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cancel national FM and AM closedown

1 Comment 9th July 2010

1. Digital radio recievers use more battery power.

2 A seperate distribution system is not necessary for FM and Digital transmissions. The distribution feeds both, at the same transmitter sites, therefore the cost of retaining FM is only that for maintanence of the exisiting FM transmitters. This will actually BE LESS THAT THE COST OF EXTRA BATTERIES for digital radios because there are tens of thousands of receivers per transmitter.

3. If FM is retained, the radio manufacturing industry can still sell digital sets. In fact they will have a wider range of products, FM and Digital. Also they can manufacture and sell combined FM+Digital sets, which are already available.

4. Am receivers are simple and compact. They use an internal ferrite rod aerial and can be used almost anywhere. The battery consumption is the lowest of the three types (AM, FM and Digital). What will happen in a severe national emergency (may not be nuclear war, could be a natural disaster); when the government want to keep in touch with the people. Those listening on Digital services, for which the transmitters may have been destroyed, will have to go down to the shop for batteries every week!  Incidentally, in such a catastrophic situation a replacement AM transmitter can be built fairly quickly. I worked for the BBC, and Droitwich built a replacement when the Midland regional transmitter blew up, in less than a day.

5. Lots of sport fans still value Long Wave. When it was proposed to close Long Wave transmissions there was a march of protest to Broadcasting House (and the decision changed)

6. Digital radio has the potential to be better quality than FM, but it is'nt. This is because the bit rate is reduced on some services to accomodate more channels. This has ALWAYS been the case.

7. Quality FM transmission requires companding and variable pre-emphesis, but so does digital transmission.

8. Many Hi Fi enthusiasts have their FM tuner integral to their sound system. There are no digital radio tuners marketed which will substitute, and the changeover is not simple. There are portable receivers, but enthusiasts want to play the sound on their own loudspeakers (today called "Monitors"). In my system the FM station is selected by remote control in each room. There is no digital equivalent.

9  Have any of the Digital Committee actually listened to a Digital receiver, such as the "Gemini", and compared the quality on an A-B switch to FM on a reasonably good set of stereo speakers? If they had they would not keep saying that Digital is better than FM. You have to judge the whole system, and not compare digital reception to a cheap FM portable receiver.

10  Most households will have to replace more than on receiver.

11.  The Communications Minister said that Digital Radio offers a hugh opportunity. Well it doesn't. It did twenty years ago when it started, but now we see the proposed closure of 6 Music and the Asian Network 

Why does this matter?

My ideas are inportand because the subsidy on exchanged FM receivers and the close of national FM transmissions is being usedf to FORCE people to change to Digital radio. This coalition government say they want to give the people more choice. Let us have the choice of FM and Digital.

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One Response to cancel national FM and AM closedown

  1. rodger says:

    there are many reasons to keep analog and currently NO compelling reasons to switch to digital!
    sadly, broadcasting itself is coming to a halt (to be replaced with “narrowcasting”) why would any sane person spend huge amounts of money on something that is “end of life”?
    The audio quality of the current DAB system is abysmal and (because of commercial constraints) I doubt the new version will be any better!
    they site “more choice” as a good reason to go digital! honestly, have they listened to a radio lately?
    all they will get is lots of identical sounding stations playing the same music, saying the same thing, and owned by the same “Media Group’s” how is that more choice?
    if something is nearing the end of it’s life, and is working acceptably why waste money on it?
    only to fleece the public (like they are doing with the vastly inferior “freeview” offering) rest assured, when their money is made, the UHF spectrum WILL be sold to Cellular comms for “4G” and the freeview boxes will just constitute landfill!!
    everything is driven by money and greed, nothing by need!

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