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Re: Digital Radio? [Re: WESTUPLACE] #192490 02/15/10 11:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,250
djk Offline
Originally Posted by WESTUPLACE
With very few exceptions, all digital broadcasting is done on commercial (non government)stations here in the states. It is done voluntarily by the stations. There is no current requirement that they have any digital broadcast. Many of the newer receivers are able to pick up the digital broadcast, but there is no requirement that all receivers be equipped with digital receivers. I have a digital receiver and sound is great (CD quality) but reception is not as wide spread as the analog signal. The receiver will automatically switch to analog at the loss of the digital signal. On a side note, at one of the transmitter sites here, 7 FM stations share 1 antenna for there analog broadcast. A very large combiner connects all 7 transmitters to the single antenna.

In Ireland we have 2 public service broadcast FM stations : RTE Radio 1 and RnaG (in Gaelic only). RTE also operates 2fm (music driven station), and LyricFm (Classical/arts) on a purely commercial basis. On DAB they've been playing around with a few digital channels non-commercially.

We then have Today fm and Newstalk which are national FM commercial operators.

Then there are a whole range of regional stations.

Then, the section with the largest audience share, the local commercial stations which typically target one city or county. Larger population centres have quite a few of these, where as in rural areas there might just be one local station.

Finally, there's a whole layer of community stations which are operated by community groups, universities, hospitals etc. These are often manned mostly by volunteers and typically have a low powered FM transmitter covering a fairly small area.

You also get small stations going on air for special events etc.

The radio sector here is very heavily dominated by commercial radio in much the same way as the US.

Commercial AM licenses have been available for decades, but no stations seem very interested in them anymore.

With regards to site sharing, again it would just come down to practicalities and what stations agree upon. ComReg, our equivalent of the FCC encourages broadcasters and telecommunications companies to share masts (towers) where possible to minimise visual impact and make it easier to monitor RF emissions.

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Re: Digital Radio? [Re: Trumpy] #192596 02/19/10 01:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 223
aussie240 Offline
Originally Posted by Trumpy

Someone mentioned AM Stereo above, I do know that Australia introduced this in 1985, using the Motorola C-QUAM system, however I'm not sure that it really took off that well, maybe Aussie240 can enlighten us?

I'm not even sure how AM Stereo would sound, given that all of the AM signals I've ever heard on the broadcast band have been mono-aural and it lacks any top-end, regardless of any signal conditioning you do to it (as in treble and midrange cut/boost).

AM stereo was indeed introduced in 1985 using the C-QUAM system. I built up a stereo receiver late 1985 using the Motorola IC and a valve front end. The sound quality was excellent, with much better channel separation than FM. By using a low selectivity front end you get the full transmitted bandwidth, which in Australia is usually not limited unlike in Europe.
It bothers me greatly that AM broadcasting has such a stigma when the transmitted signal can be very good if the station does the right thing. The problem is all these appalling solid state receivers with 3KHz bandwidth. Listen through a proper receiver and you won't need FM.
As to the eventual outcome of AM stereo here, it died away in the late 1990's. While there was a lot of promotion at the start, available receivers were few, although some car radios did have it. For talk stations, stereo is a wasted effort and there's no need for it. Given that Sydney had only four music stations on AM at the time there probably wasn't much incentive to buy a stereo receiver.
1053 2CA in Canberra is the only AM stereo station left that I'm aware of. Fortunately I can receive it at night and it plays decent music.

Re: Digital Radio? [Re: aussie240] #192599 02/19/10 03:17 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,485
gfretwell Offline
My 89 Chevy had an AM stereo radio in it but there were not many stereo stations. Most of our AM band was either talk radio or latino.

Greg Fretwell
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