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What You Think

User Opinion Story
22 September 2018 - 4:44am
The LEGEND of all time, Sir Rod Stewart. I ador him, his music and his charitable work that he does. Hes so down to earth with his fans and the public, thats why he is legendary. Rod Stewart's Saturday night dinner party on smooth fm
20 September 2018 - 7:36am
Good God who's idea was that.
She might be all sorts of good things but not an Andrew Olle lecturer.
Good luck filling the room.
Who's idea was that?
Let me guess.....
Caroline Wilson to deliver Andrew Olle lecture
Anthony The Koala
18 September 2018 - 12:18am
While I need to research more about new technologies, I must make a remark about the new kinds of broadcasting technology that have been introduced in the last 20 years. In radio broadcasting, AM as a modulation method for broadcasting has existed for nearly 90+ years, FM for nearly 70 years and 60 years mono-compatible subcarrier (stereo, acs, rds (later on)). That is relative stability. In the last 20 years we've seen DAB with MPII, DAB+ with MPIII and HE-AAC lossy compression, HD and DRM. Similarly for TV, (I'm skipping the history of 30-line, 405-line and 819-line transmissions) we had NTSC (65 years), PAL (55 years) and SECAM (50 years). In the short time of DVB-T in Australia, 18 years, there were issues of TVs made before 2010 not being able to decode H-264 HD transmissions used by all Australian DVB-T TV stations.

Sure there are more efficient compression algorithms delivering higher quality pictures in the same spectrum for a given analogue or digital spectrum. However with constant changes to broadcasting technology in shorter period of time, will the consumer be willing to change every few years to keep up-to-date with the latest modulation method of HD radio, DRM. Same question could be asked whether we will want to change TV receivers to DVB-T2 (Yes there are UHD tvs, but they only have HD tuners).

On the other hand, implementation of changes in technology may well have to be implemented in software as alluded to by Mr Thompson's Linkedin article. At the moment software implementations of the latest algorithms are implemented on PCs with a USB-dongle, typically one with an RL2832 chip. There doesn't appear to be affordable consumer TV and RADIO receivers which have hardware to compute any algorithm 'thrust' upon it,

Though as an aside, SDR radio can be used to significantly reduce noise and increase in bandwidth for AM-reception!

The question becomes, given the introduction of new modulation and compression algorithms over the last 20 years, could we see the introduction of SDR television and radio such that our receivers are future-poroofed against obsolete and less efficient algorithms without the need to buy a new radio or TV using the current technology?

Another thought on Mr Cridland's article. I would like to know the breakdown of breakdown of technologies used in UK given that less than 50% of listeners use AM or FM. Is it DAB, satellite radio, IP streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes, podcasts to name a few?

Anthony of exciting Belfield
The secret to achieve a growing radio industry could be as simple as this...
Paul Thompson
17 September 2018 - 9:50pm
What was clear from IBC2018 this year, is the need for Broadcasters, Telcos and IT sectors to work together, scratch each others back as so to day.

To do this, we need the right 'plugins' as the younger generations would say. DAB and DRM dont just plugin, but for radio broadcasters, primarily those in the FM space, going digital is a practical way is the only way.

Interested to know more.. Take a look at my article I have written on FMD.
The secret to achieve a growing radio industry could be as simple as this...
17 September 2018 - 8:33pm
The demise of the US radio industry would no doubt have a LOT to do with the resource stripping carried out by large radio owners like Clear Channel which has converted vibrant regional radio business units into irrelevant, sad, and locally-resented outposts of L.A. & N.Y. radio.

Australian owners of regional radio would do well to take note.
The secret to achieve a growing radio industry could be as simple as this...
14 September 2018 - 11:28am
So if AM band is a problem why doesn't the ABC promote the use of DAB+ digital radio in Capital cities instead of promoting the use of the phone to listen to the radio for which the telcos charge to listen?
The ABC DAB+ transmitters carry all its AM and FM programs eliminating the AM image.
Last year Norway switched off AM and FM for all but community broadcasters leaving DAB+ for all broadcasts. This has saved broadcasters a lot of money.

In regional areas why isn't the ABC following the Indian example where they have covered the whole country with Digital Radio Mondiale where the coverage areas are similar to AM radio but with good quality stereo sound. DRM uses 60 % less electricity than AM transmitters. The ABC already has 4 high power DRM capable transmitters and most sites have a standby transmitter which can be modified to transmit DRM.
We are the go-to place for local content: Michael Mason
14 September 2018 - 12:09am
Michael Mason’s article is contradictory and without proof of his statements.

As an example he says “I believe we still live in a great age for Radio. It’s not the first time that we’ve heard about the decline of radio – TV was predicted to be death of radio and that proved to be far from accurate.”, then goes on to claim “Listeners now expect on-demand content that is seamless, intuitive and personalised” Mr Mason needs to add actual statistics to his assertions by looking at http://www.radioalive.com.au/RA/media/General/Documents/Radio-in-20517.pdf It says that podcasts are only 3.2 % and streaming from his unnamed sources is only 11%. of listening time.

A much better analogy is that linear radio gives the audience a taste of what is available and who could go to a record shop for more from their favourite artist or topic that they have heard. The podcast is the new version of the record, which is audio on demand! They also do not wish to continually select content.

The ABC claims online listening is free, one listener, listening for an hour a day for 3 months uses 2.6 Gbyte per listener. Look at your listening habits and the cost of data to find your real cost. The cost of providing individual signals to each simultaneous listener increases exponentially not only for the ABC but also for the NBN requiring over 400 Gbit/s just for their present analog capital city audience.

The CRA says that there is 3.8 million DAB+ receivers in a population of 15 million potential listeners that’s 25 % and includes the new cities of Darwin, Hobart and Canberra.

The ABC should be adding the internet address of the podcast relating to the current program into the DAB+ digital radio signal. This would enable the listeners to high end digital radios to select the relevant podcast at the end of the program.

In the early 1990s he ABC was offered the opportunity to convert to FM, they only converted to in Eastern states regional areas fearing a listener backlash. Now, no mobile phones will receive AM. If the ABC were to switch off their AM transmitters in DAB+ coverage areas, they could save at least 860 kW from 22 on-air AM transmitters for Local radio, Radio National and NewsRadio. This also leaves 10 standby AM transmitters. To that they can also add 18 high powered FM transmitters reducing the power bill by around a MegaWatt! With the money saved they could introduce Digital Radio Mondiale to cover the rest of Australia including restoring live radio to 600,000 mobile remote Australians who are not at home and out of their villages.

Michael Mason was part of the decision to close Radio Australia which is now being reconsidered by the Department of Communications. Radio Australia also has transmitters capable of transmitting DRM to the Pacific on high frequency with really good quality stereo sound along with pictures, text and emergency warning system.

The ABC, SBS, commercial and community need to convert to DAB+/DRM to drastically reduce their transmission costs so that they can then improve program variety and quality using the money saved. Also the poor quality of analog sound particularly AM will be consigned to history.
Remember, Australia switched off analog TV in 2013 with little complaint and now we have HD TV and more programs, with less power consumption in the transmissions system.
We still live in a great age for Radio… Digital era a chance to take greater risks: ABC’s Michael Mason
Anthony The Koala
13 September 2018 - 4:01pm
I fully understand moving ABC-fm to DAB+. If you know the technical history of ABC-fm since its inception in 1976, you will understand that ABC-fm has always been digital. When ABC-fm started from Collinswood Adelaide in 1976, its signal was converted to pulse code modulation ('PCM') and distributed via Telecom's (formerly the PMG currently Telstra) trunk lines throughout Australia. I would assume that ABC-fm's signal which now originates from Sydney is distributed digitally to its transmitters via satellite. So changing from VHF fm to VHF dab should not cause a denigration of signal quality. This is provided that the bit rates on DAB remain high. Currently ABC-fm on DAB is 70kbs which is below 2CH (Sydney) on 128kbs.

If the ABC-fm VHF frequency is vacated for metropolitan radio, it should weight the costs of running its MW transmitters versus its VHF transmitters and the amount of CO2 produced by its MW and VHF transmitters.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
We still live in a great age for Radio… Digital era a chance to take greater risks: ABC’s Michael Mason
12 September 2018 - 1:41pm
Why no mention of DAB+?
Sure there are limitations with ABC Local radio being on AM but that is largely an issue in the metro areas (ABC Local is already on FM in many regional areas). In metro areas ABC Local is on DAB+ so surely they should, I dunno, actually PROMOTE IT!!
Seems to me they're building a case to switch off ABC Classic FM and move that entirely to online or DAB+ so they can put the metro ABC Local stations on FM in the cities. That's fine if that's what they want to do. In the regional areas they could put ABC Country on FM in place of ABC Classic FM. Personally I'd prefer Double J on FM in both metro and regional areas.
We still live in a great age for Radio… Digital era a chance to take greater risks: ABC’s Michael Mason
Des DeCean
12 September 2018 - 5:05am
When appraising ABC listenership on AM radio services such as local radio and radio National there will be a percentage of listeners that have moved from listening to these services on AM to listening to those same services on DAB+. This is generally due to the clearer sound which suits many older people with declining hearing - but also offers great benefits where man made noise and interference particularly in Melbourne with trams, render AM reception almost useless in some suburban areas and more often in cars. So the ABC audience for Local radio and Radio National and News radio might have declining numbers on AM - but increasing numbers on Digital as listeners become aware of the superior sound quality and reception available for those same services. The ABC could do its self and its listeners a favour by more heavily promoting DAB+ for all the reasons mentioned above. We still live in a great age for Radio… Digital era a chance to take greater risks: ABC’s Michael Mason


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