We Need Better Tech Solutions
World’s coverage of the fall Radio Show in the Oct. 24 issue touched on complaints about HD Radio.
might add another: The HD signal sounds like so much pink noise on the analog
dial as to make stations unlistenable.
attempting to listen to WABC(AM) in New York one Friday evening while driving
here in northern Michigan, but the digital signatures of WBBM(AM) and WJR(AM)
were making it nigh to impossible. If it wasn’t one digital signature drifting
in, it was the other or both, mixing on the main analog carrier of WABC and
wiping out the analog audio.
is no solution as long as the band remains analog. Either go 100 percent
digital on a different portion of the dial, or remain analog. Don’t try to do
both. It’s ruining the power that can be dedicated to digital and diminishing
the audio quality of AM modulation on the analog portion, producing very poor
frequency response and coverage area.
World’s coverage also mentioned a call for broadcasters to step up their RDS
ability in order for Detroit automakers to take radio seriously. Really?
lot of stations don’t do RBDS because setting it up is a nightmare. STL
manufacturers share blame for their secret information about how to wire the
serial cables for STLs to make it work. And how about software? As soon as a
developer moves on to a new version of automation software, older software
solutions go ignored — bugs and all.
has an all-inclusive solution for RBDS? You have to piece it together from your
automation provider, STL manufacturer, RBDS box manufacturer, all with sparse
information, because no one knows how the other guy’s box or software will work
with their code, RDS text or any number of hardware or software variables.
were one of the first stations in Northeast Michigan to implement RDS from a
“song title,” “artist” and “commercial name, slogan and phone number info”
perspective. We had to do it with flawed software that couldn’t run campaigns
without commandeering the RDS output entirely, even though the software writers
promised it would. The software stops unexpectedly and needs to be restarted
Satellite program providers, too, either are not
supporting RBDS wholeheartedly or are flat-out refusing to do it altogether. So
how can we have an integrated RBDS product on the air when the only
source for RBDS data is what comes out of our automation system?
Now radio makers are complaining that radio isn’t doing enough?
an integrated approach is brought to bear on processor makers, exciter
manufacturers and even those who manufacture RDS boxes, how can radio
manufacturers and automakers demand anything of the radio market?
in radio are trying to implement this stuff; we really are. But it’s tough to
do it with everything so convoluted. The market needs solutions for the
broadcaster before anyone can accuse us of not “stepping up” to do our part.
what we have to work with, we’re doing a pretty damned good job.
Waltherischief engineer at Carroll
Broadcasting in Tawas City, Mich.