View Poll Results: What should happen?

Voters
15. You may not vote on this poll
  • Nothing

    7 46.67%
  • Migrate into channel six

    0 0%
  • Migrate into channels six and five

    8 53.33%
  • Digital only

    2 13.33%
  • Digital and Analogue

    1 6.67%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Expanding into the Japanese FM band.

  1. #11
    ai4i Guest

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    Actually, leaving anything analogue is dooming it to an eventual death.
    "The sine wave is dead, long live the square wave"

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ai4i View Post
    Actually, leaving anything analogue is dooming it to an eventual death.
    "The sine wave is dead, long live the square wave"
    I think that would spell doomsday for FM radio in rural America. I have radio presets in my car that are 50+ miles away. Most of the time they come in and sound great since its a pretty bare FM band here. But when Im driving there will be areas where you hit a little bit of static which usually goes for the most part blends in the background. With digital everything would just go silent. That would get so annoying.

    Also, I cant see the general public even those in cities near transmitters, being for Digital FM. With DTV, especially HDTV, people notice the difference vs analog pretty quickly. With FM it would be hard to notice, and if stations begin to encode at a lower quality to fit in more subchannels, digital will actually sound worse. On a good FM radio, I would have a hard time telling the difference between a CD and the FM broadcast, which probably originates from a CD, but thats not the point.

    I dont think analog FM is dead yet, just like AM analog is still around after all these years. A good idea for digital FM would be to put it on the TV spectrum or something and leave our trusty analog FM alone. It sounds just as good as digital, if not better, and just like analog TV, it doesnt suffer from the cliff effect so its broadcast range is further.

  3. #13
    N5XZS Guest

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    IMHO, they should be pure digital signals no WBFM mode allowed and with extra TX power at least 100 KW ERP.

    And besides the lower freqs, this will help the groundwave ranges much better than 88 to 108 MHz.

    Also, I would like to see the FCC allocated the 1 MHz wide for hobby broadcasting band, on 76.000 to 77.000 MHz capped at 25 watts PEP licences by rule, just like the CB band back in 1977.

  4. #14
    ai4i Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by N5XZS View Post
    IMHO, they should be pure digital signals no WBFM mode allowed and with extra TX power at least 100 KW ERP.
    Then, why not just suggest doing what the civilized countries are doing: Eureka 147?
    Last edited by ai4i; 01-17-2010 at 11:58 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Seoul, Korea
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    Honestly, I don't see the point in digital anything. For digital TV, how is that any better than analog? The whole cliff effect is the most annoying thing in the world, getting program information really isn't that beneficial - that's why we have TV Guide (although even that kinda turned into an entertainment magazine instead)... and for FM radio? We'd go from the 85 or so stations we get right now, down to 10 or fewer. For digital TV, we went from about 25-30 analog channels down to 3 or 4, and the antenna is 50 feet off the ground. I can't imagine FM radio in digital at ground level in a car or indoors.

    Forget digital. Nothing but trouble and it's all about money. Don't fix what's not broken. I hear people in the radio industry talking about the death of radio and all... but I think going digital actually *would* kill it. I barely ever watch TV since it went digital, because the signal dropping out every 30 seconds and having to turn the antenna every time you change from one channel to another... why bother?

  6. #16
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    I thought digital tv was pretty nice. It allows for HD picture and sub-channels. I went from 3 local analog channels to 7 total channels in digital now. The only issue is that OTA lost its position as a back-up for people when cable or satellite tv services do down. With analog it was easy to jury rig an indoor antenna and get a snowy picture or use a battery powered tv when the power goes out. With digital its hard to do this unless you live close to transmitters. Luckily I live around 15-20 miles the DTV transmitters in my area so a simple indoor antenna does the trick. I have a DTV on VHF-H and i can literally touch my thumb to the end of a coax cable and get like 70% signal. But for fringe signals beyond the "cliff" DTV is a pain.

    For radio I just dont see the advantage tv has. You can "sell" the picture quality of DTV, especially when shown on a large flat screen, but a high end FM tuner with a good sound system and good FM signal and analog would probably sound better. The soft static that occurs in the background of analog FM and AM signals is actually relaxing to the human ear. And high end tuners do a good job at eliminating undesirable background static anyways.

    Digital will never survive on AM due to thunderstorms which can knock out local signals easily. There are videos on youtube where a 10 mile daytime signal gets knocked out of HD by a distant thunderstorm, because of those little crackles you get on AM. With no analog you would hear nothing while the HD signal relocks.

    And on FM, the cliff effect would be terrible with no analog signal around. Imagine you go under a bridge or something in your car and the FM signal gets weak for several seconds. With analog you'd hear a little static, no big deal, but with digital after the buffer runs out the signal would disappear for several seconds until it can relock. And for people like myself who live in a rural market with few local stations, who find themselves looking to distant markets for more channels, digital would ruin this. As a kid I can always remember waiting around in the summer for a hot sunny day so I could get the Syracuse stations in on my radio and record some stuff to tape. I would later learn there was actually tropo that happened to be active on these days.

  7. #17
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    I forgot about the subchannels. There is a nice advantage to that. As long as I can see the picture, I'm ok, so good picture quality hasn't been a big selling point for me, and HD radio sure is no better than anything else. I think it's hard to sell better sound quality when it's all so close in comparison anyway.

    Most of our local stations here are in the 20-65 mile range, most in the 50+ range, and the rest that are received normally are from 100-140 miles away - the really strong signals that always are in with RDS, like 90.1 WMBI in Chicago, 95.1 WIIL, 99.1 WMYX, and 100.7 WKKV from Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha, would likely disappear with digital. We can't get a damn thing from Milwaukee on DTV now - barely even a blip of a signal on the bar, not even during strong tropo! 4 and 6 in Milwaukee (about 105 miles to our west) used to be our locals, as strong as the stations 40 miles away, and we usually watched them every night for programming and local news. Now, nothing.

  8. #18
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    Part of that probably has to do with power levels and frequencies. The FCC made the power limits for digital lower than analog, and many channels decided to move to UHF. One of my locals was, broadcasting with 750kw on UHF digital, and then switched back to there analog channel 7 after the transition and only had to broadcast at 25kw to get the same coverage according to the FCC maps.

  9. #19
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    Very true. We don't have a UHF antenna. But even then, 3 of my locals are in VHF, but still we had to aim right at them, and they're not in the same place (one of three is right by our town, so no matter where we aim, it's in).

    *sigh* I'm an analog boy all the way.

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