[Illinois] hd radio question

bluegras

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do you think the fcc will require radio stations to go hd in the near distant future?is there a website where you can find all the new HD Radio channels being added?

http://hdradio.com/

thanks


Allen bluegras :)
 

dewzan

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Highly doubt it, here in Iowa I get a lot of radio stations but only 1HD ch. and it's not reliable. rest of the hd ch. in the area don't come in at all.(even when connected to outdoor ant). they just don't have a good enough range.
 
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goaliebob99

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Highly doubt it, here in Iowa I get a lot of radio stations but only 1HD ch. and it's not reliable. rest of the hd ch. in the area don't come in at all.(even when connected to outdoor ant). they just don't have a good enough range.

Actually, they are closer to shutting down the analoge FM band than what you think. The reason why its so unreliable is because broadcasters put their HD signal on a lower power setting than there analoge counterparts. That's going to change. My understanding is that what you have now is what you will have in the future when radio goes fully digital.
 

Blindowl1234

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Now if they could only do something to revive the AM band. As big as our metro area is I catch the news on WLW and then switch to songs on my phone or usb drive. Not sure when I last listened to FM. I'm not sure how many HD stations we have here but I know there's a handful.
 

Blindowl1234

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Just looked and we have 18 in the Cincinnati area, 3 of them are AM the rest are FM. I've not listened to FM in probably 5 years and only catch the news sometimes on AM. MP3 player or USB drive for me in the car
 

bluegras

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did you know that there are 14,000 radio stations in the country and right now according to the hd radio website there are 3696 radio stations that are listed on hd radio website,what are the chances we could see alot more added i know there 68 hd channels in the chicagoland area and you can go to tunein website there are 168 radio station listed i would start contacting all the radio stations and letting them know about HD Radio and we can get more to get added.you can do something for me contact your local radio station and let them know about HD Radio.i sure appreciate it very much.
 
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radio

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From the standpoint of an owner and follower of this issue.

1) HD costs an additional license. It's really a "monopoly" on the technology, with Ibiquity being the licensing company, and a major stockholder being Clear Channel/(I Heart Media.) The AM system is flawed. It does not allow full bandwidth of 10khz, so the quality of sound is never as good as a well done AM mono or AM STEREO station kept analog and properly engineered and maintained. Many AM's have already shut of IBOC (HD) in even the larger markets. The AM system of HD causes interference on the side channels to the main licensed channel. A big flaw. The FM side, while it does allow more "channels" also divides some bandwidth, and as noted in previous posts has limited range. To begin to broadcast in HD on either band, a VERY LARGE license is paid to Ibiquity, and to most (non-involved with the technology via investment) owners, there is no viable reason to add it. SOME vehicles are adding this to receivers, but not enough to make it attractive to broadcasters. There's also the cost of additional transmission equipment.

Contacting a local station about HD is not going to have a bearing on growth. It's like asking your local grocer to double his inventory including his bills and staffing costs. Adding an HD channel not only has the cost of licensing and equipment, but if providing separate programming means more music royalties to pay, more costs to carry networks, and more load on whatever staff they already have if producing a complete set of additional channels. And, if only duplicating the main channel, there's no gain to the broadcaster at all.

2) AM or FM going away? Not likely. We won't see the all-digital option here in the USA for a long time.

Reason 1: FEMA and National Security officials are relying on today's mass communications for emergencies, and they know the reach of a new system being "all digital" would be limited at best. The public is not going to rush to buy new radios. They didn't do it for TV without government intervention, and look at the mess "digital" did to local TV's range and ability to penetrate storms. The government has invested too much in a (still flawed, but their design) EAS system to throw it away by not having "ears" to hear it on a "new" system.

Reason 2: The FCC is well aware that there are MANY small operators, the kind who are serving communities who will simply turn in their licenses and retire/quit if full-digital were mandated. Can you imagine how many (more) people at the local level would lose jobs across our country? Keeping up with today's technology costs enough! Our analog new transmitter for WION radio was $45k in 2005. It's still doing well, kept up, and serving up AM stereo broadband every day. Properly maintained and protected, transmitters can go 30 or more years and perform well for all of them! New all-digital AM? Not many small operators will invest. Our new FM transmitter we installed last week for our sister station was approaching the $20k mark after all the lightning, power, and other protection needed for even a small FM, now that transmitters are basically computers hooked to amplifiers. All digital FM? There's no need of it Standard FM when properly engineered does it's job well as is.

Reason 3: (Tied to reason 2) There's a "regulatory fee" paid every year by every station, every signal to the FCC. Can you imagine, if the amount of stations going dark from mandatory conversion then were not in existence to pay the FCC? Any government agency is greedy. They want to keep their jobs, and justify their jobs. Less stations mean less money, less money means less FCC officials and FCC employment.

And finally, you have to consider that in many countries making these sweeping changes in radio's delivery method that the degree of (their) government involvement can be much higher than in the United States. In countries where the government operates mass media, of course you'll see changes. The USA, thankfully is not that way yet, leaving decisions about programming, technology, and quality to local owners, hoping owners will do their best.

Finally: on the comment regarding AM revitalization, THIS is where local residents' voices are needed to encourage local stations to do more locally, and be less of a jukebox or talk-box. When AM's are thrown away as the "bastard child" of bigger FM's and just "anything" is thrown on them to keep stations on the air, there's no direct involvement in the communities they serve, therefore, the guilty operators who do this are the ones harming AM the most. Put intriguing programming on an AM, be "in touch" with the audience, and a station can succeed and be interesting to it's listeners. NO technology can save AM. It's at it's highest and best use now. Sad part is, most AM's are not operated to their full (technological) potential. AM can sound EXCELLENT if done properly. Badly maintained transmission systems, and REALLY BAD AM sections in new radios are to blame for any reputaiton for "inferior sound" that AM may have. What AM needs is good owner/operators who care and are capable of doing what radio was MEANT to do in programming and in engineering. I do commend FCC Commissioner Pai for his efforts on behalf of AM operators and their concerns, however! Community voices TO local stations in writing are very important, as they are kept by the station in the FCC public file.

A realistic view from a near 30 year veteran of radio, with 11 years ownership experience.
 

bluegras

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well thank you for explaning what is going eventually in the future fm will go away like they are in norway in 2017
 

radio

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Not likely. Norway's broadcasting system is completely different in structure from the "buy a station/license" system we have in the USA. One could argue the good and the bad, personally I think "huge" radio companies are killing themselves and making our little ones look better.....which may not be allowed in other countries, however....don't look for any radical changes, and don't count the days to "all digital." Ibiquity's failure on AM is proof hybrid doesn't work, and on FM, it's really only used by stations to be able to put ANOTHER signal (often billed as a "station" though they're only 250 watts) on the standard FM dial. (Through a loophole which needed closing many moons ago, which allows big companies look even BIGGER since the ownership cap in markets is not affected by taking an HD1/HD2 station and rebroadcasting it on a translator, and calling it a "station" to the general public.)
 
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Blindowl1234

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Anything with Clear Channel attached to it well.....that's another story. The few HD's on AM around here cause too much interference if you do much Dx'ing. The problem we have even in our large metro area is many of the AM stations have weak signals. 2- 50 KW stations WLW and whatever 1530 is now WSAI I think. There's a splattering of a few 5KW stations. The others are 1 KW or less and some are daytime only. If you want to listen to anything while driving from one side of town to the other, AM isn't it around here. FM is the only option right now. I appreciate Radio's posts.
 

Scott Greczkowski

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Imagine being a station owner and having to pay your competition to broadcast in HD Radio. Ultimately it means your working to support your competition. Miss a license payment and your HD signal goes off as they can remote control it and turn it off.

If HD radio wanted to be successful, they would allow broadcasters to buy the broadcast equipment instead of just renting it and make their money by selling the chips to radio makers, but now they want to rent it AND charge for the radio chips. They have their hand out to both sides.

I am a fan of HD radio on the HD side, but not on the AM side. I was happy to see WOR in NY switched off its HD signal a few weeks ago. If a few more do it then it might be possible to DX the AM band again.
 

navychop

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SPARC SHD-BT1 Bluetooth Table Top Radio with FM - HD Radio FM Tuner & Dual Alarm, Built-in USB Output to Charge SmartPhone, AUX Input
 

Scott Greczkowski

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It sounds better then regular FM but still not as good as a CD and the range is MUCH smaller then the regular FM signal. If you are not near the towers you might find the HD signal cutting in and out, which gets annoying quick. :)

Remember HD does not stand for High Definition, it is just a brand name they use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio
 
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navychop

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USED to mean Hybrid Digital.

IMHO, the while system should be scrapped and redesigned, perhaps to a genuine world standard. Or, more likely, just abandoned.
 
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bluegras

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do you guys think there will more hd radio channels according to hd radio website there is 3697 out of 14,000 stations broadcasting in hd is there another website where i can find hd radio channels that are not listed on hd radio.thanks
 

navychop

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I think there will be fewer. That Edsel has sailed and is sinking.
 

bluegras

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what do you guys recommend for a antenna to pick up HD Radio stations?thanks
 

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