The High Frequency Coordination Conference is expanding its scope.
September’s meeting in Dallas marked the first time the group convened in the United States. The meeting was hosted by the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters and transmitter maker Continental Electronics.
According to a summary of the conference, membership voted to expand the scope of the HFCC.
“There are some compelling reasons for doing this,” stated Chairman Oldrich Cip. “TV and radio organizations for home listeners and their unions are busy discussing the future of distribution of the media content and the use of new — mainly digital — technologies. We would like to become a forum for such debate in international broadcasting.”
In other words: We ain’t just shortwave no more.
“We believe that the debate should help develop a stable and effective system of content delivery and the synergy and cooperation between the old and new technologies.”
Lauren Libby, president of broadcaster Trans World Radio, said: “Digital vs. traditional broadcast platforms are vying for audiences. Medium-wave vs. FM vs. shortwave … the list just gets bigger every day… We live in a world where change and competition for the media consumer is getting fiercer monthly.”
He exhorted the assembled: “Wake up and smell the coffee … It’s time to not do things ‘business as usual.’ Shortwave platforms will remain viable with new awareness campaigns and cross-promotion from the digital platform being employed. Quality content and quality delivery can help keep this multinational content delivery platform viable and appreciated.”
Libby added: “Everything is changing. While we crave stability and a return to the comfort of the past, unfortunately, that will not be the case. Shortwave has a future … if we are willing to once again make it an attractive platform that is easily accessible to the general public that is cross-promoted from other media platforms.”
DRM, too, was a topic at the conference. Ludo Maes, vice chairman of the DRM Consortium, spoke on the future of DRM. World Christian Broadcasting President Charles Caudill outlined a multimillion dollar investment his group is making in shortwave, including in DRM. “We believe that when it becomes possible for inexpensive DRM receivers to be available worldwide, shortwave broadcasts will increase in number, just as the quality of the reception improves,” he said.
Conference attendees had a chance to visit Continental Electronics’ facilities, where they saw powerful DRM transmitters under construction and witnessed a DRM exciter test.
According to the meeting summary, approximately 100 delegates from 32 countries and 40 “frequency management organizations” attended.