Tagged: AM digital satellite receiver FM
- October 29, 2019 at 8:16 pm #113228
Here’s food for thought….
https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/business-and-law/all-digital-on-the-am-band-the-fcc-might-allow-it-soon?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9397&utm_content=RW_Newsbytes_10%2F29%2F19+&utm_term=1074434&m_i=xugxmZj6NvHrfHFE1D7iZQGEp%2BExTSexcipHhcZefiF1eD24MOx2s4m4WuBuUYX4zQ2mPncvtyETyKlRxA58OliERC3QkTxxx8&M_BT=577370222427&fbclid=IwAR3fpRTTXKMqecjN6dpuUGjzcrClbMokoQmtiX-D7r_qs7kmWBEs3XGt–QNovember 2, 2019 at 1:24 pm #113255
Thanks for the link which has content which I classify as wishful thinking. Interference has never stopped me from listening to programming which I wanted to hear. The reason I no longer listen to broadcast radio, neither AM nor FM, is that there is nothing I want to hear available and that I cannot stand 25 minutes per hour of commercials and self promotional breaks. There is so much more available via streaming that I don’t need broadcast radio anymore.
My opinion is that traditional radio directed at a common denominator and financed by commercials time has expired. Putting the garbage in a new box won’t make it more appealing.November 2, 2019 at 4:04 pm #113256
I do agree that going digital won’t get any more listeners.
As for the commercials they all wouldn’t be there if no one was listening.
We the hobbiests not only keep radio playing what the commercial stations won’t but also commercial free. That’s one of my main promos.November 2, 2019 at 6:04 pm #113258
Mark, you make a good point that they can still play commercials because some are listening, however, the linked article demonstrates that the broadcasters apparently perceive a problem with declining numbers of listeners.
I only spoke for myself in my previous post but I know my wife does not listen to broadcast radio, and neither do my sons who I have asked about this. They, as do I, seek streaming programming which suits our interests and is commercial free.
Regarding our “hobby”, I broadcast to myself, usually music which I enjoy as I wander around my humble property, and if anyone else nearby tunes in, so much the better, but that is not the reason I am on the air. I seek neither fame, fortune, nor money from my hobby, yet still enjoy the technology and the fun of sending a signal out that someone other than myself may hear.
I wish the broadcasters the best but they will have to do so without me. I will always have my AM transmitters and my AM radios to enjoy regardless of what they do.November 3, 2019 at 5:21 am #113260timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 654
The linked article indicates that “AM” broadcasters are having issues, not “broadcasters”. With the increasing noise floor and interference issues, ancient night time power and pattern rules still in effect and other issues it’s been tough for AM to compete with FM from a listenability standpoint. Add to this that most advertising agencies won’t place buys with AM only stations, and you just barely begin to see the issues.
As one who works for three stations, all locally owned an operated by the same owner, all in the same building, 1 legacy AM (since 1948) and two 100,000 watt FM’s, I see the differences daily. We just last week put an FM translator on the air for our AM, which gives us about the same coverage area as we get turing the day, except no interference, and no loss of coverage when we change pattern at night. The listening experience is dramatically different for the better.
Broadcast radio still remains number one in advertising reach for the dollar and number one for discovering new music.
I’m perplexed by the comment about 25 minutes of advertising in an hour. I’ve never actually heard this anywhere, no matter how many complain about it. We don’t come anywhere near that on any of our stations, simply because we don’t allow it. Nor do any of the stations in the upper half of the state. A good grasp on the costs of operating a commercial broadcast station helps one understand the need for advertising. Tens of thousands for music rights yearly. Tens of thousands for electricity yearly. And that’s not even 1/10th of it. The people complain “All the stations are the same. Live local radio is dead”. OK, so add in 4 live air staff, paid minimum wage. There’s another 100,000 a year not counting payroll taxes, FICA, SS and all the rest that goes with that. and four people is a real skeleton staff. What people really seem to want is live, local radio with top quality programming, with no commercials. That doesn’t happen. Obviously.
I predict the future of AM WILL be digital. And it will offer the AM band audio quality with interference resistance similar to FM. And yes, it will gain and hold far more listeners.
TIBNovember 3, 2019 at 8:06 am #113261RichPowersParticipant
Total posts : 421
“. ..And yes, it will gain and hold far more listeners.”
Not sure I agree with that.. For what it’s worth; about the only programming I hear on the AM dial that I particularly care to tune into is during the late/early hours when “Coast to Coast AM” airs… Everything else seems to be constant political rants all day (which kind of nauseates me) or religious programs which I often consider a farce since it’s really just a big business.
That is why (I think) AM loses listeners, and has very little to do with analog interference.November 3, 2019 at 9:35 am #113262
My whole point is the fact that there is so many commercials an hour says that the audience for AM and especially FM, is doing quite well as all the commercials wouldn’t be there if no one was listening. The companies are spending millions to advertise based on the ratings. On FM typically here in Toronto(and most of the stations are all the same…pop), with some exceptions, there’s a set of 5 songs and a whole endless string of commercials one after another for literally 7 to 8 minutes! Even if I like the station that turns me off and that’s it for listening. On coast to coast AM sometimes a good subject is on and then endless commercials, then an intro with some music for 5 minutes and MORE commercials and finally program again but I am already gone!
Back in the 1960s In Canada, don’t know about the States the CRTC brought in a rule that radio and TV could only have so many minutes of commercials an hour as on the hit parade stations you had one song and 4 commercials and so on, and so on, and sometimes they had a feature, a double play….actually two songs in a row! It was worse than now. But I don’t know what ever happened to that rule.
But over the air radio must be doing good and the stations know exactly what the listener numbers and demographics are or the companies wouldn’t be advertising.
But like Radio8z, commercial radio has left me behind, not all because of the commercials, but they have to cater to the 18-49 year old age group as they are the ones the advertisers want. So with that in mind it’s younger people that are doing more of the listening. Not the older people. But if AM goes digital I don’t believe that it will result in more listeners.
In fact a person on another forum did some research and found out that broadcast radio has a larger audience than TV as the discussion was who listens to radio anymore…..go figure!.November 4, 2019 at 5:27 pm #113265BrooceParticipant
Total posts : 49
I am interested in the science of this thing. I have read that the one station now operating the digital mode — WWFD, 820 kHz, near Washington, DC, has a fairly large coverage area. (If received on a compatable digital radio.) Apparently the station was heard on the Connecticut/NY line at least once. I have seen the “digital carrier” on the waterfall display of a remote SDR in Pennsylvania. When it is there, it is very apparent. I am trying to hear WWFD here in Hartford, CT on an HD radio – apparently this might be possuble under the correct conditions. It probably won’t happen, but it’s worth trying just for fun.
BrooceNovember 5, 2019 at 6:30 am #113272From BillyBurgParticipant
Total posts : 95
It still means the general public needs to buy a new radio. And they aren’t going to.
Some of US will, to be sure, because we’re not the “general public” — we are radio freaks and will listen to everything short of the Jovian Decametric (radio waves naturally emanating from the planet Jupiter: https://radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov/library/sci_briefs/decametric.htm).
The point has been made before that the only way the public will buy a new radio is if it is less than $20 and that it actually works well. I do believe this is true.November 5, 2019 at 8:30 am #113273
The thing with TV when it changed was that you could keep your other TV and just get a little converter box.
You can’t do that with radio and I agree the general public doesn’t care enough to buy another radio just to listen to AM with digital transmission. It also wouldn’t be AM anymore but that’s besides the point.
The key word is voluntary as the regular band would still be in service. Radio is just not as important to the general public as TV is (although it seems more listen to radio than TV as I found out). Satilite radio has been around for a long time now and how many have that? No, going digital with broadcast radio won’t make any difference and will be worse as few would have the receiver and listen.
November 6, 2019 at 2:34 am #113280timinboveyParticipant
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Mark.
Total posts : 654
How many have satellite radio? over 34 million, that’s how many. And the number grows every year. And these are people who PAY to subscribe to it. So, they own the radios, and they PAY to hear it. Digital AM will not require a subscription.
Darn near every new car today comes with satellite radio in it. And of course you can get portable and tabletop satellite radios. And you can also use your subscription to listen to the content online and via your smart speakers, etc.
Any transition is difficult and takes time. Read all the old articles about how that new fangled thing called “FM” would never catch on, due the cost of the fancy new radios, and lack of stations, and blah blah blah, and it would only be good for classical music and jazz and the general public would NEVER go for that system. HA! We’ve been down all these roads before.
I believe it would indeed still be AM radio. The modulation scheme is the same, signals sent by controlling the amplitude of the signal.
TIBNovember 6, 2019 at 7:59 am #113281From BillyBurgParticipant
Total posts : 95
Good points to be sure, Tim. But…
The XM Satellite Radio rollout took place in September 2001. XM was the granddaddy of all satellite services and at the time there was nothing else like it anywhere — other than terrestrial stations streaming RealAudio. After some rough times and a merger with Sirius, the service became, literally, the only game in town. But now it faces competition from Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, more streaming terrestrial radio stations and goodness knows what else. And we can receive all of that on a device we already own, if only out of necessity: a cellphone.
To receive digital AM, we literally have to purchase a new radio which, at the moment, is being described as a single-band device. If we’re bundling it with an FM-HD section as well, a receiver still needs to have an affordable price-point to make it worthwhile.
As for FM, the current channel lineup (88-108 MHz), established in 1945, took until the end of the 1970s to become the dominant consumer broadcast band in the U.S. (source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_broadcasting_in_the_United_States). I can’t imagine AM owners wanting to wait 30+ years to see if their gamble on digital technology pays off.
Finally, something no one thought much about: in a public demonstration to convince prospective customers, what would you A/B a digital AM signal against to prove its superiority, or at least its parity with other formats? I would go into detail, but let the question sink in a bit and it will answer itself.
I am all for improving the AM band, but its the oldest form of wireless electronic communication we have, and it’s going to take a lot of push — along with impossibly inexpensive receivers — to get the public excited about a one-hundred-year-old medium.
Watching with interest.November 8, 2019 at 1:51 pm #113299
Tim remarked “I’m perplexed by the comment about 25 minutes of advertising in an hour. I’ve never actually heard this anywhere, no matter how many complain about it.”
I am also perplexed but I measured this using a stop watch during the third hour of the Rush Limbaugh program aired on WTVN in Columbus, Ohio. I stopped the watch if any commercial content appeared and started it again when genuine content and news was aired. In the third hour there are “live reads” of ads during the “programming” which further eroded the program time.
I no longer listen to this program for this reason.November 8, 2019 at 10:06 pm #113300ThelegacyParticipant
Total posts : 280
I have a few things to say about this all digital AM stunt that is about to be pulled on everyone.
First off I think it’s a disguise for the real reason they want to try this. There are some folks who believe that a common individual could never possibly transmit MA3 which was one of my concerns when I discussed it with my broadcast engineer friend.
Now hold on your britches for what I’m about to tell you and this came from him. A pirate is already transmitting MA3 all digital AM and apparently he is making the encoding software available. Right now my ASMAX2 C-Quam AM stereo transmitter has DRM digital transmission capabilities right out of the box. According to the engineer friend of mine it would not be impossible to replace the DRM with the MA3 format that is being proposed for HD radio all digital AM
So the folks at the NAB who is really trying to push this is really not so smart we’re already one step ahead and we’re ready when all of these radios start to become all digital.
Now that I’ve revealed that part is something that I have a question about not a whole lot of sound files are available showing the sound of MA3 so I’ve got to ask the question is this going to be a super lossy compression format where it sounds like a low bit-rate MP3 or in this case a very low bit-rate AAC plus format where it’s less than 24 kilobits and there is absolutely no hi end audio in it at all but otherwise a watery type sound which is really not good for music.
Next is the dropouts issue we all know how HD FM sounds with all the dropouts that you get. Supposedly according to a report I have read the MA3 format transmits just as far is analog does but with less wattage. If this is the case it could really help part 15 operators who dare to transmit MA3 depending on how much the hacker is selling the software for. Hopefully it’s less than $100.
The way I understand it right now the encoder that is being sold by him does not have the capability of RDS text information on the display itself which really doesn’t bother me too much as long as I could get listeners.
In the beginning I wouldn’t transmit all digital format 24/7 it may be certain days of the week and only for a few hours during that day just to see if I can get anybody with an HD car radio to listen and measure my distance to see if it increases or decreases.
Still I think c – q u a m AM stereo is the way to go because it works and it’s compatible with present radios of today. otherwise people would have to buy new radios and I can tell you that HD radios are not going to be cheap. Sparc does have one though that you might be able to get used for around $50 on eBay but you have to plug it into computer speakers to get stereo and I’m not sure just how good the AM section is on that radio.November 11, 2019 at 7:10 am #113303
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