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Thursday, 13 November 2008



I'm one of those "deaf consumers" who bought one of these radios. I couldn't return it because I bought it on eBay - USED! Yes, I am soured on the idea of HD radio - but my SONY table radio is still a great little AM/FM ANALOG radio. HD Radio reception is nonexistent after I spent hours fiddling with the NPR labs recommended FM Reflect indoor dipole antenna. More power is welcome, but not at the expense of more FM hiss. HD Radio is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It's sink or swim, and it's been sinking for years. Oh yes, lots of old folks listen to the radio. My aunt bought a Tivoli Audio Model One AM/FM radio because it is simple to operate. One large tuning knob and two smaller volume and band selector knobs. I have yet to see an HD radio with simple controls like that. LCD menus? Forget it.

Warren Shulz  Chief Engineer WLS-AM / WLS-FM Radio Chicago

By iBiquity's own admission 1% power was choosen to minimize interfence to analog recivers and adjacent channels. With less that 1% IBOC receivers in place at this time it not should be no 10% power increase but HELL NO to 10% IBOC power. IBOC is bad science and increasing the power level won't change that. We need to preserver analog FM broadcast. In Chicago listening to the FM dial with an analog tune the hiss of iBOC saturates the dial. Because the hiss appears as interstation noise it goes unnoticed at 1%; going to 10% will be intolerable. Stop the insanity and say HELL NO. The NPR report should be heeded as netural party to preserve FM analgo service until such time the IBOC receivers reach 80% penetration. iBiquity has ran more promotional announcements than GIECO. The public has voted 'no thanks" to IBOC radio.


"Upping HD Radio signal strengths"

"The short math given what we know today is that it will cost roughly double on the transmission end to increase HD Radio FM power tenfold. There are likely to be additional costs for cooling and air handling as well, in order to dissipate the excess energy required to get out another 10 dB in HD Radio signal. And, for some higher powered stations, existing HD Radio configurations may not be able to handle the power load, which could add to the cost and complexity of increasing HD Radio beyond its current power level... Also worth considering is existing transmitter combiner technology and whether or not it can support the added demands of increasing HD Radio broadcasts another 10 dB. If not, then it’s very likely that stations at the higher power levels will need to factor in a new antenna system that can support HD Radio, rather than piggyback onto their existing FM antenna system. At the higher powers, especially, an immediate 10 dB increase in HD Radio signal may be cost prohibitive... This will typically mean the addition of another similarly rated transmitter (using a combining technique) or the purchase of a new transmitter of roughly twice today’s power level."


Do you really think that most station chains are going to be able to afford this upgrade, with the state of the economy, and many of their stocks in the penny-stock range? Doubtful. Besides, first-impressions are everything with consumers, as those few consumers that purchased these "deaf" radios, that did not deliver on programming either, ended up returning them. The FCC just authorized the white-space TV channels for Internet-related mobile devices - HD Radio is antiquated right out of the box.

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