[Illinois] hd radio question (1 Viewer)

bluegras

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2008
3,300
1,078
how only hd radio channels would boost their signal coverage so alot more people can listen to them what do you guys think of this?
 

Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Sep 7, 2003
98,775
16,078
Newington, CT
They can't boost their HD power more then they are running now as the FCC will not allow it. There is some formula of how much power the HD signal can be when compared to the regular FM signal.

Many of the subchannels from HD stations around the country can be heard live on iHeartRadio.COM.
 

bluegras

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2008
3,300
1,078
i contacted a friend of mine who works at hd radio and i told them to create a official forum so alot of people can visite and talk about hd radio or i can just send to your guys website.
 

jegrant

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 5, 2005
1,207
170
I am almost completely convinced that the only use of HD Radio is as a backhaul to feed the armies of FM Translators that are now on the air or soon will be in most markets. Technically, yes, they will "broadcast" on HD but 99% or more of the listeners will be on analog FM. And it does work, there are major markets where translators have gotten great ratings, like Orlando, where Christian AC Z88.3 is not only perennially one of the top rated stations, but has two highly rated translators "Hot 95.9" (Christian Hip Hop) and "G106.3" (Black Gospel) as well as a much lower rated Christian Rock format at 103.7. All 3 translate HD channels of 88.3.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Iceberg

bluegras

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2008
3,300
1,078
right now we have 68 channels from chicagoi am hoping for in the future i have been contacting radio stations letting them know about hd radio.i know about the cost radio was talking about but more stations will come online give it some time.with more radio station know more about it will grow larger.
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
3,659
895
West Central Michigan
I am almost completely convinced that the only use of HD Radio is as a backhaul to feed the armies of FM Translators that are now on the air or soon will be in most markets. Technically, yes, they will "broadcast" on HD but 99% or more of the listeners will be on analog FM. And it does work, there are major markets where translators have gotten great ratings, like Orlando, where Christian AC Z88.3 is not only perennially one of the top rated stations, but has two highly rated translators "Hot 95.9" (Christian Hip Hop) and "G106.3" (Black Gospel) as well as a much lower rated Christian Rock format at 103.7. All 3 translate HD channels of 88.3.

"Backhaul to feed armies of FM translators"....BOY did you nail that one!

A loophole that NEVER should have been allowed and needs closing! It's messing up ownership "limits" and crowding an already over-saturated band in which every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinks "broadcasting" is as easy as saying, "Would you like fries with that?!!" It's NOT that easy, and the loophole is NOT a service to radio in general. Want to broadcast with HD? then PROMOTE HD radios and sell 'em at your station and online! Using HD to run a translator is a blatant invitation to work around existing (FCC) rules, and used too frequently by people who want radio QUANTITY in their portfolio, not QUALITY. The only "good" angle to it is, that for every HD on a translator, if a full-size frequency can be dropped in, there is zero protection to a translator license, and the translator must leave the air or move if a full-size signal applies and is granted on their existing frequency. This won't happen much, however as broadcasting money is tight in most companies due to not staying focused on providing a sell-able PRODUCT. You can have all the translators and HD's feeding 'em you're allowed. it's still Garbage-in, Garbage-Out if all broadcasters do is try to own the MOST signals, not the BEST programming.
 

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
802
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Could the transition to Digital Radio be as simple as when the FCC mandated that all TV sets include the UHF band (TV channels 14-83).
At one time TVs didn't have to receive the UHF band. TV manufacturers were happy producing their TVs with the capability of only receiving channel 2-13. In 1961, with the help of the "all channels act", the FCC mandated that TV manufacturers include the ability for all TVs to have UHF tuners. About a decade later, they amended the order to ensure the UHF band got equal treatment (Click tuners rather than slide tuners that sucked). I wonder if the "all channels act" can be stretched to include digital radio reception on all new radios. You can't tell me that the receivers are that expensive, especially after economies of scale come to play.

Tony
 
Last edited:

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
802
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
And unlike TV HD transition, the FM/AM/Digital Radio stations can exist side-by-side. It is more analogous to including the UHF band on all TVs than it is to an "HD" transition. And Digital Radio, is not HD by any stretch. It's digital and it sounds good. But HD? No.
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
3,659
895
West Central Michigan
It would never be that simple.

MOST Existing transmitters can't just 'slide into' a new band. Most transmitters, AM or FM are "generally tuned" for a certain part of the existing licensed dial and can't just "move." Then, how many people and advertisers does station "X" lose by moving with few or no listeners on the new (digital) location? We saw this problem with the moves to the expanded AM band, a failure that was, too. A few stations do okay there, but it didn't unclutter the AM band, nor improve offerings, or improve programming.

Given the life-cycle of transmitters, it's about 30 or more years between broadcasters' purchases of them. Thus, even if "new" digital options are built in and ready to go; there won't be enough stations with "new" technology to make migration anything less than a "here and there" kind of thing even over a span of say, 10 to 20 years, just like "hybrid digital" is now. A mandate would only serve to put local broadcasters and some biggies off the air permanently.

The whole point to get across is, It's AVEREAGE human ears which hear radio....and that properly treated "air chains" at every radio station putting out the best sound possible and the best PROGRAMMING possible is what makes radio work. When BEAN COUNTERS took over radio, and decided "anything that makes noise was to be put on the air, the biggest problem to hit ANY industry hit us....APATHY BY OWNERS who have not got the "craft" in their blood to be BROADCASTERS but are probably excellent accountants.

It's kind of like the argument I've had over and over again with station owners who spend THOUSANDS to put "special processing" on their internet streams. The same human ANALOG ears hear computer speakers as hear big stereos with over the air signals.

Make it ALL (Programming and quality of audio) sound good, and you gain EARS. There's no NEED for extra equipment for stream processing, and, in parallel, no need to move, migrate, or change from Analog, unless the majority of the United States wants a repeat performance of the d-d-d-igital de-deficiencies we've seen in OTA TV being mandated, PLUS there'd be a loss of available stations! I can tell you, I've worked hard as an owner to sound the BEST we can, and to be interesting to listeners. That simple recipe works.

WE did it on a shoestring startup....and did it even after digging up a CORPSE of a station gone for nearly a year! By the time a decade passed, we managed to make our signal bigger, add FM, add AM stereo, Add streaming, even re-roof the studio, and have a new well drilled, our towers checked and painted, and all on our advertising income, never having to go to the bank for operating funds! We did this all with income from EXISTING AM and FM, and we're a small station in a depressed market! Those who blame the "medium" and throw around the buzzwords "digital" or "new technology" to save radio are blaming the wrong cause and campaigning for something we don't need.

Another point on this: Just like the home loan "crisis" of a few years ago. Banks need to stop lending money to every Tom, Dick, And Harry who "wants to own a radio station" (or series of them.) If the EXPERIENCE isn't there, don't lend it! I've personally seen banks hand money to people who have never even worked in radio and allowed them to buy stations. Failure is almost certain, knowing how to program most certainly LOST in that scenario. Passion and experience for a craft combined with hard work equals success. Mergers and/or lending money to make "bigger is better" happen is NOT working in the radio industry, nor in MANY parts of our nation right now.

Maybe I could have shortened this whole post by saying, "why reinvent the wheel?"
I'm out of breath.
Someone took my soapbox.
 

jegrant

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 5, 2005
1,207
170
I would agree that the ratings speak for themselves. The only translators that have done well in the ratings tend to be the ones with desirable programming not heard on any other station in the market. Or, in my opinion, G106.3 Orlando, didn't have the only Gospel station in the market but they finally got the product right, and they are the only one on FM.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,574
2,684
Salem, OR
Now if they could only do something to revive the AM band.
The problem with AM is that it travels too far. My local AM station has to turn their amplifier down so low at night that I can't pick the station up. Turns out they are protecting a station that is over 3,000 miles away.
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
3,659
895
West Central Michigan
You are correct in your statement. Protection rules are, by today's situation very "outdated" although the actual physics of it never changes. What HAS changed is that there's more man made noise than ever, and our signals don't get out like they used-to, PERIOD!

There are arguments being made to modernize the 1930's protection rules, but guess who DOESN'T want to see it modernized? The owners of the BIG sticks, who don't SERVE YOUR town, but want to be the regional high power blowtorch 24/7 just because they'e BIG. Many of them were licensed when there were not as many smaller ones serving towns, but times have changed, and they no longer need to reach (and probably don't SERVE) their fringe areas at all! Smaller local stations are better bets for local communication, emergencies, and being "in touch" with your needs than a station even 100 miles away.

We protect Indianapolis at about 300 miles away by pointing NORTH at night, and Fostoria, OH for the same reason, and we're one of the higher power 1430's at night. (330 WATTS.) Anything below 250 watts is called an "authorization" not a "license." What's the difference? Let's say your "local" is located NORTH of your town and has such low power at night (below 250) that you can't hear it in town. The station CAN, if it wants, move that AUTHORIZATION anywhere it wants...downtown being the perfect choice in such a case. (move their night broadcasting facility into town or a better location for coverage.)

In our case, we still have a LICENSE at 330 watts on 3 directional towers at night, but it's all pointed north. Makes no sense, I agree, as our Main St. Can't hear us most times, but 10 miles away to the north, NE, and NW they can. We CANNOT move our signal because it's a full license. If we downsize from the 330 and file to go non-directional, our power at night will be reduced to 64 watts on one antenna, which, even in the center of town is a hit and miss situation out just a mile or few. For the value of the station, and for service provided, we're better to remain with our current situation, hoping for future changes to allow better night coverage...You can see our horrible in-town coverage by visiting www.radio-locator.com and looking at WION's night pattern.

There's nothing wrong with disadvantaged stations looking at alternatives, Get a translator for one. I will say that FM didn't "save" us. We didn't get our translator until we'd been at this almost 6 years! Our programming and outreach in the daylight hours of being LOCAL ...did keep the dollars coming in, the lights on, the bills paid, and the "buzz" about us all positive. FM translators help, but are unprotected licenses, and the downside is, they're audio "real estate" and becoming quite pricey. Streaming is another GREAT option, if promoted on the air, and if the station actively makes easy-to-use wifi radios available. I've seen it done. It AUGMENTS the terrestrial service and it's modern! Helps AM seem more "accessible" and "modern" to many listeners.

By the way, your local station would likely LOVE to have your support in the form of a letter voicing your desire to hear them better at night.....perhaps even sending a copy to FCC Commissioner Pai explaining you'd LOVE to hear your LOCAL at night. That's what the commission needs to hear more of! Talk to the management of the local station and see if they'd mind you writing this to them, and cc'ing the FCC! Now's the time for these kind of things to help AM have a chance of some rule changes in a positive direction. "AM Revitalization" is a hot-button topic with the FCC of late.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Annie61 and Iceberg

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
why bother? In most areas of the country there is no subchannels on radio (I hate using the word HD radio be cause its not...even the person who started it says it doesnt mean HD)
 
  • Like
Reactions: TNGTony

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,574
2,684
Salem, OR
HD has a better ring to it than D-radio or digital radio.

I agree that it was and remains a significant misrepresentation of what you get.
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
One thing that I have seen in major areas is companies like Clear Channel...oh wait...I Heart Media buy up translator stations and throw their HD subchannels on there. Thats what they did in Minneapolis. They bought a bunch of low powered stations or construction permits from companies like Air 1 and K-Love and say "we'll buy it and in return we'll put your station on a subchannel and maybe on a translator." They get the FCC to move the CP or tower to the highest point in Minneapolis (IDS) building
and they got approval for moving another translator

iHeartMedia has received permission to move a fourth FM translator to the IDS Center, adding to the company's five full-power FM signals in the Twin Cities. The FCC has granted a construction permit for W244CS/96.7 to move to IDS with 170 Watts under the new callsign K244FE and a new community of license of Calhoun Beach, a Minneapolis neighborhood. W244CS is licensed to Hudson, WI, but currently broadcasts from West St. Paul, carrying a nameless `80s Hits format from the HD3 signal of KQQL/107.9. In order to make way for the move of W244CS to IDS, the FCC approved a move of a future Christian low-power FM station in Maple Grove from 96.7 to 99.1.

iHeartMedia also runs "Alt 93.3" (W227BF) and KTLK rebroadcaster K278BP/103.5 from the IDS Center. It's also presumably preparing to launch a new format on K273BH/102.5, which has been running an announcement for several weeks advising listeners to tune to 92.9 to hear the "Air1" Christian Hits format that previously aired on the frequency. K273BH's programming is originating from the HD3 signal of iHeartMedia's KTCZ/97.1. W227BF and K273BH are both owned by the Educational Media Foundation, which originates its two networks for Twin Cities translators on subchannels of iHeartMedia stations.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top