If the FCC is now promoting smaller local stations over the big boys who cover a lot of land why do they allow 50KW stations like WBZ and WINS to hash all over their adjacents?
The question is where geographically is the hash audible....if it's somewhere no one cares about...then it's a non-issue.
In some cases, it's happening on a station's own channel, within their own interference protected contour. The pipsqueak station you mentioned before DOES have at least SOME expectation of nighttime coverage, even if it doesn't have an endless right to cover a larger market with a secondary signal.
The problem is, it isn't getting interference from IBOC outside its primary service area — some stations are getting interference within their own service area
What I fail to understand is how the FCC can work to mitigate Cuban interference (for example, authorizing much higher nighttime power than daytime, or in a few cases, giving AMs a nighttime only FM signal like WJNT in Jackson) but ignore the interference they've created themselves.
I live basically down the street from my town's only station, and they run 43 watts at night on a graveyard channel. Are you seriously telling me that I should not expect the signal to be clean and noise free here within their protected service area, just because it's a pipsqueak of a signal at night?
If there is an annoying buzz in the background on a particular station, I will tune away from that station. It is psychoacoustically fatiguing to me to listen to that type of noise for any length of time. My hearing is very important in the performance of my job and I treat it with care. Others may not care, or it may not bother them. That is their choice, but I choose not to listen to stations transmitting OFDM subcarriers. The addition of that extra noise ruins my listening experience irrevocably.
I'm the same way, but I fear we are in the minority. I am also sensitive to the artifacts of lossy compression, and the first time I abandoned radio it was when all the stations in my town converted over to mp3 playback of audio back in the 90's. Or maybe it was mp2 then, whatever it was, it sounded horrible. Even today, I'm driven away from a majority of analog stations in hilly markets because of all the whistling and whining from subcarriers that come through. WBHM in Birmingham is #1 worst offender. No HD, no RDS, but get between the stick and a hill and it whistles like crazy. Yuck.
I didn't come back to radio until I moved to a small town with more modern automation and better encoding. By then I acclimated to and ran away from satellite radio (XM to be specific) when their audio quality took a dive after getting into the channel count wars with Sirius.
Now I'm in yet another market with old encoding again and painfully low bitrates. Analog FM sounds like HD and HD sounds like dog squeeze, so I'm "." this close to abandoning radio all over again. Between the crowded and useless coastal AM band at night and the drop-outy HD and encoding problems, it simply isn't worth it anymore. And that's on top of poor music selection, too many commercials, asinine talk show hosts and repetitiveness.
The question isn't "Why are people still listening despite HD?" it's "Why are people still listening, period
Okay. So WHY? would the FCC do this? Well, as Big A points out, the Federal Government is not fond of the idea that some "%@!# privately owned station in major city x is strong enough to be heard in major city y.
There are MANY reasons why governments fear the idea that ANY private voice have that kind of power.
This drags us quickly into kooksville, having tea at the Bilterbergers' conspiracy convention.
The idea doesn't work because we have the internet. Anyone can exchange even the kookiest of ideas with anyone else now, they don't need a far-flung AM skywave signal to get that information.
Does the FCC itself want the whole mess to go away?
Would you feel the same if FM were being considered for euthanasia?
FM IS next, it's only a matter of time and whether or not the free market continues to get in the way of itself.
The current FCC crop is full of people who are broadband-broadband-broadband and nothing else. Not preserving the AM dial, not killing HD, not dealing with nip-slips. If AM and FM went away tomorrow, that'd just be that many more employees to put into the broadband division.
So, wouldn't the internet be the next place to get shut down, because of free exchange of ideas?
Funny you should mention that.
The government can't shut it down. That's against the first amendment. They can't stiffle it, but they can't promote it either. That's the tap dance a government plays in a free society. They don't have to assist and help profit making companies to make money. So they're looking into regulations to control and TAX the internet.
The president already has the power to shut down certain forms of communication during the war, and a new bill in the Senate
is being passed around that would allow the president to decree a "contain and confine" approach websites that perform cyber attacks online.
The Customs dept is now taking over sites with alleged illegal media content and shutting them down, regardless of what country they're in.
It's a far stretch to see an authoritarian regime amending the rules to extend this to other types of internet activity. Once they get their paws on some type of regulation, it can only extend its reach unless we stop it.
(And what this has to do with HD is nothing, but it's an interesting diversion from HD bashing nonetheless.)