four hours a day. 

One other difference I've noticed between my previous radio and the latest one is the way I have to add stations to my presets.

On the first radio, I had to go onto a website, search for stations and then add them to my favourites and those favourites would show up on my radio display. Nowadays, you can do this by using an app named UNDOK that links up to your radio through your network and makes it easy to find stations and add them to your presets.

Of course, you could use your radio to search - or even 'discover' - stations.

Roberts Revival iStream 3L

To be frank, when I found out that the way I am accustomed to finding stations isn't done on the new radio, I did feel a bit perturbed until realising it is fairly simple in contrast. 

Oh, and that UNDOK app works on the first radio as well. That's something I wasn't aware of until the other day when I happened to have it on and noticed that the app had recognised it on my network. This obviously means I could - if I am compelled to - move away from relying on logging into the website to add favourites to the earlier model.

My focus, in this post, has been on the Internet radio capabilities of these radios. They offer a little more than that (ie DAB coverage for those who want to listen to stations closer to home). With that said, if you're going to shell out on an Internet radio, that's likely your priority for the purchase and why I am choosing not to explore the other features.

To close, here are some of the stations I have enjoyed over the years.

Insomnia Radio
As mentioned above, this is an Internet station which plays Jean Shepherd radio shows 24/7. I love this station.

Sports Byline USA
My favourite sports station from America. I've been listening to it since the early 2000s. 

ESPN Radio
I tune into ESPN Radio a lot during the NFL season to see what's going down. There are a lot of stations carrying ESPN. The one I mainly listen to is from Las Vegas

Christmas FM
This station comes out of Dublin in the weeks leading into Christmas. It's one of the stations I am able to find Christmas Across The Lands on Christmas Eve night. I've fallen asleep listening to this show for many Christmas Eves in succession!

There are many more stations, but these are ones that are at the top of my 'favourites' list.

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