- August 21, 2006 at 12:21 pm #6693am1670acrParticipant
Total posts : 15
NPR has done a study on Part15 FM transmitters. Interesting read.August 21, 2006 at 2:26 pm #13757scwisParticipant
Total posts : 68
So sad to see NPR take the NAB tack and go down the road of fear, uncertainty and doubt, AKA FUD 🙂
So threatened by alternate activites a person can now pursue while driving that the NAB/NPR knee jerk reaction is to attack technology rather than embrace it. Wouldn’t it make more sense to argue for stronger modulators? That way users would at least be using their radio, and might click over to a broadcast station when finished listening to a digital audio track!
Another member posted the NAB study here – the similarities are pretty interesting:
“If we just make a fuss about modulators the damn consumer won’t be able buy them anymore, and then they wuill HAVE to listen to our radio stations again.”
Sure, prohibition ALWAYS works, doesn’t it?
Except there are already dealer installed and aftermarket kits flooding the market to provide hardware and even functional integration of your personal digital audio device with your automotive audio system, rendering the modulator issue utterly moot.
I remember when NPR was innovative and interesting…
Experimental broadcasting for a better tomorrow!August 24, 2006 at 3:17 pm #13768am1670acrGuest
Total posts : 45366
RF Modulator Issues Won’t Go Away for Sirius, XM
Despite attempts at a quick resolution, a controversy involving Siruis and XM continues to simmer through summers end, leaving some financial analysts with sweat-stained balance sheets. The controversy revolves around both companies’ plug-and-play receivers that use analog FM modulators to connect with existing consumer stereos.
The issue surfaced earlier this year when complaints from drivers whose broadcast FM receivers were captured by Sirius and XM modulators in nearby vehicles caused the FCC to scrutinize RF emissions from some of the most popular satellite receivers on the market. A number of units tested were found to exceed bandwidth and signal strength limits specified in title 47 CFR, Part 15. That, in turn, led to questions regarding FCC certification compliance and holds on the shipment of some receiver models.
The NAB added gravity to the controversy by filing a complaint citing numerous reports of interference caused to licensed broadcasters by the devices.
Sirius and XM, working closely with their receiver vendors, have tried to bring a quick close to the controversy with redesigns and retrofit kits, but some of the certification issues remain with the FCC, and that’s making investment analysts at firms like Merrill Lynch nervous, according to an Aug. 5 Bloomberg News article.
Authors Chris Stern and Don Jeffrey quote one analyst, Morgan Joseph and Company’s David Kestenbaum, as worrying that “this could be a huge issue come Christmas…it’s a problem for both (XM and Sirius) of them.”August 24, 2006 at 8:41 pm #13769kk7cwGuest
Total posts : 45366
The real issue here is what author Seth Godin calls, “a wasting industry”. In ten years broadcast licenses are going to be worth much less than ten years ago, or even today. This is because broadcast license owners spend most of their time protecting their licenses and huddling with other broadcasters to discuss how to close the ranks. This practice is for the purpose of protecting their dwindling market share and competitive position. They say, “Lets do a study to produce a credible selling point.” One of my professors in marketing once told me, “Never trust statisics, they lie.” Does it make sense that they try to protect that which is evaporating right before your eyes? Do they develop strategies to attract new listeners? Why didn’t the NAB or NPR create satellite delivered product with hundreds of choices that could be heard by FM modulators in vehicles? It used to be the big guys could run the runt out of town. It makes more sense, today, to embrace new ideas and new technologies; to get ahead of the parade. The old marketing adage says, “When being run out of town, get ahead of your pursuers and make it look like a parade.” Preparation and opportunity equal success.
The fact that these devices have been installed in vehicles and are being used to listen to other broadcast sources will not be changed by having ‘big brother” have everybody turn in there FM modulators. There are currently hundreds of thousands, if not nearly a million, of these devices in circulation. Please understand, this is NOT an interference issue. If Part 15 radio stations, iPods or WiMax begin stealing away enough listeners from licensed broadcasters, will owners of these devices be the next target? NPR and NAB members are not going to force people to go back to listening to their formulated offerings. There are, today, too many other choices. And the number of choices is exploding daily.
Instead, it has been suggested by leading edge marketing analyst Seth Godin, thinking small can help all media outlets to become big. Here are the new rules according to “Small Is The New Big”, by Seth Godin.
1) Respect the individual. Imagine your audience as a single listener and serve the need(s). In fact anticipate the need(s).
2) Be quick. Be flexible and able to make changes on a moments notice.
3) Be responsive. Be able to anticipate your listener’s need(s) and address it before anyone else does.
These are all ideas Part 15 broadcasters can take to heart. If you can know your potential listeners, their needs and measure their loyalty, you have exactly what every advertiser in the world wants; a customer.
Do you see that your micro-watt media outlet has value? If so, you are on the cutting edge of contemporary media growth.
Whether licensed broadcasters or their lobbying groups and associations, see the real truth, is yet to be seen. The fact is, this genie can’t, and probably won’t, be put back in the bottle. The issue for Part 15 broadcasters, yardcasters and experimenters to consider is, how all of this will affect our future? Will the FCC wake up and smell the coffee or will they stick their regulatory heads in the sand again. Will low power community broadcasting finally be given its rightful place in the media mix or will we continue to be moved further toward the provervbial “back of the bus”? Maybe someone should remind the NAB and NPR broadcasters they don’t own the air waves, we all do. To them I say, grow up, get used to it or get over it.
Marshall Johnson, Sr.
Senior Pastor, President
Rhema Christian Fellowship, Inc.
Rhema Radio – The Word In Worship
AM 1660 – FM 93.5
http://www.rhemaradio.orgAugust 27, 2006 at 7:10 am #13779radio8zGuest
Total posts : 45366
Thank you, Marshall, for your well written post. From my perspective as a former listener and contributor to our local NPR affiliate, much of what you quoted from Mr. Godin resonates.
Our local “public radio” AM station used to provide NPR at evening drive time followed by what I considered to be excellent local programming hosted by a local radio veteran. This program had a different theme for each night of the week. Mondays there was a car talk program where experts were on hand to take call-ins from listeners. Tuesday was travel, Wednesday was computers, I forget what was on Thursday, and Friday was lawn and garden. As a listener I really connected with this format and participated frequently. This was truly an exemplary form of local programming.
This was discontinued about 2 years ago and was replaced by syndicated BBC news at which time I turned the radio off and am no longer a listener nor contributor to the station. Why? Because their current evening programming does not interest me. I am just using this as an example of lack of audience awareness on the part of the programmers as was mentioned in your post.
It appears to me that the broadcast media are desperately trying to explain their falling listener numbers by blaming external forces rather than examining their product. Infrequent interference from mobile FM links is not the problem. The problem is that the links which cause the interference exist because the audience is seeking alternative media. They can clamp down on or eliminate in car FM transmitters, but this will not stop the audience loss.
My expectation is that the FCC response to the “studies” will be to enforce the existing Part 15 rules rather than respond to the hysteria by changing them.
I really hope the broadcasters get it together with the programming so I can use my radio again.
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