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Friday, March 31, 2006



One of the RIAA's proposals for safeguarding content on HD Radio is encryption at the source, which means that the digital segment of radio transmissions would be scrambled and unable to be heard without special equipment. As you might imagine, the National Association of Broadcasters is not thrilled about the idea. Many of their members have already installed expensive equipment in preparation for the switch to digital broadcasting, and the first HD Radio sets are already on the market. Forcing broadcasters to encrypt their transmission at the source would render all of this equipment obsolete.
Here is the link:



Expect some service interruptions.
We had little trouble tuning in many New York-area HD Radio stations. With some, however, we could receive the analog signal but not the digital one. When the digital signal for the main (HD1) service wasn’t strong enough, the radio efficiently switched to the analog broadcast. Listening wasn’t interrupted, but of course the sound quality reverted back to that of analog radio. When the digital signals faltered for an HD2 subchannel, however, programming simply stopped, resulting in an on/off pattern of interruptions.
Here is the link:

Monday, March 27, 2006



Bought the Receptor HD - only thing thats pissing me off is the radio really is deaf without a good antenna (and then still it only goes HD on a few stations - WMGK and WAWZ are the ONLY ones I can get in HD - WSNI and WJJZ just flash "HD)" and never go in to HD mode. WOR (AM-HD) I couldn't get either.
But I will say that it does sound fantastic on WMGK and WAWZ - much better than XM. And even in analog mode, the system does sound pretty good. But if I can't get HD stations without using a J-pole antenna, I think that this radio will be a flop...
''there's a hiss, a hiss that did not exist in the past.''
A growing number of radio listeners are encountering similar interference -- hisses, whistles or static -- on their favorite AM stations. The problem for WTRI began about a year ago, when Bonneville International Corp.'s WTOP, the AM station at 1500, began using a digital signal that interfered with WTRI's analog signal in some broadcast areas.
Here is the link:



Rebuilding Gulf Coast cities that are below sea level, may be a wasteful, hopeless, endeavor.
By one recent measure, several Greenland ice sheets have doubled their rate of slide, and just last week the journal Science published a study suggesting that by the end of the century, the world could be locked in to an eventual rise in sea levels of as much as 20 ft. Nature, it seems, has finally got a bellyful of us.
Here is "the rest of the story":

Saturday, March 25, 2006



The most elegant encoding algorithm in the world cannot produce "near-CD quality" sound with such limited bandwidth (considering uncompressed CD audio has a bitrate in excess of 1,400 kbps, HD Radio signals convey less than 10% of the original program audio data).
An HD Radio signal is essentially a hybrid analog/digital signal. Its configuration keeps the analog portion of the signal nearest the center frequency and puts the digital data on "sidebands," which are broadcast at 1/100th the power of the analog signal. Thus listeners should expect the coverage area of multicast channels (especially new secondary channels) to be somewhat limited.
Digital Multicasting Rollout Begins [link to this story]




The concentration of radio ownership has ushered in a new age of payola.
Huge recording labels pay off radio conglomerates to play their most bankable performers. Commercial "talent" is pushed to the top of playlists nationwide, shoving local artists off the airwaves. When labels pay big radio to play their most mainstream acts, independent music suffers and radio choice turns into a mind-numbing race to the bottom.
The FCC and New York Attorney General’s office are now investigating reported payola deals at large recording labels. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has also subpoenaed the records of nine of the nation's biggest radio station chains and filed a suit against one -- Entercom.
An ‘Arsenal of Smoking Guns’
Sony BMG and Warner Music Group have already agreed to pay more than $15 million for payola abuses after Attorney General Spitzer found they had funneled millions in money and prizes to radio broadcasters. FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told reporters that Spitzer gave the agency “an arsenal of smoking guns” to ramp up enforcement against payola broadcasters. Several days later, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin pledged to do just that.
2005 investigations by the New York Attorney General office have implicated nearly 190 stations in illicit deals with recording giants Sony BMG and Warner Music Group. Most of the stations involved were owned by the biggest corporate radio conglomerates.
Investigations are still underway involving deals between Big Radio and other major labels. Click on the PAYOLA MAP (LINK BELOW) to find a station that is being investigated near you. Call the switchboard and tell the station manager that you are concerned about possible payola violations and will be monitoring their broadcasts to ensure that they follow the law and fulfill their obligation to serve the public.
The Future of Music Coalition (FMC) has announced its support for the recently revealed FCC investigations into payola allegations via a letter to the Commission. The FMC urges that the investigations be completed before any further rulemakings would be put into place that could allow further radio deregulation, or the granting of additional resources to commercial radio broadcasters during the transition to HD radio. "The payola laws are clear," said FMC executive director Jenny Toomey. "Stations that engage in this practice are putting their licenses at risk. What is unclear for musicians and citizens, however, is whether the laws will be enforced. We hope that the FCC will take the evidence gathered in numerous proceedings and by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to fully investigate these practices and hold bad actors accountable." Furthermore, the FMC also stressed to the FCC that payola cannot be examined outside the context of the drastic consolidation in the radio industry under the 1996 Telecommunications Act. "We're at a critical point in the regulatory landscape," said FMC policy director Michael Bracy. "Congress is working on a revision to the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The FCC is about to re-start media ownership proceedings. Terrestrial radio stations just launched dozens HD radio stations in key markets. We need to make sure that the public airwaves are managed in a way that benefits musicians and citizens." If the allegations of radio payola were found to be true, the FMC advocates that the Commission should pledge to hold those responsible in the radio industry accountable and to take steps to protect and expand non-commercial radio, including low power FM. Furthermore, the FMC said that the Commission should not make any rule changes that could help aid in further consolidation in parallel media markets, including lifting the ban on broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership.




"They got broadcasters across the country to hammer like hell on the Congress and the FCC," says the ex-NABer.
Far more power, however, comes from the fact that the NAB represents owners of just about every large and small broadcast outlet in the country--and you can't get elected if you can't get on the air.
This reality, he says, is why NAB is "one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington--and one of the most arrogant."
The fight is a classic case of what economists call "regulatory capture" — when an industry that's regulated by a government agency attempts to use that very agency and those regulations to keep upstarts and competitors at bay. And it's almost always to the detriment of consumers.
"To be blunt, the NAB has power that is not commensurate with the persuasiveness of its arguments." The power comes in part from connections.
If you can't compete, get a bill to outlaw the competition. The NAB may yet win this battle.

Here are the links to "the rest of the story":


Sunday, March 12, 2006


HD Radio=21st Century Yugo (World's worst auto)?

Well....... I received my HD Receiver yesterday, :) hooked it up ;) and......... nothing, zilch, nada. :eek: Couldn't even pick up one HD station. :mad: I live about 45 miles south of Indy. I drove North toward Indy and I had to go 15 miles North before I could lock into one. So, thanks to Crutchfields generous return policy, they are taking it back.
The HD signals in Indy must be at a lot lower power than the Analog Signals.
I noticed what people had been talking about concerning the switch in and out between Digital and Analog. It is annoying at best when your on the fringe. Pretty big lag between the two. It's not seamless by any means.

IBOC radio will go the way of AM stereo. I can almost guarentee it. It's too expensive for consumers (a la DTV), and mostly prohibitively (is that a word?) expensive for smaller broadcasters to put on the air. Considering Ibiquity wants royalty fees for broadcasting the technology (upwards of $30-50k/yr), there's very little bennefit there to even think about it. (there are about 3 dozen stations nationwide who had IBOC up and running, and turned it off because it didn't pay for itself).
Of course, you can't sell what people can't hear.

The problem with radio is, they seem to always have to recoup R&D costs.... forever. I'm sure there will be a cyberhome equivalent reciever in time, but hell, even the big names are having trouble getting their product to retailers. Harmon Kardon had a nice reciever at NAB a few years ago with HD radio built in, street date of sometime last june... Price was high (about $900 for a mid-grade box), but still not out of the question. HK never made that box, and pretty much has disavowed all knowlege of it even existing. (But i played with it on the show floor in vegas).



The broadcast industry continues to spread lies about the alleged “advantages” that the system being pushed by the Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Broadcasters and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, IBOC-DAB (In-Band, On-Channel Digital Audio Broadcasting) has over analog radio. Here are the REAL FACTS concerning IBOC-DAB.

MYTH: “IBOC is compatible with our current receivers”

FACT: IBOC-DAB is NOT COMPATIBLE with our current receivers. If you have a station broadcasting in a “hybrid” format (IBOC and analog), the sidebands from IBOC signals waste valuable spectrum space (as we’ll go into detail on later). Remove the superior analog signal, then all you’ll hear is “hash”. It’s the same thing with the European system, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM). Our current receivers do not have the circuitry to decode the inferior-quality IBOC signals. In other words, if there is a forced conversion to IBOC, then American consumers will have to shell out hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars that they DO NOT HAVE to buy new, inferior receivers. The alternatives are:

1) Require the inclusion of DSP (Digital Signal Processing) circuitry in new analog receivers.
2) Finding a separate band above 1 GHz (1000 MHz) for digital audio broadcasting.
3) Forcing the FCC, NAB and CPB to accept more competition.

MYTH: “IBOC is spectrally efficient”

FACT: IBOC is SPECTRALLY INEFFICIENT. IBOC-DAB, as indicated before, wastes valuable spectrum space. IBOC-DAB, depending on how far you are from a particular station, can waste as much as 100 kHz of valuable spectrum space on the AM dial. As much as 800 kHz of valuable spectrum space is wasted on the FM dial. Take the only St. Louis area AM radio station currently testing this inferior system at this time, KFUO (850 kHz) Clayton, MO. How does KFUO stack up (analog vs. IBOC)? The Results can be found at this link. KMOX is also threatening to go IBOC. How will the potential threat be measured? Five FM stations in St. Louis are also testing IBOC. How do they stack up? The results for the FM dial can be found at this link. Analog broadcasting is more spectrally efficient; only taking up 20 kHz of space on the AM band, and 200 kHz of space on the FM band. Analog radio conserves spectrum space.

MYTH: “IBOC is the only method capable of CD-quality sound”

FACT: C-QUAM AM Stereo and FM Stereo are ALREADY CAPABLE of CD-quality sound. The separation on FM Stereo already rivals those of CDs, while the best-engineered C-QUAM AM Stereo stations also feature sound quality that rivals CDs. IBOC-DAB sounds like an Internet radio station heard via dial-up modem. Analog radio (especially the current FM Stereo and the proven C-QUAM AM Stereo systems) has SUPERIOR AUDIO QUALITY over IBOC-DAB. There is no need for IBOC-DAB.

MYTH: “There is a market for IBOC receivers”

FACT: There is NO MARKET for IBOC-DAB receivers. No audiophile, in his or her right mind, would invest a minimum of U$900 in an inferior IBOC receiver, when top-of-the-line analog receivers are less expensive. IBOC threatens to price many consumers out of the radio marketplace. Unlike DVDs and CDs, the price of IBOC receivers will never come down. We’re seeing this with HDTV: the prices aren’t coming down (the cheapest HDTV set right now is U$700). American consumers, as stated earlier, cannot afford to replace their current receivers. There are already 25 million C-QUAM AM Stereo receivers in the marketplace; there’s room for more. Besides, C-QUAM is less expensive than IBOC, not only for receivers, but also for audio transmission.

MYTH: “The L-Band is not for broadcasting in the U.S.”

FACT: The L-Band (1452-1492 MHz) is ASSIGNED WORLDWIDE to digital audio broadcasting. The current occupants of the L-Band in the United States, the Department of Defense, is in violation of international regulations by using this band for non-broadcast purposes. This is the most appropriate place for digital audio broadcasting in the United States. The FCC can (and MUST) find higher frequencies for the DoD to use.

MYTH: “IBOC will increase a station’s signal coverage area”

FACT: IBOC will SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASE a station’s signal coverage area. Take a look at the FM dial in the St. Louis market. Three stations with decent coverage into the St. Louis area, WIBI (91.1 FM) Carlinville, IL, KTJJ (98.5 FM) Farmington, MO and WSMI-FM (106.1) Litchfield, IL, would suffer severely reduced coverage; in other words, these stations would have their coverage areas reduced by as much as 95%. KTJJ, with 100 kW of power, currently covers a 90-mile radius around the transmitter site near Doe Run, MO. With IBOC, the signal won’t be able to reach Park Hills. WIBI and WSMI-FM, with 50 kW of power, covers a 72-mile radius around their transmitter sites. With IBOC, their signals won’t reach nearby towns. Even the 50 kW AM stations will lose most of their coverage; from 750 miles at night to a round-the-clock radius of only 25 miles. In other words, KMOX wouldn’t be able to reach the western suburbs if they converted to IBOC; something they can do easily now in analog mode. A 1 kW Class D local channel station, such as WESL in East St. Louis, IL, which currently covers a 15-mile radius in analog mode, will cover less than a mile in IBOC mode.

MYTH: “IBOC will make radio better”

FACT: IBOC will make radio MUCH WORSE. Not only will the sound quality of many radio stations degrade, along with signal coverage, but the balance of views and independent voices will be negatively affected. Independently-owned radio stations, many of which currently provide a viable alternative to the uninspired programming on corporate radio, will disappear if IBOC is forcibly implemented. Christian radio is also being threatened by IBOC; many Christian radio stations, which are ministry outreaches rather than businesses, will also go off the air. Most seriously affected will be college radio; these stations provide the only alternatives for young audiences to boring programming on corporate-controlled radio. College radio also provides the only on-air training grounds for future personalities. Many college radio stations won’t be able to afford the IBOC transmitters or exciters that they would be forced to purchase if they are to remain on the air. A good number of them are low-powered (less than 1 kW of effective radiated power); they would not be able to cover areas off campus if they are forced to switch to IBOC.

WHAT’S THE REAL PROBLEM WITH RADIO? The problem with radio is not the technology: IT’S THE PROGRAMMING. Many music formats are intangible (such as Classic Hits, Rhythmic Oldies and Active Rock); the jocks that present the format are not very knowledgeable about the music they play. These same jocks are not knowledgeable about the towns they’re serving. Voicetracking has been the biggest deception to hit radio; this does not deliver listeners. Most of the voicetracked shifts are produced outside the market by jocks who know nothing about the market’s they are supposedly “serving”. In addition, commercial talk radio has veered too far to the extreme right. Air America provides the only liberal talk programming, while NPR’s talk shows are the only centrist talk programs left on radio anywhere. There isn’t enough local-oriented talk on the radio; especially a talk format focused on suburban issues (which so-called “mainstream” talk radio neglects).
XM and Sirius Satellite Radio is the only major competition that has come along since the insipid Telecom Act went into effect, although both channels offer the same old programming. Shortwave broadcasting should be pushed as an alternative to AM and FM radio. The FCC should require that all receivers that receive AM and FM radio that are priced at more than $25 include circuitry for decoding C-QUAM AM Stereo, DSP circuitry, and at least four shortwave broadcast bands (with three bands required: 19, 31 and 49 meters, or 15, 9 and 6 MHz).

Radio is also desperately in need of hiring reforms: the most important reform needed is the abandonment of patronage and cronyism. This policy, also known as “it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know” has allowed unqualified broadcasters to slip through the cracks. There should also be a limit to the amount of on-air talent a station can bring in from outside the market (especially in Midwestern markets), and through a permanent ban on voicetracking (especially in our nation’s top 100 markets) on FM and more profitable AM stations, the industry will be able to open up the broadcast job market, which is desperately needed to save the medium.
The biggest reform needed is the restoration of ownership limits, which promotes free speech. More owners mean more ideas, more opinions and more variety in programming. It is in the best interests of broadcasting to deconsolidate, not further consolidate.

The FCC, NAB and CPB should be focused more on reforming the business than killing it with this insipid IBOC-DAB plan. Those that support IBOC-DAB should seriously consider LEAVING THE RADIO BUSINESS. They are not real broadcasters. Only those who support improving analog radio are the real broadcasters.


Saturday, March 11, 2006



Entercom Alleged to have Traded Air Time for Payoffs by NY state attorney general.
An Entercom executive responded:
"These are not optional. They come from corporate and generate millions of dollars for Entercom."
Payola is the practice by which record labels and some independent promoters offer money and other gifts in exchange for broadcast air time for particular songs or artists. The purpose of the payments is to increase air time for chosen songs and artists and manipulate the popular music industry charts.
Link to full story:
Eliot Spitzer only has jurisdiction over New York State, so yes the lawsuit only relates to New York State. However, I direct your attention to page 7 of the 28 page lawsuit. "22. Federal Law also prohibits the undisclosed sale of airplay." And then: "According to the Federal Communications Commission, "payola" statutes are intended "clearly to prevent deception on the part of the public growing out of concealment of the fact that the broadcast of particular program material was induced by consideration received by the licensee."It's impossible for me to read the evidentiary emails without agreeing with Spitzer's conclusion that CD Preview and CD Challenge were thinly veiled, if veiled at all, attempts to circumvent the law. They were clearl attempting to manipulate charts and public opinion. Legal? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Ethical? Absolutely not.
There is ample documentation backing up Universal's claim that Entercom executives knew exactly what was going on the whole time and their feigned shock at what was going on is outrageous. Do read the lawsuit and evidence. It's fascinating.
Quoted from this webpost:



Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding possible violations of the payola rules by certain broadcasters.
The FCC has longstanding rules prohibiting payola. These rules serve the important purpose of ensuring that the listening public knows when someone is seeking to influence them.We appreciate your views. We are very concerned about the activities that led the New York Attorney General to investigate a number of music companies
and broadcasters, and has resulted in settlement agreements with two music companies to date. The Enforcement Bureau is reviewing these settlement agreements and investigating any incidents in which the agreements disclose evidence of payola rule violations.
The Federal Communications Commission

Friday, March 10, 2006


Major broadcaster Entercom accused of payola.

NY Attorney General Sues Major Radio Chain
Spitzer said listeners and artists are hurt by payola.
"The decisions are being made as to what to put on the airwaves based on bribes to be paid and extracted, rather than on judgments based on artistic merit," he said.
Spitzer said Entercom e-mails he obtained include one from an unidentified executive that stated: "These are not optional. They come from corporate and generate millions of dollars for Entercom."
The lawsuit claims it has evidence in documents and e-mails that executives discussed strategies for supplementing radio station budgets with payola cash from record companies and the independent promoters that act as middle men in the industry.
Here is the link:
Entercom is a prominent supporter of the HD Radio consortium, and if "pay for play" is their rule, it likely will determine what is on the HD Radio channels.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


HD Radio-Touchy subject for supporters.

Perhaps some are oversensitive to legitimate criticism of HD radio. A bit touchy.
My opinion, is that the HD radio is built on a whole series of false premises. There are rational solid reasons for this belief, and it seems to be shared by experiences and opinions of many, as shown by the responses on this discussion board,
in engineering publications, and responses to the FCC inquiry about HD Radio, MM Docket No. 99-325.
The facts are, that the FCC AM and FM signal protection specifications were based on experiment and calculation of 2 or more analog signals, not mixed digital and analog signals. To use the same signal standards for mixed analog and additional digital signals on adjacent channels is inacurate. To use the NRSC-5 mask for adjacent channel digital signals without proof that it the digital signals have the same intensity and interference potential as analog signals, is an incomplete, flawed, misrepresentation. As has been stated here, many times, by proponents as well as critics of HD Radio, the digital signal is 100 (or more?) times more powerful and pernicious then an analog signal of the same effective radiated power. That being the case, the digital signal creates more destructive interference. An occasional analog modulation spill over to an adjacent channels at approximately -40 dB, is not the same as a deliberate, continuous, high duty cycle digital signal on the same adjacent channels.
Using analog signal standards for mixed digital and analog signal propagation, may be inaccurate, incomplete, and inappropriate for the current station allocation system. New mixed signal interference studies should be made, including more listening tests on more types of radios, and with more typical listeners.
Secondary coverage is very usefull in the suburbs, when traveling between cities, and in emergencies. It should not be allowed to be reduced or destroyed by HD Radio.
HD Radio's harm to the many far outweighs the benefits and profits of the few.
There should be no rush to adapt a possibly defective and destructive standard, since, in the case of FM, there is a more rational and interference free alternative. Here is one: www.dreinc.com.
Perhaps an alternative AM system under development that would allow night time service and does not need special authorization, should also be examined and evaluated.
There should be no rush to adopt a standard, or endorse and approve an exclusive, expensive, proprietary system, until all alternatives are carefully and fully evaluated. If the wrong system is adopted as the only system for digital broadcasting, we are likely to be stuck with the flawed system's defects for a long time to come. It may totally fail, based on it's inherent flaws.
Haste makes waste.
The frequent claims that only HD Radio proponents have an exclusive patent on the 'truth" and "facts", while all others are ignorant of the "facts" are religious revelations I which choose not to subcribe.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006



Shown below are the results of the European Broadcasting Union tests of the codec licensed by www.ibiquity.com for HD Radio broadcasts. It is known as HD AAC or AAC PLUS.
While it is argueably the most efficient, and advanced digital codec available, it is not lossless, flawless or distortion and artifact free.
A more accurate claim might be that HD Radio offers "near CD quality" at best.
From: http://www.codingtechnologies.com/products/aacPlus.htm
For proof of iBiquity HD Radio licensing info: http://www.codingtechnologies.com/partners/index.htm

Monday, March 06, 2006


HD Radio-AM Jamming adjacent channel interference.

The grey and dark areas jam and trespass on adjacent stations.
Because of the square wave high duty cycle power of the digital waveforms they create 10 to 100 times more interference and jamming then similar analog signals on the same frequency.
Note the continuous digital hiss and destructive noise created by AM HD radio, that is impressed upon, and can be heard with the analog transmitting station's audio.
Posted by Picasa
"FCC Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle is quoted by the (Wall Street)Journal as explaining that broadcasters chose to go digital with Ibiquity's technology because it doesn't require new spectrum and that the advantages more than outweigh the shortcomings. Adding digital service is one way to combat the problem, although some small stations can't afford the cost."
The statement that "the advantages more then outweigh the shortcomings" is pure hype, metaphysics and predictive speculation.
The main reason the FCC was established, and it's continuing charge by congress, is to reduce and control interference, not to encourage interference.
All charts are from documents submitted to the FCC for the public record (public domain) by the manufacturers, applicants, and proponents of the HD Radio iBiquty "IBOC" system.


HD Radio FM interference graph

For those with eyes to see, and the wisdom to understand.
The BLUE line is the digital interference created by the HD Radio broadcasting station interfering with the FM stereo subcarrier and surrounding FM stations.
GREEN is the reduced stereo signal to noise ratio.
RED -the two verticle lines at the top are the FCC 200kHz maximum limit for an FM station.
Beyond those two verticle RED lines at the top (to the right and left) is all the digital noise and interference created on neighboring channels by the digital signal.

Posted by Picasa

All charts are from documents submitted to the FCC for the public record (public domain) by the manufacturers, applicants, and proponents of the HD Radio iBiquty "IBOC" system.

Friday, March 03, 2006



"Digital radio receivers without government-approved copy-prevention technology likely would become illegal to sell in the future, according to new federal legislation announced Thursday."

Here is the link:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006



"The truth is that most, if not all, digital FM broadcasts will utilize bitrates of around 48kbps - fine for casual in-car listening, but hardly high-fidelity in the true sense of the phrase."
"The 'HD' label implies that — as with HDTV — there is a significant increase in quality, as compared to analog. This is simply not the case."
"'HD Radio' is actually a misnomer. The digital signal may be quieter, in terms of background noise and interference, than an analog FM signal — particularly under marginal reception conditions — but it is NOT higher fidelity. It contains built-in distortion and encoding artifacts that are not present in a good analog FM signal, especially at the lower bitrates (48kbps or even less) that will be used by almost all digital FM broadcasts in order to accomodate 'multicasting' (multiple channels per station) — which is very much part of the game plan for all of the big FM chains."
Here is the link to the story (see bottom of page):

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