One U.S. AM station is operating in all-digital, under experimental authority. What can it tell us about reception, listener reactions, the impact on advertising, as well as how to prepare an AM antenna and transmitter system?
We also contacted broadcast engineers, manufacturers and FCC staff to ask: Why explore all-digital? What benefits might it bring? What technical issues would be raised, what regulatory steps? What do observers now say is the chance of it happening?
Among those quoted are engineers and other experts with Beasley, Townsquare, the FCC, Cavell Mertz & Associates, Hubbard, Xperi, C. Crane, duTreil, Lundin & Rackley, Kintronic Labs and Nautel. While the discussion focuses largely on developments in the United States, we also note the use of Digital Radio Mondiale, a system intended for all broadcast frequencies up to 300 MHz including longwave, medium-wave (as in the United States) and shortwave. And broadcaster Ben Downs lays out his arguments for why the FCC should allow all-digital AM now.