September 2010
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Self interference, new IBOC feature!

Far better than I could ever explain it, Dave Hershberger, of Continental Electronics explains some of the potential problems with increasing the IBOC carrier(s) in an FM HD Radio system.  If you have not already read it, read the entire article, it sheds some interesting light on the IBOC system and how it works.

Transmitting more digital power will certainly increase the digital coverage area and reduce digital dropouts. However, there may be some unintended consequences, which every broadcaster will have to evaluate before increasing digital power.

It is all right there.  What amazes me is that the IBOC proponents do not acknowledge the system’s problems.  Perhaps the above article is a bit over the head of the average general manager, or group VP, whatever the title dejour is.  Engineers should understand this.  Engineers should be able to explain this in an understandable way to managers and owners.  It is the owners or whoever is holding their paper that have the most to loose in this scheme, which is to say, everything.  Forget the FCC, they are in the pockets of their corporate sponsors anyway.  Radio station owner’s and the bankers that control them should take a real hard look at this and see for themselves that they are writing their own epitaph.

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7 comments to Self interference, new IBOC feature!

  • Stations must realize this but don’t care. The point of these power increases, partly, is to further degrade analog, in order to force digital adoption. Luckily, only about 80+ stations have raised power, and only three to the maximum -10db. The vast majority are only upping power to the amount their current headroom can allow, and dropouts will continue to plague HD. Going -10db requires new transmitters, air conditioning units, backup generators, etc. On a side-note, are you aware of this possible class-action suit:

    http://www.keefebartels.com/CM/Custom/HD-Car-Radio-Investigation.asp

    I know that broadcasters are getting involved, too. I hope this blows up into a major investigation into the HD Radio scam.

  • admin

    Yeah, I saw that. It would be interesting to see how much water that argument holds. I’d like somebody to sue the FCC for not enforcing it’s own rules. Suing the Federal government to enforce it’s own rules is pretty common place these days, however, and I doubt whether one would win.

  • @admin: I think their case definately has merit. BMW has been aware of HD Radio problems since 2007, via a TSB and Trouble-Shooting Guide where no retrofit was available, yet continue to force HD Radio as standard equipment passing the costs onto unsuspecting customers. I’m wondering if Ford holdng off on HD Radio has anyting to do with this possible class-action suit. I also know that some broadasters are getting involved, too. I really believe this case could blow up into something much larger. Hopefully, they will get some excellent comunications lawyers involved, too. All of this was eventually bound to happen. I’ve seen many complaints and bringbacks of “defective” HD radios on automaker message boards. Let’s hope this is the start of the end for iBquity and their cohorts.

  • admin

    I think their case has merit too. Perhaps I am being too cynical to think that merit is not what really decides cases like this. If it is accepted into the civil system, there will be some out of court settlement that no one will be able to talk about. If it comes to fruition for the plaintiff(s), then iBiquity will really have some dancing to do and a great bit of entertainment for all the rest of us.

  • J. Aegerter

    Let’s face it, big government is out of control. And who is “big government”?? Lawyers, Lawyers, and more Lawyers. Look at the majority of politicians; are they Engineers or Scientists?? The resounding answer is LAWYERS, LAWYERS, and more LAWYERS! Why enrich these buzzards? Sit tight with analog, keep your listeners happy, by keeping things simple. Let the IBOC boys throw their money away and stew in their juice. They will eventually melt down.

  • @admin: The Keefe Bartels case seems to be escalating:

    “Law Firm’s HD Radio Probe Picking Up Steam?”

    “Keefe Bartels, the law firm that’s looking into whether consumers are unhappy with their new HD Radio car receivers, is hearing lots of stories… Keefe became interested in the technology when he bought a new BMW a couple of years ago. He says the dealer told him HD Radio wouldn’t work but that it was built into the cost of the car, because the receiver was part of a package. He says the dealer threw in a set of floor mats to compensate… Keefe says it is receiving complaints from all kinds of people and wants to determine how individuals have been affected… He’s also getting an earful from radio industry people, so this should be interesting.”

    http://www.rwonline.com/article/106152

    What really peeves me is that RW was down-playing the complaints about FM-HD, as was confirmed through email to a colleague of mine from Keefe’s observation. Most of the complaints in auto forums have been about FM-HD (who listens to AM radio, anymore, according to IBOC-boosters?).

  • […] Posted on September 12, 2010 by admin Engineering Radio checked in with a word or two on the problem HD radio has interfering with its analog […]

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