Tag Archives: FM

Hospitals and RF noise: FM and HD radio’s strong suit

The Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD radio

For the past week, I’ve been away from home spending time with my mother at the hospital while she recovers from a surgery. I’ve got a number of reviews and evaluations in the pipeline, but thankfully no shortwave or HF radios on the table this week (although the ELAD FDM-S3 and CommRadio CTX-10 are just around the corner). Listening to shortwave (or even mediumwave) in a hospital room can be an exercise in futility–there are just too many devices emitting noise and the buildings are built like bunkers with incredibly thick walls to attenuate signals.

I’ve had the little Sangean HDR-14 with me, however, and have been very pleased with its ability to snag FM stations both analog and digital. I’ve also had fun discovering a surprisingly diverse FM landscape in this metro area. I haven’t snagged an AM HD station yet, but my hope is one evening I might DX one (fingers crossed and not holding my breath).

The Sangean HDR-14 (left) and CC Skywave SSB (right)

At the end of most days, I’ve been able to catch a little shortwave action with my CC Skywave SSB (pre-production) portable at the guest house where I’m staying. The evenings have been surprisingly peaceful here with only the occasional popup thunderstorm to insert a little QRN in my listening sessions.

Last night, while listening to jazz on FM, I finished reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (affiliate link).

We’ve mentioned this book before and I know of at least dozen SWLing Post contributors and friends who’ve personally recommended it to me.

It is a superb novel and will, no doubt, tug at the heart strings of any radio enthusiast or WWII history buff. Highly recommended!

Indeed, last night I couldn’t fall asleep until I finished the book around 12:30 AM!

And mom? She’s recovering quite well and we hope will be discharged from the hospital soon.

RIP Dr. Byron St. Clair: Father of low-power FM

(Source: TV Technology via Bill Patalon)

Dr. Byron St. Clair, president emeritus of the National Translator Association, died May 20 in Denver of brain cancer. He was 93.

St. Clair, who served as president of the National Translator Association for 19 years, is known as the “father of translators, LPTV and low-power FM,” the association said.

He worked to serve those living in the mountainous rural western United States with broadcast service and in so doing created a new class of over-the-air broadcasting, which has grown to more than 4,000 stations that serve millions of people.

“Byron was a friend and mentor to all, a man of immense intellect, wisdom, ethics, kindness and vision,” said NTA President John Terrill.[…]

Continue reading at TV Technology online.

“Threatened radio shut down” in Germany

UPDATE:  Many thanks to Mike Barraclough who notes that a report today is that this has been averted. Click here to read.

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Germany – up to 10 million people could be hit by threatened radio shut down

The airwaves across many parts of Germany could fall silent next week due to a financial dispute between radio stations and an FM broadcasting provider.

The company Media Broadcast announced on Friday that it would cut off FM broadcasters for several radio stations if they did not immediately fulfil certain payment demands.

“Up to 10 million radio listeners could be affected by their FM broadcaster being cut off from Wednesday onwards,” company head Wolfgang Breuer told Die Welt.

Major public service broadcasters such as MDR, NDR and Deutschlandfunk are among those who could be cut off, the newspaper reported.

The dispute began when Media Broadcast, formerly a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, decided to move focus away from FM radio and onto digital platforms last year. The shift meant that broadcasting antennae across Germany, for which Media Broadcast had previously been responsible, were sold to private investors.

Broadcasters and their network operators were then left furious when many of the new owners raised prices for the use of their antennae, leading to a stalemate in business negotiations.

Hessian broadcaster FFH told dpa that a 50 percent rise in the cost of antennae use had left them with a “massive problem”.

In order to break the stalemate, Media Broadcast recently agreed to continue operating all antennae until the end of June, so as to provide more time for negotiations. Yet such an arrangement would still require the stations to contract the company during that period.

Media Broadcast now claims that around 75 percent of stations have not done this, and has threatened to cut these stations off if they do not officially contract the company by Monday.

Though digital and online streaming radio will still be available, the mass cut-off of FM radio broadcasts would affect a huge proportion of the population. According to Bild, around 92.7 percent of Germans said they still preferred listening to radio on an analogue device in a poll last year.

Up to 10 million people could be hit by threatened radio shut down

https://www.thelocal.de/20180406/up-to-10-million-people-could-be-hit-by-threatened-radio-shut-down

BBC mothballs idea of forced move to digital broadcasting

(Source: The Telegraph via Mike Hansgen)

BBC to keep broadcasting on FM

For years fans of wireless radios have campaigned to stop the apparently inevitable march of progress as Britain prepares to switch off its crackling analogue signal and become totally digital.

But now, the BBC will announce that it has shelved plans to force listeners to replace their analogue radios with DAB sets.

In a move that will also be welcomed by the two million motorists with analogue car radios, the corporation will admit for the first time that FM broadcasts must continue to keep audiences on side as music streaming and podcasts threaten its traditional strongholds.[…]

Click here to read this article on The Telegraph (content behind paywall).

 

At $20 billion in debt, iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy

(Source: NPR)

The “substantial doubt” that iHeartMedia’s corporate leaders expressed around the company’s likelihood of surviving another year, mentioned in its quarterly financial report last November, has been put to rest.

iHeartMedia, the country’s largest radio broadcaster with around 850 stations and a leading outdoor advertising company, is filing for bankruptcy after spending years trying to manage its $20 billion in outstanding indebtedness. (For some context, per that November statement, iHeartMedia was obligated to pay $1.8 billion in interest over that coming year.)

The company writes in a press release that it has reached “an agreement in principle with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt and its financial sponsors” that will essentially cut its debt in half, and that it has filed motions with the court to be allowed to operate normally through the restructuring. The bankruptcy follows, by two months, the bankruptcy of the country’s second-largest radio company, Cumulus, which offloaded $1 billion in debt.[…]

Read the full story at NPR.