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2/2/2009 12:50 PM
 

 Yea or nay?

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2/6/2009 7:15 PM
 
Nay. I have followed the HD coverage issue for some time now. I decided to do some controlled experiments about HD coverage. I have some friends who live at mile marker 55 on US 75 north of the Dallas Ft. Worth area. This puts them about 70 miles from the DFW towers. I put a dipole outdoors at one meter off the ground, and used a Sangean HDT-1X as the receiver. All DFW area FM stations locked in full HD with no problems. In fact, I was behind a small hill. Another listener reports semi-dependable HD reception 84 miles from the Houston HD stations. So full HD coverage ends somewhere between 70 and 84 miles out from the towers of DFW and Houston, which are fairly similar situations. Both listening locations are also rural, so all suburbs of both metro areas are covered well. In fact, I start losing stereo coverage for both metro areas about the same place that HD begins to drop out. So analog and HD coverage areas are similar - no power increase needed. I suspect those having problems with HD are also having problems with analog stereo because of shorter sticks and / or rough terrain. It certainly doesn't justify a mere 10 dB power increase, as reception in fringe area is characterized by signal variations of several decades in power, not one decade. Given the lock time of HD receivers, a mere 10 dB increase will be insignificant in a car near the fringes. I also put a very good RF spectrum analyzer on a cart by the window at my job. I set it to see the full HD spectrum of a local station, and set a reference level by the window. Next, I moved the cart away from the window. I saw a 10 dB drop every 6 to 8 feet, which means that a 10 dB power increase for HD stations would net maybe one more row of cubicles in office buildings. Not a significant increase in audience. I have noted reception reports from listeners as close as 10 miles from the massive DFW towers, who are on the approach path for DFW airport. They cannot get reliable HD lock because of reflection from airplanes. Given that these variations are also several decades in power, a 10 dB power increase would do little if anything to help their situation either.
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2/9/2009 5:23 PM
 
I say Nay. Yes, it works. Multicasting was essentially tacked on. Subjective quality improvement is not noticeable once bits are diverted to multicasting. To come back and request 10dB more power is to suggest the system is seriously flawed (imagine any other RF user suggesting same). So, why not re-use the IP, abandon the 'hybrid' operation, and request new spectrum for a pure digital service? Because it would 'unfairly' level the playing ground? Please consider the iPhone 3G as the HD radio killer. My suspicion is that the future of audio broadcasting will be streams delivered without a high-power transmitter involved. Global coverage, less power consumption, and real-time usage statistics. Harold
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4/11/2009 9:09 PM
 
Yea, but also LPFM's for AM's under 1kw
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5/27/2009 7:16 AM
 
Nay, and while we're at it, let's get rid of that noisy whooshy garbage from the AM band completely.
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