October 27, 2020 at 3:14 pm #48529mwdxer1Participant
I read on another site stations can now apply for full time HD, dropping analog. It will be interesting to see how many are willing to do it. It looks like the FCC has ok’d it. It took nearing 30 years for this to become a reality.October 27, 2020 at 5:54 pm #48531lastdayParticipant
AM only, or both AM and FM? I can see it for AM.October 27, 2020 at 9:08 pm #48532Shirley KnottParticipant
Full digital is for AM only. It might help a few operators who have a second analog signal of some kind. Say, an FM translator or even a second AM station, thanks to the recent AM simulcast rule change.
It’s going to be a slow change, but there are probably a handful of operators who want to experiment a bit and have little to lose.
I’d be surprised to see anybody switch over to full digital AM without having a second station to pick up the analog listeners though. But who knows?October 27, 2020 at 9:59 pm #48533mwdxer1Participant
I guess there are a couple back East that are going the Full Time HD on AM, but neither station had any audience to begin with….October 28, 2020 at 12:30 am #48536semoochieParticipant
If you have moved your entire AM audience to an FM translator, it gives you the ability to eventually increase your coverage area by means of the digital AM. There are any number of HD receivers and all that receive AM can decode the full digital signal. Moving this further down the road, once big AMs can no longer compete with their analog signals, they too could switch to digital and there would already be other stations on the dial. 30 years ago, this would have sounded like a great idea! With today’s smartphones and smart speakers, not to mention what the future may bring, it might work or become the proverbial “lipstick on a pig”!October 28, 2020 at 2:13 am #48539Shirley KnottParticipant
it might work or become the proverbial “lipstick on a pig”!
True to the HD radio tradition, this will probably be another question of which comes first, the egg or the dinosaur?October 28, 2020 at 9:01 am #48541nosignalallnoiseParticipant
Shango066 gives a clarification:
Complete non-starter in any case. The bus left the depot long, long ago. Full-digital mediumwave is kind of “too little too late” since there are even fewer digital broadcast receivers for sale (never mind in the wild) now than there were 15 years ago in the technology’s prime. The market for it just doesn’t exist. As a supplement to FM in the vein of digital SCA, it sort of makes sense. Considering the steady decline mediumwave radio is on already and its ever dwindling audience, a station would be beyond stupid to actually implement this and risk completely alienating the tiny handful of listeners it might still have.
It might happen someday if it ever happens, but probably not within any of our lifetimes.October 28, 2020 at 10:16 am #48542Alfredo_TParticipant
A few weeks ago, I did a brief online search to find out what kind of bit rates and listener features would be available from FM band HD-only operation. I could not find anything in that regard. This tells me that no testing for an all-digital mode on that band has yet been performed, otherwise I would expect that iBiquity’s marketing department would be very busy touting the future of all-digital “FM.” Thus, we are stuck with AM band-only all digital, as shango066 points out, with all of its skywave interference problems.October 28, 2020 at 11:44 am #48543semoochieParticipant
There is no scenario where an all digital HD solution is even remotely as good as what FM currently has! FM has no problems that could be solved that way. The only long-term problem FM has, if you can call it that, is that its programing will probably eventually end up as a stream or some other yet undreamed of technology. AM, on the other hand, is very close to being down to one format, non-Spanish foreign language and that option doesn’t even exist in most markets!
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