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AM Broadcast to go all digital?




 
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W1RKW
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« on: October 31, 2020, 06:48:07 AM »

https://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2020/10/articles/fcc-announces-plans-to-authorize-all-digital-am-radio-at-october-27-open-meeting/
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Bob
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His fear was when I turned it on for the first time life on earth would come to a stand still.
WA2SQQ
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 09:23:16 AM »

Given the number of existing AM radios, I don’t see this happening before our expiration date.
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2020, 10:39:19 AM »

Looks like another opportunity for the FCC to be influenced by a company to cure a problem that don’t exist.
Where is this demand for high quality audio in AM broadcasting? May just be my own sense of paranoia but somehow only see this as an opportunity for Xperi to sell the license and technology to everyone regardless of if they want it or not.  iBiquity and there in band on channel FM system was at the end of the day is just a system to make iBiquity Digital Corporation a fortune on licensing their systems and decoders selling the promise of better audio when its only equal to FM at best and the added revenue of additional revenue streams but once again where’s the demand?
Somehow, I think this is all snake oil with companies wanting to sell their technology and the promise of generating all this new money from additional programing streams to desperate broadcasters under the guise of something to benefit the listener.
To kill terrestrial AM Broadcasting on the hope of making it somehow more competitive with FM is in my mind a stupid, short term profit driven pipe dream and will render useless generations of technology.
If AM Broadcasting is dying then let it die. Maybe that will get the hacks that have control and are only obsessed with how much money they can squeeze from the community, new ways of screwing the people working for them and just being the worst people you can imagine out of the business, and maybe someday become a business where people who are interested in broadcasting can be?
Sorry for the rant and deviating from the topic, spent thirty years in both radio and TV broadcasting and was just laid off from Cheap Channel after working as a transmitter supervisor for the last twenty years but fortunately that was a part time deal and have a real job at the university, also as much as I was surprised they came back with a good severance package but that was the corporate people and not the hacks in local management. CC/I Heart laid off all of its transmitter supervisors and desktop support people company wide and only retained the directors of engineering in each market and now has them doing everything.
Back years ago, I remember a small AM/FM combo over in Havre de Grace Maryland where after being offered millions of dollars for the FM the owner decided that he would sell the FM station to one of the conglomerates, I was involved in installing the new FM transmitter for them at the time. The man who owed the property kept the AM station and ran that somewhat as a hobby, go on and off the air when he wants, played the format he wanted and things like that. Somehow, I think that’s what’s missing from broadcasting today. If AM broadcasting becomes non-economical from a commercial standpoint think the public would best be served by people operating old AM properties as they see fit and this crazy attempt to kill amplitude modulation just to try to make a couple dollars more for some oversized, overstretched broadcast companies and companies like Xperi and iBquity as a bad thing.


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KD6VXI
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2020, 12:33:24 PM »

They can change the technology all they want. 

Problem is, listeners are dying.

And the new generation doesn't //care// about radio.  They stream.  I see it all over the jobsites I'm on now.  The old guard will have an AM or FM radio, whereas everyone 35 or younger has a bluetooth speaker going.  I'd even go to say guys in their late 40s do as well.  I know I do when I'm in the field.

IHeart, Pandora, etc. have killed radio.  It's just going to thrash around awhile longer.  Especially with the SpaceX satellite internet, it won't be long until every square inch of the world is covered.

I agree, this looks like a way for a company to sell equipment to radio operators that are trying their best to stay in business.  But, commercial radio, for the most part, is going the way of buggywhips.


--Shane
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n1exi
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2020, 05:39:40 PM »

at my current qth regular reception on AM band is nonexistant. i like to listen a newsradio station from




no reception here from nyc so i go to a web site find my station and listen with no qrm or qsb - but still all the commercials
oh well!
greg n1exi






 




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W4EWH
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2020, 12:25:05 AM »

The stupidity of the FCC sometimes exceeds all previous records, and nobody in Congress is aware, or cares, or is willing to do anything to stop it.

In europe, there are "Medium wave" broadcasts which can be heard on other continents - for the simple reason that they broadcast in the 200 KHz range or thereabouts. If there's a new technology available, and since 500 KHz morse is gone, why not allow broadcasters to move down the dial to a frequency range where their signals will travel further?

Motorists have to get new receivers anyway, and all the airplanes have GPS now, so localizer beacons are being phased out, and there aren't any competitors looking to use those bands, so what's the reason digital is being shoehorned into the 550-1700 band?

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Tom WA3KLR
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2020, 08:20:39 AM »

I guess I'm not up to date on what does digital would do for us on the AM band?  Is it supposed to give better quality audio?  Most of the AM stations are talk, news, sports, Christian talk and music; very little music overall.  Need digital for mostly voice programming?
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73 de Tom WA3KLR  AMI # 77   Amplitude Modulation - a force Now and for the Future!
KA3EKH
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2020, 01:33:26 PM »

Audio quality has nothing to do with it, extending services don’t count. That’s all a Red Herring for the real reason they want this junk, the ability to have more then one stream of programing. The audio quality for FM or AM digital is often not as good as a properly working analog system, and in most all my experience with the exception of some work I have done for NPR stations the only interest management has is having their sound the loudest so it jumps out at you when you are tuning the radio.
Its just they use that tired old saw of improved sound quality to get what they really want second and third program streams so they can sell additional inventory on the sub channels. Not that many are using all the avails they already have but they think if you got three places to push your inventory you will make three times the money.
An make no mistake, the vast majority of management and owners in broadcasting today only have one interest.  How much money can I make so get any idea of better quality or improvements or service to the community right out of your head.
May all appear to be a bit cynical but I was there back in the eighties and saw the big companies like Cumulus and Clear Channel come in and buy up everything not caring how much they paid because it did not matter, the property will always be worth more next year and there were some good times back around two thousand where they were putting money back into the plant and we were all installing new buildings, transmitters and antennas but when the economy went down the tubes around two thousand and six and people stopped buying radio and the bills for all the buying stations back and forth came due the bottom dropped out of the “Big Money” aspect of radio and we are still there today.
The best of the managers and sales people went on to other things, A good sales person can sell anything. One day broadcast sales, the next cars or washing machines. They always have a place to go and its about the same things with management so what you get left with is the kind of hacks that are in management that are bottom line driven only.
At one time Radio Broadcasting was not a bad business but with what we have done with automation and the type of management that’s around it will have to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Best thing I ever did was go from Radio to Television and then into Education and get far enough removed from Radio that this dose not have that big an effect on me. There were a number of the Old School” engineers who concentrated on just AM and FM without branching out in other directions and they have problems today.
All this may sound too much like bitter grapes and the like but find me any other person who has been working in the broadcasting field and see if they contradict me.

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KD6VXI
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2020, 01:54:36 PM »

I've talked to a few people in the BCast engineering circles....  And they all pretty much concur with your thoughts Ray.

About a decade and a half ago I wanted to get into it.  I talked to a friend who does it, was "Clear Channel"'s go to guy around here.

His take, even then, was the same.  He's now retired living on a small hobby ranch.  And doesn't answer the phone when a station calls, usually.

--Shane
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