[Other Topic] DTS: Use Expanded Band for All-Digital AM

jegrant

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 5, 2005
1,204
170
Digital - yes. Anything involving iBiquity or their patents? Please, no. We should mandate a digital system that is explicitly free of patents.
 
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radio

"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
3,642
856
West Central Michigan
IF and only IF receivers were manufactured with standards to receive selectable full digital or FULL ANALOG I don't see this as an issue. But...keep in mind, rolling out all digital on the extended band WON'T make it available to Joe America for a long time. Car manufacturers are not going to jump on it, and consumer radios aren't going to bother with it! They have a hard time just making a good ANALOG product anymore...

C-quam was the winner in AM stereo systems years ago, and while it was "one patent holder" and Motorola could have been called the "Ibiquity" of the day, there was no oppressive licensing fees to use it! Stations bought the equipment which supported the manufacturer, turned it on and used it! It can still do well today if.....IF....we'd get marketing of it, and more AM audio processors in the field that generate the needed L+R and L-R signals.

There is one major manufacturer of AM audio processing (Orban) protecting and including AM Cquam Stereo in it's newest processor which also can process for digital....so I'd conclude the system is not by any means dead. Just dormant for now. DTS's purchase of Ibiquity doesn't change the fact they bought a sinking ship and a technology (on AM anyway) that has failed. On FM? Well...except for limited range and very little difference from well done analog FM, ......Meh. Take it or leave it. it does nothing except provide extra venues for formats and loopholes for those wanting to outFCC the FCC's owneship rules.

Personally I have no interest in the extended band and would not move there even to up the power of WION. There's still PLENTY of non extended band radios out there, and I don't think I'd want to alienate them. FULL digital AM testing I have not heard. I don't know what it would do to other stations on the same frequency...the initial testing of this system on a large AM out East did not address the issue....Personally, I think putting ANYTHING digital on a band whose advantage is long-range ANALOG transmission is a mistake. AM simply needs, as I've always said a few things:

1) Owners that care about sound quality in their physical plants (studios to Transmitter)
2) Owners and Program Directors who put compelling programming on the air
3) Standards imposed in bandwidth use (minimal quality) on broadcasters and in receivers.

AM's survival is not about going digital. The "D" word is a buzzword, and to me a swear word. My TV reception didn't get any better, my cellphone drops out more, and Hybrid Digital was a total abortion on the radio dial. So, why not leave well enough alone! We have ONE band that can sound excellent with just some people that CARE running stations, and reasonably good equipment. Even USED equipment.

GOOD programmers and owners will survive without expensive conversions to other parts of the band or other types of transmission.
BAD ones will, as time goes by, fall by the way...just like good or bad sellers and manufacturers of ANYTHING.

By the way, if you're at all radio minded, and want GREAT entertainment, look up the public comments on FCC proceeding 13-249. What a mess! Some very GOOD points were made, some totally asinine ones as well. We now have to hope the FCC has some level headed, broadcasting-oriented commissioners aside from Mr. Pai, who are able to weed out the BS from the reality of today's radio station operators.

Hope you're not disappointed, Ice. (after waiting so patiently.)
 
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harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,430
2,613
Salem, OR
Why I have a tough time being enthusiastic about commercial AM radio:
  • Modern family vehicles typically lack a provisions for a proper AM antenna
  • Wireless phones feature an FM tuner if they have a tuner at all and good AM radios aren't cheap or easy to find
  • The public safety value of a distant AM station isn't all that compelling
  • Finally, as Radio asserts, pretty much everything must be "right" (from hardware to management to environment) for AM to provide a great listening experience
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
3,642
856
West Central Michigan
Why I have a tough time being enthusiastic about commercial AM radio:
  • Modern family vehicles typically lack a provisions for a proper AM antenna
  • Wireless phones feature an FM tuner if they have a tuner at all and good AM radios aren't cheap or easy to find


  • FM tuners should NEVER be included in cellphones. It's a sham. Advertising by Sprint has been heavy because THEY bought into it...The antenna is the headphones, many people won't carry headphones,and when consumers cannot receive their favorite local 6kw station,(meaning anything but a blowtorch 20-50kw one) they'll blame the station, not their $300 new "best of the best" phone, when really the tuners included in them are crap. This endeavor by cellphone manufacturers and carriers makes broadcasters look BAD and this time, it's not the fault of the broadcaster. Believe it or not, the NAB and other organizations petitioned almost every station to run "free" ads for this endorsing Sprint. Um, NO.

    Addressing the antenna situation, actually with a good tuner, some of the amplified shorter ones have great range, though a tuned 31" whip is centered for the FM band and more than adequate on AM. Too bad our nation's vanity as consumers cant possibly have a "real" antenna on the car. But...don't discount what the smaller ones do. I'm very "in tune" with this as a broadcaster, I do signal drives under many conditions, and I have a very small, amplified combo antenna on the Jeep Renegade. The tuner's bandwidth sucks. Chrysler Jeep should be ashamed, but the distance from which I can receive my station and others is impressive.
 
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Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
39
None Your Business
On my Moto E phone (which has no service on it anymore...I just use it for apps) the headphones are basically required. Without it I get no stations on it.
The seek option sucks. Bypasses even the 100kw Class C stations here in Minneapolis. It does have manual tune though.

For fun when I was at the lake last weekend I tried to see what it would pick up. And depending on where in the house I was gave me varied results. Literally walking from the bedroom into the bathroom made stations drop.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,430
2,613
Salem, OR
FM tuners should NEVER be included in cellphones. It's a sham.
Surely, the carriers wanted an option to give customers streaming audio and FM is a 6" putt that doesn't require a lot of additional hardware. AM would require dozens of dollars of hardware and prohibitive acreage.
The antenna is the headphones, many people won't carry headphones,and when consumers cannot receive their favorite local 6kw station,(meaning anything but a blowtorch 20-50kw one) they'll blame the station, not their $300 new "best of the best" phone, when really the tuners included in them are crap.
Even a "crap" FM tuner can deliver great sound. Do you know a lot of people that use their phones like a boom box?!?!?!
Too bad our nation's vanity as consumers cant possibly have a "real" antenna on the car.
I suspect it has more to do with economy (the sheet metal isn't thick enough to support a fender or A-pillar mounted whip) and vandalism than vanity, but be that as it may, factory AM antennas are history and we have to move forward with what we've got. Few modern vehicles can reasonably support a proper ground plane antenna. As an example, most of the horizontal body panels on my car are aluminum and magnetic base antennas won't "stick". Quite a few cars have other non-ferrous materials (plastics, carbon fiber, etc.) in the bodywork.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,430
2,613
Salem, OR
and how many of them are using a FM radio for the music? ;)
Boom boxes are used for more than just music. The point I was trying to make is that listening carefully is quite often done with headphones/buds, contrary to what was asserted earlier by Radio.

A Bluetooth connection or docking station still works if the headphones are connected, doesn't it?
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
39
None Your Business
Boom boxes are used for more than just music. The point I was trying to make is that listening carefully is quite often done with headphones/buds, contrary to what was asserted earlier by Radio.
I guess I will disagree. Here at the school I see kids listening to music on their device without headphones/earbuds (most of them). The ones that do I can assure you are not listening to the local FM stations. They probably have a bunch of music downloaded into it.

A Bluetooth connection or docking station still works if the headphones are connected, doesn't it?
I have no bluetooth here so I dont know. But again I dont see kids with bluetooth devices listening to FM radio on it ;)
 

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