FCC Proposes Authorizing Voluntary All-Digital AM Broadcasting!

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by NA5B, Nov 25, 2019.

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  1. NA5B

    NA5B Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's not surprising. Stations need listeners to get ad revenue. In order to get listeners they must broadcast in a format that people can receive. There aren't many digital receivers around these days.

    There's a chicken and egg problem. Listeners won't invest in receivers until there's something to listen to. Broadcasters won't invest in transmitters until there are listeners ready to listen.

    If digital will ever take off, I suspect it will start with a few stations simulcasting analog and digital, so they don't need to use the digital ad revenue to cover the entire programming cost. Also, when simulcasting, they can advertise the advantages of their digital signal on their analog transmissions.

    An all-digital station would have zero listeners for a while. Sounds like a money loser, with no guarantee of eventual profitability.
    N6HCM, WA3VJB, W7UUU and 1 other person like this.
  5. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    Too bad the FCC is limiting it to the HD format thus excluding trials with DRM.
    AC0OB, WA3VJB and KK4HPY like this.
  6. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is why IBO
    That is why even IBOC bit the dust. They thought it might be a "soft entry" into digital AM, but nobody bit.
    WA3VJB likes this.
  7. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Being an old broadcaster, I would say that's just about a joke for most AM markets!!!!
    But I still remember AM stereo!!!! That really took off LOL
    WA3VJB likes this.
  8. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You need to recall that FM broadcast was a turkey for a long time because the sets weren't out there, many radios for sale did not include the FM band, FM sets were expensive, the programming was unpopular and people didn't know much about how to receive the signal. UHF television had the same problem. You had to get a set top converter for it. Eventually FCC required new TV sets cover UHF (remember when it was tuned in with a variable cap instead of a channel switch?) and I think new car radios had to eventually include FM. Car radios are the key but stations must be able to compete (live sports and local news!) with new options available such as Sirius XM and podcasts.

    Some station owners with FM translators may do the switch because they essentially have no medium wave listeners anyway and have nothing to lose.

    AM broadcast isn't dead if you have the content to hold an audience. That's why in my market, three of the top ten stations are AMs. But, good content costs money and is a lot of hard work. Many stations will probably not make it but that's okay as the band needs to thin out in my opinion.

    What will drive AM digital more than anything is new car radios. Right now, especially with hybrids and electrics, AM is a goner due to car generated RFI. An eventual FCC mandate to include AM digital in new car radios may provide a needed turn around. Most listening by average people is done in cars.
    KK4HPY likes this.
  9. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't think I've listened to AM broadcast for forty years since FM Stereo provided a better listening experience.
  10. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you want to revitalize AM, increase transmitted Analog bandwidth to 30 kHz, Increase power to overcome the increased noise floor, thin the herd by getting rid of deadbeat stations with 24/7 Satellite feeds, and define a hard and fast receiver bandwidth standard.

    It will go the way as did C-QUAM. C-QUAM was a good standard with a good future but alas, the FCC screwed the pooch by NOT specifying a definitive receiver standard or a stereo standard early on for stereo broadcasting.

    BTW, it appears the Digital MA3 standard will use 64-Quadrature Amplitude Modulation.

    This means the QAM is generated at a low level and amplified by Linear Amplifiers.

    ...As linear amplifiers are less efficient than those that can be run in saturation, it means that techniques like Doherty amplifers and envelope tracking may be needed. ( https://www.electronics-notes.com/a...ypes-8qam-16qam-32qam-64qam-128qam-256qam.php )

    I just cannot see those local mom'npop community radio stations being able to afford an expensive 64-QAM exciter and a humongous linear amplifier.

    Another solution looking for a problem.:oops:


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