The Future (or lack there of) for AM Radio forums forums Portland Radio The Future (or lack there of) for AM Radio

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    Really? I’ve purchased four vehicles since the advent of IBOC and only the most recent has “HD Radio” capability.


    HD Radio Penetration Nears 50% in New Car Sales

    Here’s the latest data on HD Radio-compatible vehicle sales for last year

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Now that we’ve made it almost two months into 2018, we have data to share about HD Radio sales across the US for 2017.

    A couple of salient facts for you to consider:

    All 40 major automobile brands offer HD radio in at least one model

    Nearly 250 different car models come with HD radio

    More than 50% of those car models sell for under $35K, and 75% cost less than $50K

    While the growth in HD radio penetration seemed to level off a bit in 2014 and 2015, it has grown as of late, now reaching an impressive 48.9%.


    Since 2010, I have bought two Honda vehicles, neither of which had HD radio. However, at this point, the only benefit of being able to receive HD radio on mediumwave would be if I wanted to listen to KKPZ. We had a number of other stations on the AM band broadcasting HD radio in the past, but all of those have suspended operations.

    My primary gripe is that the AM sections in the Honda vehicles appear to be deliberately engineered with an audio bandwidth that is just enough to make human speech easily intelligible. This makes for a good DX radio, but the overall listening experience is one that is quite different from the AMAX radios of the 1990s.

    Unlike the typical user, I haven’t used the USB mass storage feature on my car radio very much. However, I’ve recently come to realize that if a user of the radio–particularly a non-technical one–were asked which mode has the best sound, the ranking would invariably be as follows: USB/Bluetooth (tie), FM, AM.


    Those Newington Yankees couldn’t even get legislation through a supposedly receptive Congress to deal with HOA restrictions on even modest antenna systems, and you think they will be able to get their way at today’s FCC? I would expect most amateurs to welcome implementation of an open digital standard for broadcast. A modern specification with proper spurious signal suppression will leave 6m far more usable than it was when analog TV was polluting the neighborhood.

    From Wiki (so take it for what little it’s worth):

    DRM has been designed to be able to re-use portions of existing analogue transmitter facilities such as antennas, feeders, and, especially for DRM30, the transmitters themselves, avoiding major new investment.

    That is exactly the biggest reason why DRM will not see the light of day here. No incentive to spend money on all new infrastructure like good patriotic Amerikkkan consumers. Ibiquity/DTS succeeded in getting approval because it required investment on new infrastructure. Hands in pockets gets results with the gummit. It’s sad but true. Allah bless America.

    Even in the extremely marginal likelihood that hammies do bring themselves to live with it, it still has that huge-ass hurdle to overcome. I would love to see at least one worldwide open standard hit the American broadcast airwaves in my lifetime (sorry, DVB-S doesn’t count) but the FCC and big industry have had their heads up each other’s pussies for far too long that I don’t remain hopeful. Prove me wrong.

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