What You Think | radioinfo

What You Think

User Opinion Story
21 October 2020 - 12:16pm
Personally I love to listening Edge, FBI and 2SER and Fine Music in Sydney... Tracking down the missing radio shares
21 October 2020 - 8:58am
I remember Paul doing the 'news' bulletins for Roy & HG when they were back on Triple J...The South Coast News. Bought both the books and read then with Paul's voice in my head. Great sound. Vale Paul Murphy
19 October 2020 - 6:25pm
Where is the percentage of the audience listening to streaming as compared to the total audience including live radio, particularly digital and AM/FM radio. As compared to percentage rises, which can be off a very low base

What is the cost to the broadcaster for streaming compared to the cost of DAB+ broadcasting which is considerably cheaper than AM and less so for FM?

What is the cost to the listener in using streaming particularly via a mobile phone as compared to free listening to broadcast radio? Will the Telco cost of plans increase to pay for the additional capacity required for large scale distribution of sound, particularly when each listener has to have their own signal path in both directions? When compared to broadcast which is single direction and only one program shared by all listeners.

Lastly, for the high data rate 5G which is not available in Australia, cell base stations are a maximum of 900 m apart, the signal will not travel through terrain, buildings wet trees... For reception in buildings a antenna/receiver/transmitter has to be mounted on the outside and a wifi transmitter/receiver on the inside.
Radio is catching up fast with on-demand
Anthony The Koala
18 October 2020 - 6:20pm
I have made my points before on the hackneyed "hits and memories", "classic hits" and "golden oldies" formats saturating the Sydney market. there is a likelihood that the same songs will be repeated across all stations. This site reported that an aircheck of WS-fm and Smooth had a 31% overlap in its playlist.

MMM's DAB+ channels may have solved the problem by subdividing its rock format from 90s, hard, soft, classic, country to its 'main' 104.9 station. At the same time, the problem is that you may be so niched that there is not enough audience.

The author of this article pointed to audience measurement where the broadcaster asks the listener if she/he liked/dislike the song. I could also presume that the broadcaster would ask the listener what they would like to hear for a particular genre.

With today's mobile phone IP streaming technology, it should not be a problem to incorporate an immediate measure of the person's like/dislike or would like to hear song.

Furthermore broadcasters who dream about a comprehensive audience measurement technology should also ask the manufacturers of terrestrial broadcast radio AM/FM/DAB+/DRM+ to incorporate an IP network connection and/or a micro-sd card record of the listener's habits. There are no manufacturers who include a facility to network or store listener's habits. "Frontier Silicon" a leading manufacturer of FM/DAB/DAB+ ICs don't have such a facility. Of course for privacy reasons, the data should be anonymised.

The advantages of immediate access to listener's data means the programmer can make instant decisions.

In addition, the author made a remark about playing a succession of slow and fast tracks, and tracks from a particular genre 'sounding alike'. The meta information in a sound format such as uncompressed WAV or dare I say it lossy compression formats such as MP3 holds so much info about duration, artist, title and 'other'. But that 'other' may well be limited. To avoid the problem of temp and 'sound' alike, another database table containing additional information should be used in conjunction with the meta-information held in the particular file format. I would also add the tune's key signature. There is software on the market that can detect the tune's key signature and tempo.

Is that a hard job? If a radio station had a playlist of 1500 songs, the database would need to be regularly updated as new music/artists become part of the playlist.

A computer program with adjustment the content director's intervention selects the playlist. Another field in the database should include "Australian" status in case the minimum Australian quota is enforced rather than self-regulating. One FM station is allegedly playing only 7% Australian content, see Vincent, Chrissie, https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=8baf899b-955b-436e-96f9-941c47578344&subId=564410#:~:text=Triple%20J%20is%20required%20to,either%20in%20Australia%20or%20overseas.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
The Listeners Say I’ve Got a Music Repetition Problem
Anthony The Koala
18 October 2020 - 5:42pm
The article says it all that if an entity which holds one or more HPON licences has six months to use it and that within those six there is little or no broadcasting, the entity will lose the 'privilege' of broadcasting over the frequency or frequencies. The electromagnetic spectrum is a scarce resource. That is one of the reasons for the Federal Government under s51(v) of the Constitution to make laws for postal, telegraphic and other like services.

I have read the AAT cases and in those cases, those licencees were not broadcasting regularly. Typically they were very adhoc, transmitting for a few hours here, not being on the air for a 'time'. There was definitely no regularity.

Unlike the pioneer broadcasters of the 1920s who broadcast for a few hours per night, they were regular. The Stephenson family who pioneered 2EU then 2UE were that. The HPON licencees did not.

What distinguishes those pioneer broadcasters such as the Stephenson family is that they were regular. They built up an audience such that a butcher and the Catholic Church were regular advertisers.

Whether these HPON licensees were permitted to broadcast advertisements, it is not the point. Their broadcasts were irregular. Even though the cases did not reveal the nature of the licensees' targeted audience, adhoc broadcasts is not enough to build an audience and to monetise the business.

In one cases, one entity blamed their irregular service on the failure of the solar-powered stations powering the HPON stations. That shouldn't never have been a problem. First the transmitters' (yes the licencees in all cases had a number of transmitters, hence the correct position of the apostrophe of possession) power ranges is between 1W and 10W. On transmitter power alone, there shouldn't be a problem in powering the transmitter. Many street lights in council-owned parks have large solar panels powering the park's lighting system with power consumption much greater than the sum of the power consumption of the HPON transmitters.

Second, if the studios are supposed to be solar-powered, it should not be a problem if the studios were solar powered. Think of households with a solar-system and backup battery.

For an HPON licensee to blame their solar power technology not functioning resulting in ad-hoc broadcasts is not an excuse. The licensee should have tested its solar-powered studio and transmitter techology before the commencement of the licence period. That's the licensee's problem.

Thank you,
Anthony of in-depth Belfield

ACMA tells narrowcasters to 'Use it or lose it'
Anthony The Koala
16 October 2020 - 7:46am
Dear Mr St. John,
Thank you for alerting the reader to "Frontier Silicon", the major manufacturer of ICs for DAB+

The range of ICs available to manufacturers allow for DAB,DAB+ and FM with:
Fancy graphical display:
Standard one line display:


This IC handles FM, DAB, DAB+ as well as IP streaming radio: https://www.frontiersmart.com/smartradio-solutions#.X4ix3nVxWvg

Unfortunately, on examination of their product flyers, their offering of ICs do not include DRM+.

When looking at the block diagrams especially for the radio-only ICs, I thought why not include a network IP connection in order for broadcasters audience measurement. In previous reports for this site, IP radio delivered to smart phones could measure audience by the broadcaster, how long the person listened to a particular station and how often.

But it appears than broadcasters should lobby the IC manufacturer for networking if they want more reliable audience measurement than a diary.

Thank you,
Anthony of researching Belfield

Similarly, none of their ICs have functionality emergency broadcast reception as in DRM+.

Cumulative world DAB sales reach 93 million
13 October 2020 - 6:43pm
A UK company Frontier Silicon has produced DAB+ chips and modules for many manufacturers including Pure. I don't think they are SDR but the tasks are done in specially designed chips.

Another reason why they appear to the the same is that all the broadcasters are producing signals to an Australian/European standard specification. Unfortunately many receivers in Australia are only capable of a single line of scrolling text and are incapable of displaying images and Journaline text. I don't know if they will respond to the Emergency Warning Functionality either. If they do they cannot display maps and detailed instructions because the screen is incapable of it.

You are learning of the advantages of SDRs. Most Infotainment systems in cars are also SDRs as well and there are an increasing numbers of SDR receivers for enthusiasts.

With SDRs, there is a warning required, and that is particularly for automotive and long distance reception that there must be a tuned filter between the antenna and any RF Amplifier and the Analog to Digital Converter. This is to prevent interference from other strong signals either within the band or well out of the band for example sparking sources such as lightning, lighting and switchmode power supplies which are in virtually any mains powered modern piece of equipment.
Cumulative world DAB sales reach 93 million
13 October 2020 - 12:25pm
I think this is so important for people to know, especially at the moment!
You are not your job
Anthony The Koala
10 October 2020 - 12:11pm
Dear Mr St. John,
Thank you for informing us about the practicalities of RF versus IP streams and that broadcasting via RF is more economical for the broadcaster and the consumer who don't have to pay for data rates. I said something similar where a 200GB monthly limit may be 'gobbled up' before the month's end especially when consuming HD and 4k media.

When it comes to the policy in modes of broadcast transmission whether AM, FM, DAB+ or DRM+, we both concluded that a change in policy requires amendment of the legislation via our Members of Parliament. Your emphasis was that the laws "....won't change the laws unless the broadcasters push them to do it..."

When you mentioned that there are ICs which process the DAB+ and DRM signals, it reminds me of two things, software defined radio (SDR) and whether people who possess a DAB+ receiver may well have DRM+ functionality but being disabled.

One, I came across SDR by accident after purchasing a USB DVB dongle for my computer. The dongle could process TV signals. The 'accident' came by playing around with the supplied software. With the software I could be able to change the frequency away from the standard DVB TV and FM radio frequencies and was able to listen to for example LPON non-English speaking radio services on 154MHz as an example.

I later discovered from downloading free SDR software that one could demodulate any kind of signal whether AM, SSB, DSB, FM, DAB+ to name a few. The software could process/filter the AM (MW) frequencies and the resulting signal is noise-reduced. You could even choose the bandwidth of the AM (MW) frequency. One qualification was that one needed to purchase a PCB which translates down to 500kHz as the USB dongle's minimum frequency was 30MHz.

Given that signal processing of any kind of signal can be performed by SDR, one wonders why such receivers are not available on the marketplace in the form of a mantelpiece or tabletop or hi-fi unit or car. Not just SDR for DAB+ and DRM+ but for AM (MF) and FM (VHF) (88Mhz-108MHz).

Two, you mentioned that modern DAB+ and DRM+ receivers are controlled by software. I have Sangean and Pure receivers at home. Different brands, BUT same operational functionality and display. Methinks that the well-known brands even other branded radios have the same IC processing the DAB+ signals.

While I would never tweak inside my DAB+ radio, I'd like to know whether the radio listener is being cheated of the radio's potential to receive DRM+ signals but have been disabled and if they are enabled, the manufacturer can leverage the price of these receivers and market them as AM/FM/DAB+/DRM+ when in fact the DRM+ section is a simple switch from DAB+.

Thank you again Mr St. John,
Anthony of curious Belfield

Cumulative world DAB sales reach 93 million
9 October 2020 - 1:48am
I should make the following comments
Firstly 5G at high speeds requires repeaters every 900 m, it will not penetrate buildings or terrain and is attenuated by trees particularly when wet. As far as 4G goes you must travel outside of Sydney Metropolitan area. The coverage area of a base station is around 10 km radius.

The cost of serving every listener simultaneously with radio programs is much more expensive than broadcast not only for the broadcaster but also for the listener. People think that listening on phones is free with unlimited data caps, but if large audiences do it the telcos have to increase bandwidth both in the air and between all the base stations and the radio stations. This will cause charges to rise.
Phone sound without headphones on is appalling unless bluetoothed to another sound system. Most radio listening happens in the daily commute, where the sound systems are much better.

From the end of this year all new cars in Europe must be capable of digital reception. It does not define what digital terrestrial system is required, but there are single chip processors capable of DAB+/DRM.

As far as Norway goes, the switchover was 3 years ago and now ratings have not only equalled the old FM but are now accelerating upwards and this is using DAB+ not the internet.
Forget Canada, that was the much inferior DAB using 1.4 GHz band. There is now none of these broadcasts because of poor propagation. DAB+ gives much more program choice and much more protection against transmission errors.

India has 36 high powered DRM transmitters in the medium frequency band on air, 4 are pure DRM the others transmit an hour of DRM only per day the rest of the time is a simulcast. They are now installing 6 x 2 megawatt MF DRM transmitters to increase the coverage from 600 million people to the rest of their 1300 million people. They have a small commercial radio coverage and are now going to offer DRM+ to commercial broadcasters.

The ABC has an 10 kW experimental licence for DRM+ for the Upper Murray Region. The closest major town is Wodonga Victoria

The politicians won't change the laws unless the broadcasters push them to do it.
Cumulative world DAB sales reach 93 million


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