On the HD Radio Alliance’s three-year achievement anniversary announcement


From Jerry Smith, FLA-based Broadcast Technical Consultant

"It’s a testament to what broadcasters can achieve when the industry comes together with a clear purpose and mission.” Wow, tears for my fears that this digital coalition ever does have a clear anything, except channel jamming. I’m hopeful the digital trash from 105.9, CBS O&O great oldies signal is testing 10db hotter digital carriers, or we are toast in Jacksonville if those are not experimental power levels.

 We get calls regularly asking why we can no longer be heard at 105.7 in Orange Park, 13 miles to the South of Jacksonville from this Baldwin-licensed 25KW FM facility. We do the 105.9 test: If you can hear 105.9, could be atmospheric conditions are present sending the 105.9 digital noise up against the 1mv/m contour of 105.7. We turn off our 105.7 carrier and ask on occasion if the listener can hear quiet or some hiss on their radio. Almost always the complainant hears the hiss. It’s not merely this little station pushing up to its 1mv/m. Its every station getting funky multipath noise bursts with the right weather related conditions. FM lives and dies on good coverage. Looks as if we are again making the supreme sacrifice once more for the sake of the improved weaker signals.  

So this great clear purpose and mission for a few more HiDeaf 2 and 3 signals is ending the safe zones of FM and they don’t dare mention the "goodbye-Charlie" aspect of the value add-value take away benefit-liability of sticking more digital noise bursts on the VHF (FM) and MW (AM) spectrum cutting coverage and limiting quality to 1985 fidelity levels while home CPU and other toys can expand.

Different tune coming when NTSC TV says farewell in 2009 and folks attempt to pick up digital TV signals without cable. In that case there are improvements in video quality and the dollars are there for folks to purchase new TV sets compared to the lesser quality, lesser sensitive reception from HiDeaf Radios now almost a million strong compared to over a Billion regular and working other radios. Some of our political retirees might find their retirement money being awarded in some class action suits against them for their actions to sell off the former NTSC channel spaces the past 20 years.

One common thread to this whole bunch: you can write them to point out these quirks and unsolved mysteries and none ever write back.