[AMRadio] future of AM radio


SBJohnston at aol.com SBJohnston at aol.com
Sat Oct 20 21:59:58 EDT 2007


I *love* AM, both professionally and amateur-ly, but I've come to see that 
the future of the standard broadcasting band is digital.  In my dream world the 
AM band would carry on the same forever, but that is not a viable way to go as 
listeners leave in droves year after year.

"In-Band, On-Channel", IBOC, better known as "HD Radio" - the present hybrid 
analog and digital system for both AM and FM stations - is a good way to make 
that change without making all the existing radios obsolete.    It's not 
perfect, but it is a decent compromise.

The small number of nightime adjacent channel interference issues can be 
addressed by adjustment of one set of digital carriers or the other, just as we 
have used antenna patterns to protect distant stations.  The very few folks who 
listen to distant stations via skywave (and I am one of them) and will no 
doubt have more interference to contend with.  

I am literally on both sides of this issue.  I have been a broadcast-band 
DXer, and broadcast engineer,  nearly all my life.  And now I listen to HD 
service on AM and FM stations every day, and interact with many listeners as they 
get new radios and try them out.  The overwhelming consensus, especially for AM, 
is very positive.

And I am very pleased that it allows regular AM to continue even as we add 
digital service.

Steve WD8DAS



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