FCC Proposes Authorizing Voluntary All-Digital AM Broadcasting!

Discussion in 'General Announcements' started by NA5B, Nov 25, 2019.

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  1. NA5B

    NA5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    K04ESA likes this.
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like this would obsolete all the AM receivers, and I'm not sure if consumers are going to go for new ones.

    This might kill AM broadcasting.
    K04ESA and AE5SB like this.
  3. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Gee, they will be able to play music formats!! Imagine that.... What a CF.
    K04ESA likes this.
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I really think it's inevitable.

    Sad but true - "AM analog Broadcast" will likely be a thing of the past in most of the developed world within a few decades if not much sooner...

    AM Radio is still on the rise only on the African continent but not much else in the world.

    K04ESA likes this.
  5. WB9YZU

    WB9YZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    The last "Digital AM" broadcasting craze was also voluntary, and it fizzled out after a little bit.
    Few consumers wanted to spend money on a receiver to receive Talk Radio.
    Those that were interested in Fidelity stayed on FM, and the only people that invested in the new receivers were those who had to have the latest tech.

    I can't see this changing anything anytime soon.
    K04ESA likes this.
  6. VK2WP

    VK2WP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In this country some years ago there was a move to AM stereo if I remember correctly. Disappeared after a couple of years and very few radios were available in any case.

    Much of AM broadcasting is talk back radio or local regional stations and can't see people rushing out to buy new radios just to listen to the same thing.

    Somehow suspect AM analog will be around for time to come in larger countries where coverage over a wide area is needed.
    K04ESA likes this.
  7. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have HD radio in 2 of my vehicles. Don't use it much, usually just to listen to the local AM news stations with better sound quality.
    As with digital TV, a stronger/cleaner signal is needed vs. analog to maintain usable reception so when listening to an AM HD station it will frequently drop out of digital and back to analog. If the signal was digital only it would go away completely. This happens in the city where the signals are generally strong, although there is interference and multipath in some places which may be a factor.
    K04ESA, WQ4G and KX4O like this.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    While driving around my region analog AM reception sucks compared to FM, unless I’m in the city where the station is. Even clear channel 50 kW KOA now has simulcast on FM which is much better. In the house it’s worse because because of the low frequency RFI these days.

    I wouldn’t buy a receiver, even if AM reception was vastly improved with digital. I can’t stand talk radio, and that’s essentially all there is on AM other than a very rare sports that isn’t carried on TV here. I think it’s far too late to save AM BC. (Maybe FM benefits “unfairly” from height with antennas on the mountains here, like our ham repeaters, compared to flatlands, but hey that’s reality for me).
    K04ESA likes this.
  9. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rarely listen to FM radio. Have about 900 songs on I-pods in all vehicles for music. Do listen to AM radio most days for the programming that interests me. Also, most radio programming is available via computer.
    K04ESA likes this.
  10. KX4O

    KX4O Ham Member QRZ Page

    This ^^^^

    In the Washington DC area there is an AM station, WWFD AM 820, that is giving all digital a go on some sort of experimental basis. Its spectrum is a nice simple block centered on 820 kHz. On the plus side, its signal is entirely within the traditional AM broadcast band allocated bandwidth unlike stations with digital added that interferes with stations above and/or below the primary frequency. My two newer cars decode this just fine, but the range is atrocious compared to the myriad other DC stations with ground-wave coverage easily 40 miles or more daytime. Some stations easily have daytime range of 100+ miles. When I am in range of WWFD (something like 10-15 miles or so) the HD delivers consistent audio, but with that classic digital compressed "sound" that anyone growing up in the analog fidelity days probably finds not a step forward for mankind.

    I often travel up the east coast and listen to a few powerhouse AM stations in NYC area enroute. One or two of these are the dual-mode stations that interfere with stations above and below the station's center frequency. During digital mode, it certainly is more quiet, but just not enough to matter really. Sometimes I turn off the HD mode in my radio to avoid the back and forth when on the fringe. This applies to the HD FM mode as well.

    Then there was the world series where I listened to the Nationals games twice from DC's AM 1500 station while enroute to and in Maine. Just analog and perfectly readable. Interestingly I cannot hear this station just 40 miles away when home in Virginia.

    AM digital is very interesting and I can see the allure, but so far I just can't see the point. I even listen to music on the local AM 1420 station in my hometown that actually has an analog bandwidth wider than the modern +/- 5 kHz limit... +/- 8 kHz or so although the energy past 5 kHz is greatly reduced per the FCC's allowances. Regardless, when I use my SDR with wider bandwidth, the audio is actually pretty darn good... daytime only of course. I wish car radios would allow the option for increased bandwidth for AM like the older receivers of yore could provide.

    It seems to me paper pushing "communications professionals" have a thing for the word "digital" without really understanding what it replaces. Color me surprised.
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