Quality gear

I went to put the HD transmitter back on the air for WEBE yesterday, to be confronted with this:

Harris Deathstar HD radio exciter
Harris Deathstar HD radio exciter

Swearing ensued.

The fault is with the RF upconverter, which is unlocked.  I don’t know why the GPS is unlocked, I’ll have to climb up on the roof and look at the antenna.

Why again, are we bothering with this?

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7 thoughts on “Quality gear”

  1. I was starting to give Cumulus credit thinking they were going to put HD out of its misery. I would think anybody with common sense wouldn’t bother renewing the license and just pull the gear out and call it a day! The only way to show the folks at iBiquity that they don’t have the broadcasters by the cojones is to not buy into this nonsense any further.

  2. @Bill, I think Cumulus is an iBiquity investor, so there interest goes deeper than simply providing digitally formatted programming material
    @Tom, There are days when I think it would be better to roll over and get a few more hours sleep. The good news is I get paid by the hour, regardless of the outcome.

  3. I’m still wondering myself. How many people actually listen to HD Radio? I know of not anyone outside the industry who actually owns an HD receiver. and I’m in Atlanta. When I first heard HD radio’s compressed digital vomit, it made me cringe. Worse than Sirius/XM with it’s lousy codec, which reminds me of listening to my first RealAudio webcast over a 56K dialup modem on AOL in 1996. This, and a lack of decent local programming, will be the death of terrestrial radio. It’s sad, I was listening to WSB-FM last night on my 1985 Sony SRF-22W Walkman with a good cheap pair of Sony MDR-V150 phones…amazing how awesome the sound of analog FM, from a well engineered station (not sure what B985 is running in their airchain on FM, last time I was there was in the mid 90’s and they had a good old 8100A and Texar Audio Prisms but that was long ago). They were playing decent 80’s rock on an “all 80’s weekend”. I gave my “antique” Walkman to my 16 year old niece and she looked at me and said “what’s this uncle Erik? You mean people still listen to the radio? I didn’t know they played music.”

    Then she heard “Der Komisar” by After the Fire..and was commented how “real” it sounded. It dawned on me that there is a whole generation of people who will soon never know how good real RADIO, and more importantly, good SOUND is. Raised on Ipods, horrible compressed digi crap, their ears will never know the difference. and HD Radio will mean as much to them as every other flop like DivX was to the home movie industry, just a blip on the radar.

    Too bad it’s becoming a nail in the coffin to many broadcasters.

  4. Lately, I am of the mind that the folks who are pushing this IBOC garbage on the rest of us just want to ruin over the air free broadcasting and move everything to IP based systems. In the end, IP distribution systems are much easier to monitor and control than traditional broadcasting. It also requires a high speed internet connection, which is not free. Add to that, the data caps that most wireless IP providers now have in place.

  5. I am thinking similarly. Going to PAY TO PLAY has been the goal of the entertainment and media conglomerates for years. Sad part is the public is so warm to it now they don’t care. Until one day when it goes down. Ask anyone what they reached for in NYC when the power went out in 2007. Their celphone batteries died, networks were overloaded, and yet that little AM-FM pocket radio was pulled out of it’s drawer and came alive with LOCAL news and information. I’d hate to see that go away.

  6. I’m certanly no broadcast engineer, but I have heard that some HD Radio/IBOC systems can be down for weeks/months at a time. It is obvious, that iNiquity pushed this hardware out, without performing thorough testing. They just wanted to get a lock on broadcasters, both foreign and domestic. “Why are we bothering with this”, is your question – it centers around iNiquity’s potential IPO. From the hits on my blog from various investor, retailer, manufacturer, automaker, etc for searches on, “iBiquity Dital IPO”, it is obvious they have an equity position in this fraud.

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