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A Vote for DRM, Not FM

Feb. 18 we will find out how right or wrong I am.

I chose to stay put on Channel 5. Why? Lower multipath, better propagation around mountains and trees, less Doppler effect, less cost for transmission (as VHF needs less ERP, all other things being equal), and the reality that it would be impossible to replicate analog 100 kW coverage in UHF with one transmitter without unlimited ERP and a nuclear power plant to power the thing.

Feb. 18 we will find out how right or wrong I am.

If I were dictator, I would allow sound broadcasting in all low V TV Channels 2–6 using Digital Radio Mondiale, not FM.

DRM is COFDM, which allows much better coverage if you use a multiple-transmitter single-frequency network. If the standard called for 100 kHz channel width and, let’s say, 20 kHz guard bands, the number of sound broadcast stations possible would explode, 60 per TV channel. And at, let’s say, 3 bits per Hertz, each station would get 300 kilobits per second to play with allowing for far more services than IBOC. FM is antique.

And, by the way, you should hear the sound quality I can get on the DTV using 320 kbps Dolby. Which raises another question: Why am I the only one broadcasting sound-only channels on DTV?

Finally, DTV and other services can coexist in low V if properly allocated. We won’t know for sure how good low band VHF is for 8VSB television broadcasting until some maximum power (45 kW DTV average ERP) signals get on the air.

Jeremy Lansman
KYES(TV) Channel 5
Anchorage, Alaska