Hip Deep in the Big Muddy of HD Radio

A correspondent sent this link along about the latest developments in HD radio, along with a scathing commentary about what this latest insanity portends:

From http://www.radio-info.com/newsletter/html/tri-11302011.html this morning (11/30):

HD RadioImproving HD Radio reception is the goal of an FCC Public Notice on “Asymmetric sideband operations”, and now we’ve got the comment dates. Comments are due by December 19, with reply comments due January 3. This is the story TRI told you about on November 2 – “’Asymmetric’ may not sound sexy, but it might be one key to improving coverage for HD Radio FMs.’ Basically, the Commission says “a significant number of FM stations are precluded from taking advantage of the full 10 dB digital power increase permitted by the order, due to the presence of a nearby station on one but not both of the first first-adjacent channels.” If stations could run an “asymmetrical” signal – stronger on one side – they could raise digital power.

So the Federal Cookie Company is moving ahead with this idiotic idea.  It won’t improve “HD” coverage significantly, but it will increase interference to adjacents, at least on one side of the analog channel.

The “HD” signals are not sidebands in the literal sense of the word. They are two independently generated digital signals, one occupying the closer half of each first-adjacent channel.  And they are not synchronized.  That accounts for both for the excessive time delay imposed on the analog signal, which is necessary to keep it synchronized with the digital output at the receiver, and for the “HD” system’s relative (not absolute) advantage in the face of multiplex under some (not all) conditions.  (The two “HD” signals seldom suffer identical interference, and an “HD” receiver delays the two side-channel signal, picking and choosing whichever parts of each signal seem most intact to reconstruct an undamaged digital stream.)

Of course, that won’t work if one of the two digital side-channel signals is too weak to use!

So where could this increase the coverage range for “HD” FM?  Only on fixed (not mobile) receivers with (presumably) outdoor antennas.  Indoor antennaswould be subject to the effects of people — or pets? — getting too close and interferreing with marginal signals.  So who has that?  How about translators?

I can see no practical purpose (and I use the word “practical” loosely!) for asymmetrical “HD” except to enlarge the area where a network of analog translators could be used to make it possible for a signal from an HD-2 or HD-3 subchannel to reach a real audience.

NPR Plays Lapdog During Occupy Protests

THE EMPIRE ATTACK ON PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT

The propagandists of NPR began their Morning Edition program this morning by describing yesterday’s Occupy Wall Street protesters as “mostly peaceful.” This is the way they discredit the movement, by insinuating that one should expect violence from those opposed to corporate greed at any cost. NPR did not notice anything amiss from the police, who they did not describe as “mostly peaceful.”

“Many protesters complained of police brutality,” pointed out al Jazeera, “pointing to one image of a man whose face was bloodied during his arrest and another of a woman who was dragged across the sidewalk by an officer, Reuters news agency reported.

“’They tried to use a lot different tactics against us. They kept putting blockades within the movement to stop people from moving freely. They are almost treating us like cattle instead of human beings,’ said Sergeant Shamar Thomas, a veteran of the Iraq war and a protester.

“Somebody was hit in the head with a baton. It is not that police doesn’t have the right to arrest. It is the excessive force that they use — if you have a man on the ground, why are you hitting him in the head with a baton.”

Police also attacked journalists without NPR noticing, journalists who were trying to report what is really happening around the corporate media propagandists who see the world through the eyes of the ruling Forces of Greed and National Security State.

“Lucy Kafanov, a reporter for the RT television network, said she was hit with a police baton while trying to film the protests. She told another reporter for her network that she had her press credentials clearly visible, but was still struck. She also said that she witnessed another reporter from the IndyMedia network being “slammed against the wall” and arrested.

“It does not seem police are making a distinction between press and protesters,” she said. Other journalists reported similar incidents.

“Saw NYPD hitting a man with a nightstick. Tried to take a picture but police grabbed me and shoved me across the street,” DNAInfo editor Julie Shapiro tweeted. “The NYPD just slammed a barricade into a photographer,” another report read.

“The Daily Caller also said that two of its reporters were ‘assaulted’ with batons.”

WRVU Notes from the Front

Dear Friends of WRVU,

I know it has been quiet lately, worse than quiet, perhaps, in Nashville where the endless classical music on 91.1 FM pretends that everything is A-OK.   The turmoil behind the scenes, however, rages on.  Fine WRVU DJs have been banned from the online station in a shockingly transparent mass-elimination of those who vocally opposed the frequency sale last semester. The remaining live DJs struggle to keep an audience via online stream and have deeply lamented the loss of regular callers, regular listeners.  DJ HAL (the automated playlist) dominates the current schedule spinning random tunes 13+ hours each day.

Meanwhile, the classical music on WFCL “91-One” is not pulling in the listeners Nashville Public Radio might have expected.  In fact, despite the money and corporate strategy behind promoting the new station, the current ratings for WFCL are not much higher than we were seeing with WRVU.  In addition, ratings on WPLN have been down since they went public with their intentions to purchase the WRVU frequency.

Many thanks to those of you who have expressed your dissatisfaction with Nashville Public Radio in regards to their intent to purchase 91.1 FM.  Please keep up the pressure by writing WPLN President Rob Gordon  rgordon@wpln.org and boycotting Nashville Public Radio pledge drives and fundraisers.

The simplest solution to this entire situation would be for WPLN to back out of the deal and return the frequency to its rightful owners — the students of WRVU.

We know that Vanderbilt Student Communications (VSC) still owns the 91.1 FM frequency and they have entered into an LMA,
Lease-Management Agreement, with Nashville Public Radio. According to the strict FCC laws that govern this sort of contract, the frequency owners retain the right to cancel the LMA at any point.  Without entirely new leadership at the VSC, however, it is hard to imagine this happening.

While we would prefer not to involve attorneys, the Federal Communications Commission, and the State of Tennessee in our quest to Save WRVU, we are committed to doing what is right for the people of Nashville, the students of Vanderbilt University, and college radio supporters around the world.

Over the past few months, WRVU Friends & Family representatives have been traveling to the nation’s hottest radio conferences (CMJ, CBI, GRC) joining with our brethren from KTRU and KUSF warning college broadcasters of a College Radio Crisis that is now in full swing.

Public Radio Capital (PRC) is an aggressive financing group that has been involved with just about every College Radio buyout in recent history.  One of their Board Members also sits on the Board of Nashville Public Radio.  You are invited to learn more about PRC using the link below. It is because of this group & their aggressive national campaign to acquire educational frequencies that we know we must fight harder. No longer is this struggle about one college radio station, it is about the existence of this diverse and dynamic medium as a whole.

We learned from industry experts at CMJ and CBI that our struggle in Nashville combined with those at KTRU in Houston and KUSF in San Francisco has slowed the tide of College Radio frequency sales & has piqued the interest of the FCC.

This has been a long, VERY LONG ordeal but there have been some victories and although they seem small to us, still lost without our beloved frequency, these accomplishments are quite big to the rest of the college radio world.

We MUST continue the fight.

Over the past year, a handful of volunteers have waged this battle for WRVU 91.1 FM without asking for money. We have been working out of our pockets & off of a few random contributions that have come our way (Thank you, BTW, & look for another message soon as to how we hope to repay your unsolicited generosity!).

Within the coming weeks, however, we will be launching a new fundraising platform on the vivawrvu.org website.

We hope you all will reflect on how much WRVU has meant to you – as education and as entertainment –  and contribute accordingly.  The money raised by the WRVU Friends & Family will be used for the sole purpose of getting Vanderbilt students back on the FM dial.  This is a goal we DO believe we can accomplish but we will need the support of the entire community.

Please know that we have spent many, many months investigating this situation. Feel confident that we would not ask for your money if we did not think this was a battle that we can WIN.

WE CAN WIN.

¡¡¡VIVA WRVU!!!
http://www.vivawrvu.org

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Ousted WRVU DJ Pete Wilson Speaks Out Against ‘Micromanaging and Censoring’ by VSC
By Steve Harush, Nashville Scene
http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashvillecream/archives/2011/09/27/ousted-wrvu-dj-pete-wilson-speaks-out-against-micromanaging-and-censoring-by-vsc

Public Radio Capital: Money from the Sky
By Jim Vest, Keep Public Radio Public
https://keeppublicradiopublic.com/2011/08/26/public-radio-capital-money-from-the-sky/

College Radio’s Fight for FM
By Jennifer Waits,Radio Survivor
http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2011/10/18/college-radios-fight-for-fm/

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