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October 16, 2011

Comments

Paul

Radio News:

Digital Radio and the Future of Shortwave
http://www.rwonline.com/article/digital-radio-and-the-future-of-shortwave/24599

Cadillac To Offer HD Radioâ„¢ Technology
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cadillac-to-offer-hd-radio-technology-131803073.html

HD Radio in the 2012 Toyota 4Runner SUV
http://paddocktalk.com/news/html/story-176125.html

Volkswagen First to Launch Visual HD Radio Feature
http://news.discovery.com/autos/volkswagen-hd-radio-111014.html

Terry

Those are fluff advertising pieces for a failed broadcast medium. This is far more interesting reading: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/26240/Anderson_John.pdf?sequence=1

John

Well Terry, during WWII, shortwave was not a 'failed medium,' and when the US and other hostages were jailed in Iran, shortwave was not a 'failed medium' and today, when Zimbabwe won't allow outside broadcasts to be send via domestic channels, the BBC transmits its news via shortwave from Ascension Island. When Russia fell, Gorbachev at his remote dacha heard the news via BBC shortwave, just before he was arrested. And ... I could go on. If you live only an iPod life, I can understand your comment perfectly well.

Bob C

John is right. It's so very short-sighted that large broadcasters are shuttering shortwave service in favor of "local" MW and FM repeaters and the internet.

When Egypt descended into turmoil, what did Mubarak's government do? The pulled the plug on the internet. Which was very easy to do. If the BBC is airing unflattering material about an African government and the people there hear BBC WS on FM - guess what? The FM finds its plug pulled. Even cellphones tend to lose service when a disaster strikes. Systems become overwhelmed and can fail.

This rapid move to all things "digital" is more about preserving bandwidth and making $$$ than it is about quality. Because digital broadcasting isn't better - it's more finicky. Any little bit of interference and your receiver is no more useful than a paperweight.

Yes, SW is quaint by comparison - but it's VERY robust. And it's there when you need it. The same can be said of analogue LW and MW signals. We're making a huge mistake in abandoning these services. For some, the broadcasts that they carry can be the difference between life and death.

Keith Beesley

I think the "failed medium" Terry was referring to is HD Radio (aka IBOC); "failed" because it was introduced by the broadcasting industry, endorsed by the FCC, and has yet to be embraced by the listening public. In other words, he agrees with you, John and Bob C.

Bob C

If IBOC is what Terry was referring to then yes, we're 110% in agreement!!

Mischa

I have orderded the DE321 last week; can't wait to see it arriving. I have bought far too many radio's over the last few years, but this is one of which I have high hopes! I love analog, I love small, but I also love the good that DSP can do... I'll report about my findings when I have received it and had some opportunity to play with it.

Terry

Sorry, and yes, I was referring to the many modes of digital radio (personalpronounPod? What's that?) Despite decade after decade of assertions that "shortwave is dead," it continues not to be, for some reason. Regarding digital radio, this article caught my eye: http://blog.tcomeng.com/index.php/2011/firefighters-still-balk-at-new-digital-radios/ Reminds me of the enforced switchover to digital broadcast TV, the result of which was that those of my relations who relied on TV over the air wound up losing 75% of their stations (zero decode unless the digital signal is a LOT stronger than analog.) Thanks, FCC (and those in Corporate America who dictate your policies.) If it ain't broke...

Bob C

You are absolutely right about the forced digital switchover for broadcast TV! The only reason that there wasn't a full-blown revolt over it was that most people have some form of cable/satellite and those who don't were placated with those "free" converter boxes. Even still, TV is a lot less accessible than it used to be. Remember when people had convenient little handheld TVs? Or little portable TVs that moved from the workbench to the kitchen? Now they need cable. Or a very large rooftop antenna. If a storm knocks out your power and cable, you have no TV. Yet, if that happened in 1994, you'd likely have had a battery powered TV that you could watch. So we have gone backwards.

That reception sucks is another issue that those who push digital tend to ignore (on purpose). Yeah, it's great when you get the signal - but the slightest glitch and it's gone. Just imagine how it would be for radio, where there's industry of programming providers around to convert the signals for 85%-90% of the public. It would be a nightmare.

Let's hope this never happens to radio - it's had a lot of negative effects as far as TV goes.

Terry

I turned on the old black and white TV in my attic (with just its rabbit ears - no convertor) and was surprised to find one analog station on the air. Apparently there are some low powered ones left.

S Patrick

Disagree with the statement, "Tv is less accessible today"..

No it's not, there are more over the air TV stations then ever and many of them now broadcast 3 or 4 channels at once. Our NBC (and the others) affiliate for example broadcast NBC.. then weather, then Me TV, and some other network. Our local PBS station also airs 4 channels.. then throw in we can pick up both Georgia and South Carolina PBS stations...

The stations switching to digital has allowed them to broadcast many more channels.

Terry

That's true, though gaining a weather map is a poor substitute for losing an entire network. I live in a large city and have trouble decoding the local networks over the air (a non-issue, since I watch 0.0 hours of TV per year;) if I lived in the country I could receive zero TV stations. Nowhere does broadcast digital meet the FCC's charter of "public interest, convenience and necessity." You know you're boldly thrusting into the 21st century when the government suggests you mount an antenna on your roof (the same one you removed thirty years ago.)

Bob C

Yes, S Patrick, there are more channels - if you can get them. But good luck setting up a little portable TV in the kitchen to watch a show while you cook. Or bringing a little Sony Watchman with you to quietly check in on a game when your wife drags you shopping. Those conveniences (which had become rather inexpensive) are relics of the past now.

Digital TV is far less friendly and far less mobile than analog was. And where are the portable digital TVs? Well, I've seen a few examples - but they're somewhat expensive and have been plagued by reception issues.

Just imagine how horrible digital radio would be!

Walter L.

On the subject of the DE 312, I decided to order one. I bought one of these little guys a year or so ago, and I was impressed by its sensitivity on the AM band and its overall performance on the other bands. The newer version features DSP and its appearance seems to have been "freshened up" as compared to the older model. It will be interesting to see how they compare, but if the newer model performs as well as its older brother, it is a steal at a little over twenty bucks!

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