January 31, 2017 at 10:38 pm #26831
I just found out that today, Radio Australia ended all of its shortwave operations. My understanding is that they intend to shift their focus to domestic broadcasting on FM. Yet another shortwave broadcaster has vanished into the ether.January 31, 2017 at 11:35 pm #26832
Ouch! I guess we still have Radio New Zealand International on sw from the region.February 1, 2017 at 1:23 am #26835
The cost of running these high power SW stations these days is very expensive. So many services now stream at a fraction of the cost of running 250-500 KW transmitters. I listen to a lot of streaming from Australian AM stations like 2GB Sydney and 4BC Brisbane that I used to get often direct here on the coast, the streaming without static and no fading. They sound like I am listening locally.February 1, 2017 at 11:41 am #26845
When I was a teenager, what fascinated me the most about the major shortwave broadcasters was that despite their immense operational costs (maintenance and operation of the transmitter sites plus having to produce programming in multiple languages), they ran their operations without broadcasting advertisements or doing any kind of on-air fundraising. That was in the late 1980s.
In the early 1990s, I recall that due to high demands, some stations were being allocated frequencies slightly outside the official bands. For instance, WWCR was on 7.415, which was a little bit removed from the other 41 meter band stations. At that time, I heard a program on a religious station that suggested that shortwave broadcasting might one day be obsolete. I thought that these people were all wet, but their replacement of shortwave with satellite-fed local “station planting” has been happening worldwide (in this country, many of these stations are licensed as translators). However, even they could not foresee that the Internet would eventually become their international medium of choice.
I wonder what the shortwave bands will be like in 2020 or 2025. At least to me, the fun of listening to shortwave or mediumwave, for that matter, was spinning the dial to see what I might find. In the past, I would have never turned on the radio expecting to hear Radio Australia or any other specific radio station. Instead, I would have hopped around the dial until I heard something that sounded interesting.
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