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WPHT drops IBOC

The technical side of broadcasting. Think IBOC is a sham? Talk about it here! How about HDTV? Post DX reports here as well.
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SolarMax
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WPHT drops IBOC

Post by SolarMax » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:14 pm

Read a report on another site that WPHT 1210 Philadelphia has shut off its IBOC and widened its audio bandwidth back out to 10kHz.
WPHT is a former CBS, now Entercom, property. We can always hope that WWJ will likewise follow suit and kill the hash-o-matic.



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WOHO
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by WOHO » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:26 pm

Excellent that they are widening the bandwidth, now if they just played the WCAU oldies, that would be even better.



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SolarMax
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by SolarMax » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:08 pm

The IBOC is back on at WPHT.
Never mind.



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WOHO
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by WOHO » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:55 am

Might have been when they used the backup transmitter. Used to get lucky and catch WBZ on backup transmitter in CQUAM stereo and wide bandwidth, likewise WGN Chicago a couple years back - transmitter maintenance was a good thing!



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SolarMax
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by SolarMax » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:52 pm

WBZ's CQUAM sounded great. While their nighttime programming was local talk, the spots sounded good, and their in-house promo and PSA production was superb, both creatively and technically. Before they brought on the noise (but not the funk), they killed off the stereo. I wrote their engineering dept. about it. They told me that they at that time were getting ready to install a new transmitter that would not accommodate the stereo system in use. The IBOC went on air not too long afterward.



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Ed Joseph
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by Ed Joseph » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:30 am

I just don't understand why ANYONE would run IBOC on AM. It's a JOKE! In my entire lifetime, I have been in ONE vehicle with an HD radio. 2 stations attempted to come in but kept falling back to muddy analog. And these were 50kW stations. That said, I've owned at least five vehicles myself with C-QuAM capabilities. Now, I *personally* thought the Kahn system or even Harris' system was better, but C-QuAM was at least plenty listenable. The platform motion issues got ironed out a lot (not "perfect" but much improved) and it didn't cause weird splatters and sizzles 25kHz each side of center freq. I used to enjoy DXing AM quite frequently, even if most of the programming was mush, until IBOC came along. It futile now. I do have my old Realistic stereo tuner hooked up to a 35' triangle in the yard and run RG6 in all the way to the terminals, and that does keep the QRM from all the switching PSU's and TV down some, but I can't do much about IBOC splatter. I hardly ever turn it on anymore, but if they banned IBOC, I probably would do more DXing. There are still some stereo AM's around, not bothering anybody, and it was nice to stumble onto one late at night.

I hear this weak, dual standard argument, "hardly anybody can receive C-QuAM so we shut it off". Well now, tell me how many more can decode your stupid IBOC? By that argument, they should shut off the IBOC.


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Big Signal
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by Big Signal » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:54 pm

I have a HD radio in my Ford, it's the Sony system. Frankly I like hearing WWJ on HD, in fact I can carry their HD signal up into Saginaw county solid, I've been up on US 23 in Oscoda and WWJ's HD was solid down the east coast into Bay City. I never get any HD breakup around the Detroit metro area at all. I know for DXers it's not a good thing, I think the majority of younger listeners don't care about DXing as we continue into the digital age. Sad but true in my opinion.


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Ed Joseph
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by Ed Joseph » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:13 pm

My father in law's Navigator has HD. In fact, it's the only vehicle I've ever been in with an HD radio. On FM, it's not bad at all, but I've noticed that FM IBOC stations have worse analog than their non-HD counterparts. The subchannels are kind of interesting sometimes, with some decent programming.

I really don't have a problem with IBOC on FM, but on AM, it seems to me that the FCC should have chosen a better system than HD. Or just not bothered with digital on AM altogether. It really offers no real improvement to interference problems, quite the contrary. It's not like they got to double the amount of channels on the band or add a subchannel for each frequency.

MW is MW, and it's inherent problems remain whether analog or digital. Like, static... you can listen to analog during a thunderstorm, although not a pleasant experience, but a thunderstorm will completely trash a digital signal. The same holds true to some extent with OTA TV service, although a lot of TV stations really took a hit in coverage versus their prior analog footprints. Then, there's the licensing fee scam, which basically keeps smaller owners from implementing it. Sure, it can do stereo, but so can analog, without the lossy codec artifacts.

To me, I see it as making a bigger problem than the problem it was attempting to fix. But the thickest wallets always win favor the FCC and it's been that way for 40 years now. I really don't see HD on AM surviving too much longer since there are so few radios out there for it.


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Big Signal
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by Big Signal » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:18 pm

I used to have a C-QuAM system in a 2005 Ford I had with the Mach 300 system and I thought AM stereo sounded great. I remember listing to WJR during Michigan football games when they were running C-QuAM, and the way the mics were placed around the stadium made you feel like you were in the stadium. I think Kahn had the best idea for AM, but as you indicated Ed, big money forced him out of the game.


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Ed Joseph
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by Ed Joseph » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:28 pm

Very true, Sir Signal! At least if C-Quam was left running for those few listeners out there, it's not HURTING the surrounding spectrum. The splatter side effect of IBOC is my main problem. But, hey... The FCC is evidently just emulating the FDA.


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obc_radio
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by obc_radio » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:59 pm

While I love C-Quam (owning a Carver TX-11A, with full 20KHZ audio, I really understand it’s FULL potential), I understand that realistically it’s dead. There haven’t really been any c-Quam receivers available in over a decade. To be honest, HD on AM sounds great in a local listening enviroment. WWJ is solid around metro Detroit, and quite beyond. On a recent trip to Cincinnati, I listened to Fort Wayne IN’s WOWO in solid HD lock, from around Bowling Green to near Dayton down I-75. Many, if not most new cars today either come standard with HD radio, or have it in optioned trim levels. My dad’s late model Ford Expedition has a nice blending AM HD tuner that seems to only open up the full fidelity of the HD signal after the signal has consistent lock for a few minutes or so. This, coupled with the fact that it actually has a fairly wide analog bandwidth, makes the transition (and constant switching back and forth in weak signal environments) nearly seamless. My car has an aftermarket Kenwood tuner, and although it performs well, the analog bandwidth is terrible. I honestly find it difficult to even listen to non-HD AM in my car, since I’m used to WWJ and others. Is IBOC AM perfect, heck no, but c-quam is nearly extinct, and so are the people who even know what that is. Just because you or I drive older vehicles in which HD was unavailable, doesn’t mean everyone else does. I’m 29, and nearly nobody my age (or younger) will even consider listening to analog AM radio. To stay relevant, AM will have to either embrace a digital broadcast, or get relegated to niche listening, similar to shortwave. For the past 30 years, AM has been driven by content-seeking listeners. Since talk radio is now becoming widely available on FM or streaming, it’s going to be more and more difficult for the average listener to justify the poorer listening experience of tuning in via AM.

Again I’d love to see full spectrum C-quam mandated, along with AMax receiver standards, but it’s just not going to happen...



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audiophile
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by audiophile » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:03 am

For those that think that HD on AM sounds great, you need to have your ears examined...

The garbled, warbly, and synthetic highs ruin any advantage it has. This is especially true on speech - very unnatural.


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Big Signal
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by Big Signal » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:31 pm

My ears are fine, AM HD sounds fine in my vehicle, I don't hear what you are talking about. I know it's not as good as FM but it is miles above AM analog. In my opinion SIRIUS XM audio sucks, it always sounds like it's phase shifting.


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SolarMax
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by SolarMax » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:39 pm

Big Signal wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:31 pm
... In my opinion SIRIUS XM audio sucks, it always sounds like it's phase shifting.
I've got a factory radio in my Chevy and a fairly decent speaker system. On SXM, I never hear phase shift or glitching, except on the low res traffic report channels, which were always unlistenable. I listen to a number of different genre music channels and most have clarity and frequency response comparable to FM through the same audio chain. No "HD" on this radio, so can't make that comparison.



k8jd
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by k8jd » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:39 pm

When I listen to WWJ in my truck I have HD but since I live in a northwestern suburb I have spots where it looses lock and goes back to regular AM and i can hear the difference, mainly a booming bass end in HD and a regular sound on Normal AM ! not really an improvement !
Since it's an all news format (mostly voices) there is no music for the stereo effect to show up on. What a WASTE of BANDWIDTH ! :shock:



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SolarMax
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by SolarMax » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:02 pm

k8jd wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:39 pm
Since it's an all news format (mostly voices) there is no music for the stereo effect to show up on. What a WASTE of BANDWIDTH ! :shock:
Not to mention the generally bad sounding feeds from the UMich sports network- narrow bandwidth, glitchy, over compressed. A showcase for "HD."



k8jd
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by k8jd » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:52 pm

Too bad the engineers there are of the "loudness is everything" camp, and not the ones who think "fidelity is everything" !!!,



bmw
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by bmw » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:03 pm

SolarMax wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:02 pm
k8jd wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:39 pm
Since it's an all news format (mostly voices) there is no music for the stereo effect to show up on. What a WASTE of BANDWIDTH ! :shock:
Not to mention the generally bad sounding feeds from the UMich sports network- narrow bandwidth, glitchy, over compressed. A showcase for "HD."
Michigan State and Detroit Pistons feeds are even worse. Seriously, like all the major sports networks in Michigan (with the exception of the Tigers, though I have noticed that even they in the past few years have gone somewhat downhill in the audio quality department) sound absolutely AWFUL. Compression to the absolute max (where you here stadium/audience noise at full volume fill every gap between every syllable of every word spoken by the announcer) and very poor fidelity. Then you have the H*** show that sounds like it is broadcast out of a van over a cell phone.



XMTRNUT
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by XMTRNUT » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:23 pm

And I thank em!!!!!



XMTRNUT
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Re: WPHT drops IBOC

Post by XMTRNUT » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:26 pm

It may sound good but it sure ruins DX on adjacent frequencies.



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