Re James V. Heck’s letter, “Why Not Put DRM to Use?” in the Reader’s Forum of the Feb. 1 issue:
It seems to me that converting to DRM might very well be the death knell for the AM band. Remember the confusion that happened when the change was made from analog to digital television? Consider that the same thing would likely happen if DRM were implemented on the AM band, but this time there could be a massive lack of interest by the general public.
The change from ATV to DTV was possible because most people want to watch TV, but radio listening — especially AM radio — is just not a top priority to them. Making obsolete virtually every AM radio ever made is not necessarily a good idea. Many, if not most, people simply will not take the time or spend the money to replace their radio receivers just to hear what is being broadcast on the AM band in most markets today.
I suggest that perhaps converting the AM transmission system to single-sideband with carrier would be a much better choice. Doing so would allow instantly doubling the audio bandwidth of AM stations, and would still be receivable on all existing AM radios.
Ralph M Hartwell
Retired AM/FM/TV Operating Engineer