Wednesday, January 28, 2015


We are now using HD-2 to relay a second
program stream to two of our [translators].
We call it The Poor Man's STL.

I was surprised to see the ample number of replies to my PubRadio post. At the very least, I’m glad to start a discussion.

First, I learned something today.  I am a newbie blogger – I started last September.  WORDS MATTER.  I’ve always known that but today I went over the top saying HD Radio is DOA. Thank you to several readers for making this point.

Please let me share some of the comments.  Several people asked that their names not be used. I’ve marked them Confidential.

Some people have found value in CPB’s approach to HD Radio…
I don't agree with you that it was a boondoggle. The HD grants assisted us in updating crucial infrastructure that, with the subsequent demise of the PTFP program won't likely see significant updates for a long time to come. I'm very glad we have those recently updated transmitter systems.
A notable change in the recent past is that a lot more cars have HD. Perhaps that's why we are seeing our WERN HD-3 signal in Madison supplementing listening to AM 970 WHA, as do the two analog FM translators we have in town. We are very glad that the FCC has permitted translating HD signals onto analog FM translators, and AM signals onto FM translators too, as we use each strategy.
In the case of WPR, we're seeing AQH's in the hundreds and cumes under 6k for the HD signals. Those are "real" but not large. That said, some of our analog stations in smaller communities have fewer listeners than the HD signals in larger cities.
Mike Crane, Wisconsin Public Radio
Some people think things are okay with HD Radio now…

We've had success in developing our HD2-Classical and HD3-News/Talk channels. Some of our members pledge specifically to support these channels and we've distributed hundreds of HD radios as pledge premiums.
Brett Tannehill
We have three HD signals and listenership is good on all three.

Clinton Barrick

And some people agree with me…
HD is a waste – the audience has spoken. Podcasting smokes HD...and that is the place to put the bet.
We did the HD conversion. It gave us a new transmitter and allowed us to recycle our old one to another location for a repeater. We are now using HD-2 to relay a second program stream to two of our transmitters. We call it the Poor Man's STL. Now the [coverage area population] can hear it on traditional analog channels.
And, one person had a more radical approach…
Actually, the best thing CPB could do here (in my opinion) is to absolve granted stations of their commitment to continue to broadcast in HD.
I consider the non-availability of receivers to be a material breach of the reasonably-presumed terms of our participation. To hold us to our end of the bargain is simply damaging stations.
Followed by a good question…

I'm not necessarily against the idea, but what, exactly, would you have CPB do?
Aaron Read

My answer:

CPB should start by acknowledging the problem. CPB needs to commit to making better use of the digital broadcast radio spectrum.  I still haven’t heard from CPB regarding my question: How much money has CPB sunk into iBiquity and HD Radio? Stay tuned...

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