Just Like FM?

On the blog Engineering Radio, Paul Thurst debunks the prevalent iBiquity swag that HD radio’s slow acceptance mirrors that of FM radio in its advent years ago. As Struble’s Flying Circus is wont to say, “Currently, HD Radio is experiencing ‘growing pains’ and the occasional ‘bump in the road.’” Paul goes to great lengths, in a table, to compare the inception of the two. His conclusion:

The FM roll out in the late forties and early fifties is vastly different from the HD Radio rollout in the zero zeros. Due to fear of competition and patent disputes, RCA in conjunction with the FCC did all they could to squash the new technology. That is why FM radio took so long to be accepted by the general public.  For those not versed with the history of FM development and FM broadcasting in the US, see Empire of the Air, by Tom Lewis. See also: Edwin H. Armstrong.  It is a good read for those radio obsessed.

HD Radio is failing because the consumer is not buying it, I see little to change their mind.

An interesting read also is the comments section, where one HD apologist attempts to refute Paul’s points (saying “My goodness, you know so little and you are so easily misled. Every one of those 10 items is either partially or totally false”), but Paul turns around the argument, refuting the refutations and leading of by saying, “My goodness, you sound like Bob Struble. Actually, I’ll address your points as you presented them.” And Greg Smith adds the following:

[Commenter] George Morrison is probably the same HD Radio troll (SMS) that posts like crazy in ba.broadcast, alt.radio.digital, and rec.radio.shoirtwave – just ignore him, as he has the same “signature” on other posts. John Higdon has called his bluff many times, but SMS refuses to post his “credentials.” I’ve tracked him down to Baltimore, MD, whuch is close to Columbia, MD, iBiquity Headquarters. He may be a laid-off iBiquity employee. Just like Bob Stuble, repeating the same lies over and over, eventually people start believing the lies.

And as J. Aegerter added:

Jamming things down people’s throats never seems to work, except in the record business. And when the FCC brought in an Economist as a Commissioner, along with the phaseout of engineering assistants to the Commissioners, radio engineering at the agency took another nosedive. From that point on, the FCC was all about money and the economy. Any new “widget” to make people spend money and keep the economy humming was the brainchild. And what happened to the FCC as “Spectrum Guardians”? Money and the economy was now paramount! Electromagnetic interference? What is that?


One Response

  1. This is an old, tired argument used over-and-over again by HD cheerleaders. The rollout of analog FM did not displace existing services as IBOC. There was not a monopoly on analog FM, so companies such as iBiquity didn’t need to be floated forever. IBOC is similar to FMeXtra and SCA services, offering nothing new over existing analog FM capabilities.

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