Say What You Think

Radio engineers are a breed unto themselves. They will tell you, in no uncertain terms, what they think about radio engineering — unless otherwise restrained by the threat of repercussion. But the various discussion groups among the breed are filled with blunt talk, in amongst the tech talk that boggles the average reader. Consider this, posted on the website

Radio Interference
“Our main reason for filing this complaint was to get CBS to come to the table. The solution, at least for KATY, is for KRTH to install a directional antenna on its IBOC operation with a deep null toward KATY.  This would not hurt the IBOC coverage in the LA metro or the ARB LA metro for that matter.

The real question, does IBOC work? The real answer is no. If the system worked as originally planned there would be no need for an IBOC power increase. The system is flawed and a scam both on the public and on the broadcast industry. Sure radio broadcasting should be in digital HD but as a separate service on a new separate Digital Broadcast Band. IBOC will never survive, radio will, but IBOC will not be a part of radio’s future. The FCC should create a separate band for Digital Broadcasting and migrate the broadcasters to it in much the same manner as was done with digital HD television or DTV.

There are also some other issues that the U.S. Department of Justice should look into such as the licensing fee structure and the right of iBiquity to audit the books of stations it licenses the technology to. iBuquity is a consortium of large broadcast companies and I wonder if it’s even legal for an enterprise structured in that manner to have access to its competitors’ ‘books.’

Let the games begin!” – Elliott Klein, KLEIN BROADCAST ENGINEERING, L.L.C.
And on the heels of the announcement of another protest filed with the FCC — this one by station KMLA 103.7, a Class A in El Rio, California — the site discussion board signed in, with Bob Savage noting the protest was “filed with, and soon to be ignored by, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.” “Free Bird,” a fellow member, noted:

Section 307(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (as amended) mandates that any broadcast allotment must further the objective of “fair, efficient, and equitable distribution of radio service” among the States and communities. But I question whether the FCC has acted in accordance with 307(b) by allowing major-market grandfathered stations to add digital sidebands which are so high in power as to interfere with the analog service of outlying stations such as KATY-FM and KMLA.

Fact is, in order for KRTH and KOST to transmit the HD signal, additional RF channels (where the digital carriers are placed) are necessary. . . . So, in effect, the FCC has given Los Angeles (a large, well-served market) an allotment preference (that degrades the coverage of KATY and KMLA in lesser-served areas) in contradiction with established precedent.

Responded Savage, who himself has been through the wars with FCC over his station, WSYL, and been given short shrift:

The serial violations of existing enabling laws — in letter and in spirit — including the Communications Acts of 1934 and 1996, are disgusting.

It’s just so morally wrong to put a colleague broadcaster’s livelihood directly in the crosshairs for . . . what?  Bragging rights that you are simulcasting a “digital stream”? One that virtually not a single listener cares about, and that generally can’t be distinguished qualitywise by the average listener from your analog signal? One that in many cases sounds WORSE than the analog?

It’s reprehensible. It’s not progress. It makes the radio industry look like fools, not innovators. Glynn Walden, Paul Donovan, Jeff Littlejohn and whoever the Greater Media clown is, will deservedly go down in radio history as cynical, dishonest manipulators, not great engineers. Bring a plague on all of them, “and their houses.”


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