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FCC PROPOSES TO ALLOW ALL-DIGITAL AM BROADCASTING

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  • #16
    RE: The FCC (and/or other government agencies)...

    "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
    P.J. O'Rourke

    73, Ed NN2E
    Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
    Your TV is on 24/7.
    Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
    The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
    Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
    Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
    Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
    Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
    Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
    Jeff Foxworthy

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    • #17
      As someone not in the biz, I surely don't have all the answers.

      But the point was made about lightning/static crashes on AM, and I live in a near-bullseye. That'll make digital AM go dark.

      As to expanding FM, I believe that RadioDiscussions had threads over and over about ending RF 5 and 6 and expanding the FM band that way. FCC gave a flat no.

      I would think (although I cannot say for sure), that the young'uns just don't care for signals fading in and out, and especially dropping out altogether.

      Radio is still very important down here, when a hurricane threatens. Unfortunately the "de facto" (my words) go-to station for updates is on AM (610 WIOD). In fact there was a brouhaha a few years ago, by some woman who wanted the station changed, because it carries Rush Limbaugh. But I digress. Radio is still needed---but it's time to move information from AM to FM. Orlando and Jacksonville have already stepped up, with full power FM news/talkers.

      Millenials can get their Katy Perry/Bieber/Drake/et al. fix on their phones. Leave radio for the things that matter!

      And yes I am all over the place....

      cd

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      • #18
        All one really needs to know is that the FCC is and has been under the strong influence of nearly all of the major broadcast industry titans and organizations. Those same industry titans have a lot of money invested in AM radio which they are desperate to try to protect against the inevitable march of technology. FM isn't immune to this, its day will come down the road.
        Russ Edmunds
        15 mi NW Philadelphia, PA
        WB2BJH -- Grid FN20id

        2 ) SDRPlay RSP1a SDRs, Onkyo T450RDS,
        Yamaha T-80 & Conrad RDS Manager;
        Yamaha T-85 & Conrad RDS Manager;
        all w APS9B @ 15'
        Insignia NSHDRAD2 w/ whip.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Russ-PA View Post
          All one really needs to know is that the FCC is and has been under the strong influence of nearly all of the major broadcast industry titans and organizations. Those same industry titans have a lot of money invested in AM radio which they are desperate to try to protect against the inevitable march of technology. FM isn't immune to this, its day will come down the road.

          The larger radio groups have taken huge and ongoing impairment charges to reduce the book value of the AM stations they still own. Most are now valued at perhaps 10% of the 90's high-water prices. So as of now, the asset value of AM stations by the larger groups is minimal.

          The biggest companies are not interested in all digital AM. They know that nearly nobody is buying stand-alone radios, with the preference being for multi-function entertainment devices like smartphones, tablets, smart speakers and the like. That is why those companies are moving rapidly ahead in areas like streaming, podcasting and platform creation.

          It's significant that the company doing the all-digital test is a relatively small player, and one questions why they would even make the minimal investment in doing so, given that the station is in a small market and the penetration of HD radio in-home and at work is nearly zero and in cars is well below one in six vehicles on the road.

          The attitude of most owners is to make whatever money is possible from the remaining years of life of AMs, and then to either sell them or close them. But investing in improvements is not likely... that's why so many stations have downgraded facilities to eliminate costly directional arrays or to sell off transmitter land that is often worth more than the station itself.

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          • #20
            OK, Here is what I think needs to happen to make more people get interested in listening to and buying AM and FM portable radios and watching OTA TV is stopping the streaming of free OTA radio and DTV over the internet. If the FCC in the US and all the other countries really want to save free airwaves they need to pass laws to ban streaming of free OTA radio and DTV. That Also includes mobile apps. Then and only then people will buy radios like they used to before the internet. If you want to listen to radio stations or see your local news or local DTV programs you better buy a AM or FM radio or be able to watch OTA DTV if you want to hear it or see the program content. The FCC let Pandora's box open with allowing streaming of OTA content and can't or is not trying to close Pandora's Box.
            Last edited by amfmtvdtvbrla; 11-28-2019, 03:03 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by amfmtvdtvbrla View Post
              OK, Here is what I think needs to happen to make more people get interested in listening to and buying AM and FM portable radios and watching OTA TV is stopping the streaming of free OTA radio and DTV over the internet. If the FCC in the US and all the other countries really want to save free airwaves they need to pass laws to ban streaming of free OTA radio and DTV. That Also includes mobile apps. Then and only then people will buy radios like they used to before the internet. If you want to listen to radio stations or see your local news or local DTV programs you better buy a AM or FM radio or be able to watch OTA DTV if you want to hear it or see the program content. The FCC let Pandora's box open with allowing streaming of OTA content and can't or is not trying to close Pandora's Box.
              It's funny that you mention....Pandora (along with Spotify) needs to close down too!

              But keep in mind that the FCC cannot regulate those platforms....

              cd

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              • #22
                Originally posted by amfmtvdtvbrla View Post
                OK, Here is what I think needs to happen to make more people get interested in listening to and buying AM and FM portable radios and watching OTA TV is stopping the streaming of free OTA radio and DTV over the internet. If the FCC in the US and all the other countries really want to save free airwaves they need to pass laws to ban streaming of free OTA radio and DTV. That Also includes mobile apps. Then and only then people will buy radios like they used to before the internet. If you want to listen to radio stations or see your local news or local DTV programs you better buy a AM or FM radio or be able to watch OTA DTV if you want to hear it or see the program content. The FCC let Pandora's box open with allowing streaming of OTA content and can't or is not trying to close Pandora's Box.
                I kept telling myself to NOT jump into this dialogue because I see there is no solution or end to this discussion. BUT it touches on a hot topic that will probably NEVER get solved. Its something I did a lot of research on and feel motivated to at least make a comment about.

                The *Pandora's box* with allowing streaming of OTA content (radio) includes the cell phone manufacturers in the US which refuse to include an AM/FM radio in cell phones, or if there is one, refusing to have the tuner chip activated. You can find a lot of dialogue on the internet about this. The bottom line is that some of the big people in the cellular telephone industry (I will leave them unnamed) have ties to streaming music services and online subscription radio services. To have a working radio in a cell phone would be a conflict of their monetary interest.

                I've cited this before as an example. The EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri in May 2011 created local havoc with cell phones. People that are mobile, with cell phones in hand, wanted to know what was happening. Most people do not carry a radio with them. Multiple cell towers were destroyed in the tornado. Cell phone circuits became jammed and unavailable because too many people wanting to use the available bandwidth when it was already compromised. This was a BIG story on the local news, because cell phones don't have radios available for people to tune to the local news. The cell phone companies work AGAINST supporting the sale of AM & FM radios. IMHO, I think they would be content with the AM/FM broadcasters shutting off their terrestrial signal and being an INTERNET ONLY source. I say no more.
                Last edited by Jim Thomas; 11-28-2019, 05:21 PM. Reason: Corrections
                Jim Thomas
                Springfield, MO EM37

                "Let's just plop them in front of the TV. I was raised in front of the TV and I turned out TV." - Homer Simpson


                Fall & Winter 2019 dx equipment
                Antennas - Antennacraft MXU59 UHF antenna & home-brew version of Antennacraft VHF Y-10-7-13 antenna @ 25'. Both antennas fed through a Channel Master 7777 30dB pre-amp.
                Tuners - Zenith DTT901 converter box; AirSpy HF+ sdr; Silicon Dust HD Homerun Dual ATSC tuner, using Rabbitears autologger support.

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                • #23
                  WJTB 1040 was my first local that was left to rot. It was left unattended for years, transmitting bad audio. The FCC had to step in and shut them down permanently. Who's next? WHLO 640 was transmitting dead air for 4 hours one afternoon... that's an iHeart station. It seems like no one cared to fix it. WNCO 1340, another iHeart station, transmits a phone busy signal every night for hours and hours.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Crazy Monkey View Post
                    WJTB 1040 was my first local that was left to rot. It was left unattended for years, transmitting bad audio. The FCC had to step in and shut them down permanently. Who's next? WHLO 640 was transmitting dead air for 4 hours one afternoon... that's an iHeart station. It seems like no one cared to fix it. WNCO 1340, another iHeart station, transmits a phone busy signal every night for hours and hours.
                    Oh wow. The BCBLOG had reports of an unID 1340 with busy signal. If nobody on the board ID'd it, I will jump in. I won't mention the source. This is good to know.

                    cd

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                    • #25
                      I just returned from a few days in northern Virginia. The purpose of the trip had nothing to do with radio & my travel companion had little tolerance for noisy DXing but...

                      I did spend a few minutes checking out WWFD on the HD Radio in my 2013 Prius.

                      - On the way up, during the day, at a location nearly 100 miles from the transmitter, it was decoding approximately 50% of the time.
                      - Upon reaching my destination about 30 miles from the transmitter, decode was 100%. I don't know at what distance 100% decode was accomplished.
                      - Audio was indeed FM quality.
                      - It locked in roughly twice as quickly as a hybrid HD/analog station.
                      - I could hear the HD signal when tuned to adjacent channels, although it didn't sound as loud as in the hybrid mode. (which makes technical sense) I did not hear anything on 810 or 830, but I'm not familiar enough with the dial in the area to know if I should have. I did hear a decent signal on 800 (didn't ID it) and a weak signal on 840. (which I'm pretty sure was WHAS on residual skywave. It was around 8:00 in the morning local time.)
                      - All-digital mode provides title/artist display.
                      - For social reasons I was unable to test at night.

                      Overall, WWFD's all-digital transmission behaved as expected.
                      Doug Smith W9WI
                      Pleasant View, TN EM66
                      http://www.w9wi.com

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