The planned demsie of FM

radio, tape, stands and accessories
JaS
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Post by JaS » 05 Feb 2009 11:01

ChrisMM wrote:The UK public has been sold another pup by the (Tory - 1996) government, vested business interests and the BBC. Democracy has nothing to do with it - we haven't been given a choice!
Absolutely. The inherent problem with DAB is that it was adopted to allow more channels, more choice and more competition, not better sound quality. The claims for improved quality where simply marketing spiel by the same guys responsible for MP3 downloads and camera phones :-s

Rather than wait for greater take-up before turning off FM, they should make sure everyone can receive DAB then ask people which they prefer.

Regards,
JaS

Guest

Post by Guest » 05 Feb 2009 11:39

Absolutely. The inherent problem with DAB is that it was adopted to allow more channels, more choice and more competition, not better sound quality. The claims for improved quality where simply marketing spiel by the same guys responsible for MP3 downloads and camera phones

Absolutely Jas.

Some would argue that technology must move on, but technology for the sake of technology is not necessarily an improvement. A similar thing has happened in photography, with consumers being given little choice and brainwashed into believing digital is the way forward. Whats actually happened is that keen amateurs like myself and many professionals are sticking to film but recognising that once the negative is produced, an equaly valid and in many ways, superior method of achieving the final result is to scan negatives. This yields better results than traditional colour printing in many cases, but fundamentally, film is (for now anyway) here to stay which is why its still manufactured. Digital has a long way to go and not everyone wants to fiddle around for hours on a computer to get the end result.

DAB is even more inferior comparatively. The promise of more choice, as you say, has little to do with quality and the marketing mantra of "convenience" is a lie. You tune in your stations in the same way in either case and 90% of DAM stations pump out al the same guff in any case. Long live FM.

LPspinner
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Post by LPspinner » 06 Feb 2009 07:11

Hi Guys:

While I too lament the imminent demise of FM radio I will also conditionally defend the technology behind DAB radio. The main reason DAB radio sounds so BAD is the ludicrously low bit rates. I have always maintained that 192 Kbps is the minimum rate for good sound and 256 Kbps is the preferred rate of high quality sound.

There is another point worth considering about FM radio, the link between the studio and the transmitter. Most FM transmitters are located on the outskirts of town or on a high hill with the antenna radiating toward the targeted reception area while the main studio is in the middle of the Cities CBD (and some times in a different city all together when dealing with national broadcast links). The signal from the Studio is beamed via a Digital microwave link to the transmitter where it will be re-broadcast over the FM band. Due the leasing arrangements of the air space and bandwidth needed for the microwave link I’m guessing this microwave link will also employ some kind of lossy compression in order to save costs and bandwidth. Also consider that many of the modern radio stations don’t actually play CD’s any more but rather play the music from a hard drive server, and these music files are probably stored as an MP3 file to save disc space.

Now to counter all the negative points I have just raised I will say that I still use and enjoy FM radio. FM Radio still offers a source of new and experimental music as well as high quality Live to Air broadcasts and concerts recorded by various national broadcasters and state orchestras that will probably never be commercially released. So I will continue to utilize FM radio as a program source (I own an expensive FM tuner and that says that I am committed to FM Radio for a good period of time yet), but I think we need to also realize that at some point the newer broadcast formats will eventually improve and offer a viable and more bandwidth efficient format. The implementation of DAB has failed due to the adoption of low bit-rates, early MP2 Codec’s, and a failure of the DAB system to be upgraded to newer compression Codec’s as they become available. A newer DAB+ version which uses much more efficient AAC Codec’s is now available and is being rolled out in some counties (Mine included). So we will have to see how that technology is implemented. Our Digital television channels also offer high quality Audio so there is another option available for our national broadcast networks. Our local Digital Television service already offers 4 extra Audio only streams, two of which are dedicated music only channels.

All is not yet lost with high quality Free to Air music, also consider that our elected governments would not close down a service that is still in frequent use by a good majority of the population. The population still votes and Governments need votes to be re-elected.

LPSPinner

jake

Post by jake » 11 Feb 2009 13:31

If they take away my FM, which there are a few good stations in Chicago, my little-used Teac cassette deck will become much used. I play records 20 hours a week, radio 2 or 3 for times I can't keep changing records. I will miss the college station, NPR, WFMT, WXRT. But they all play CD's anyway, and I'd rather analog all the way.
As the world races to oblivion, vinyl records provide the best insulation, mentally. The highpoints of civilization's artistic statements, all in a row, waiting to be taken off the shelf to emmerse in. It is worth more than money.
Cheers!

teac4010
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Post by teac4010 » 11 Feb 2009 18:54

jake wrote:As the world races to oblivion, vinyl records provide the best insulation, mentally. The highpoints of civilization's artistic statements, all in a row, waiting to be taken off the shelf to emmerse in. It is worth more than money.
Cheers!
Agreed! :)

MuZak

Post by MuZak » 14 Feb 2009 06:01

Well said!

dutchdual1219
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Post by dutchdual1219 » 14 Feb 2009 20:39

DAB broadcasting is only available in the more densely populated areas of my country. I'm glad I can still listen to FM stations on my very sensitive, beautifully sounding fifties valve radio :)

At the moment digital TV is being widely promoted, and the digital cable tuners can also receive a lot of digital radio stations. No idea what's the bit rate though...