I think many of us are of the opinion that HD AM is not going to make it. However, AM owners do not want to go empty-handed.
Is it time to reconsider AM stereo, in order to enable AM radio to be reasonably comparable to FM? Today, stereo transmission is the standard, so any broadcast system needs to at least provide that. Given the limited amount of AM spectrum, C-QUAM seems like an efficient way to provide improved service.
Does anybody know: How many HD radios can decode C-QUAM? How many analog AM stereo car radios are still in circulation?
Are there any tweaks that could/should be done that would improve C-QUAM if it were to be re-launched?
Could C-QUAM be successful if it got a fresh launch with some decent marketing? Starting with a more user-friendly name than C-QUAM?
C-QUAM AM stereo, while far from being perfect, does have many advantages over HD AM. In particular, it does not cause additional interference. The service area of an AM signal is almost the same in stereo as it is in mono. And if properly set up, it has decent audio quality, although not as good as analog FM (and we will not try to pretend otherwise). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-QUAM
IMHO AM stereo addresses the same problem as IBOC: poor audio quality. (perceived or real)
Thing is, poor audio quality is not what's fundamentally wrong with AM.
The fundamental problem with AM is poor and unpredictable (by the average listener) coverage, especially at night.
At least AM stereo, unlike IBOC, doesn't make that problem worse
I would suggest there has been one positive
development that's come out of IBOC: the development of inexpensive receivers with digital signal processing. Most listeners are finding that HD receivers have exceptional performance when tuned to analog
stations. AM operators should push for the inclusion of that technology in as many receivers as possible. And yes, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to include C-Quam capability in the DSP firmware.