sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

January 12, 2019 10:51 am  #1


HD Radio In Toronto

I had a chance to try out the the Directed HD radio I wrote about on another thread last month. Not a bad little radio. The built in FM antenna is quite good and I received 14 HD channels ( plus most sub channels) . Including two from NY where I was able to tune into the sub channels ( WDCX and WTSS). Things should improve in that regard into the spring and summer.

Re the Canadian stations, Much of the action is on the ethnic stations and I think 3 or 4 of them have 4 sub channels including 105.9 The Region.

KX 94.7 has the Wave -smooth Jazz and The Grand as sub channels

CJXX 94.7 has The Wave plus CKDO as sub channels

Classical FM has Zoomer as a sub channel

Element FM is in HD with no subchannels. TSN, Sportsnet, 1010, 640, 680 and CHML are all available as HD sub channels.

I was only able to lock in one station on AM in HD last night and that was WCBS and the radio has AM stereo capability but no luck there. Anyone aware of any AM HD that might be catchable during the night or day ?

Nothing too interesting at this point except that some AM stations are in HD stereo but DX'ing might prove fruitful in the future.

https://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/WP_20190112_001.jpg

Last edited by Fitz (January 12, 2019 11:02 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

January 12, 2019 11:41 am  #2


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

I use to be able to receive WHAM 1180 HD in the Mount Albert area in the daytime. Listening to WHAM at that distance was a great way to contrast between the sound quality of analogue AM verses HD because the HD mode only kicked in when the signal was sufficiently strong to break the threshold. Stunning improvement over the narrow frequency response of analogue AM.

In HD, it was like Rush Limbaugh was right in the car with me - a mixed blessing to be sure...

Last edited by Tim Brown 2016 (January 12, 2019 11:43 am)

 

January 12, 2019 3:31 pm  #3


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

I use to be able to receive WHAM 1180 HD in the Mount Albert area in the daytime. Listening to WHAM at that distance was a great way to contrast between the sound quality of analogue AM verses HD because the HD mode only kicked in when the signal was sufficiently strong to break the threshold. Stunning improvement over the narrow frequency response of analogue AM.

In HD, it was like Rush Limbaugh was right in the car with me - a mixed blessing to be sure...

I was able to get an HD blink on WHAM but it never kicked in. The blood pressure raising talkers dominate AM radio in the US.and it's pretty much a wasteland
 


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

January 12, 2019 3:41 pm  #4


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

My clock radio has HD but no AM, so it's been useful since 680 is my preferred wakeup station.


 
 

January 12, 2019 4:58 pm  #5


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

CIRV 88.9, CIUT 89.5, and CFXJ 93.5 have been granted HD channels as well. Anyone know what the plans are for these new HD stations?

 

January 12, 2019 5:08 pm  #6


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

CIRV HD is already on with the main plus 3 sub channels ( all ethnic). I should also point out that HD is really the only way to get The Grand ( outside of the internet stream) in this area but the signal is only as good as an HD lock on the KX station and drop outs are common, I am in Pickering. HD is better than an internet stream quality-wise,

Last edited by Fitz (January 12, 2019 5:13 pm)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

January 12, 2019 9:46 pm  #7


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

In HD, it was like Rush Limbaugh was right in the car with me..

Don't have the passenger seat fumigated yet! There are dozens in Ontario who would pay good money for sniffing rights.
 

 

January 14, 2019 11:14 pm  #8


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

I am quite impressed with this Directed HD radio. The main problem is the sameness of most of the programing.

I have been able to tune in all kinds of American FM stations with the RBDS information on most. Have been able to pick up stations from Rochester and even Erie Penn. Was able to pick up the oldies station from Peterborough on 96.7. The classic rock and community stations from Cobourg. My FM and Bob FM.

There's two area stations with FM translators and a sperate HD broadcast. That gives one a chance to compare the analog vs digital on the same radio and try and figure out the impact of digital compression ( granted that even the analog broadcast may be playing digital files). 

Below is a two min clip of  two stations. Each station has the HD for 30 secs and the analog FM translator. The first station is playing Fludd and the second Elton John. I won't say what comes first on each track, the digi or analog. WAV file not MP3.

Also the selectivity of the radio is good to be able to pick up both translators from where I live in Pickering.

Analog VS Digital

Last edited by Fitz (Yesterday 8:37 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

Yesterday 12:57 pm  #9


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

Isnt Virgin CKFM 99.9 and CHUM FM 104.5 have HD signals back and running again?

The rest of the bigger stations in Toronto wont have HD from what I heard. 

 

Yesterday 2:07 pm  #10


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

CHUM FM will not be running HD any time soon, from what I hear. 
The balance of stations which broadcast from the CN Tower, will need to have an upgrade to the "Master FM" antenna.  This is not a simple matter, given the fact that so many stations are multiplexed into the 40-something year old antenna.  Not only a rebuild or replacement is envisioned, but that's a very big and expensive project.   Again, to my knowledge this is not proceeding at a fast pace.  This is a $$$$$ issue, and some of the CN tower operators may not have the appetite for a big expensive upgrade (thinking of Jazz FM, which is fiscally strapped)  Besides, Rogers has their AM's on HD-2 and HD-3 from FCP.   CKFM's operation in HD, is due to the fact that Bell has utilized an existing aperture on the tower (which they own) for their HD antenna.

At First Canadian Place, it's a whole different ball game.   At FCP, most stations "own" their own antennas, and there is adequate power at the site for most broadcasters to upgrade to HD operation. So, in 2019 we will likely see HD operation by CIND and Flow 93 (or whatever it's called these days).

 

Yesterday 2:29 pm  #11


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

tvguy wrote:

CHUM FM will not be running HD any time soon, from what I hear. 
The balance of stations which broadcast from the CN Tower, will need to have an upgrade to the "Master FM" antenna

Thanks for this tvguy... To be precise, is it not the CN Tower FM combiner that needs replacement to accommodate HD Radio? Why would the actual antenna need to be replaced? From what I recall (40 years ago), that's a broadband antenna up there. Is it a polorization issue?

 

Yesterday 3:02 pm  #12


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

tvguy wrote:

CHUM FM will not be running HD any time soon, from what I hear. 
The balance of stations which broadcast from the CN Tower, will need to have an upgrade to the "Master FM" antenna

Thanks for this tvguy... To be precise, is it not the CN Tower FM combiner that needs replacement to accommodate HD Radio? Why would the actual antenna need to be replaced? From what I recall (40 years ago), that's a broadband antenna up there. Is it a polorization issue?

How come it worked for TV?  I believe the tv antennas are still the same ones used back then in analog with changes of course in modification and...they were lucky that most of them were UHF to start with.

It still might not be worth it as they would use analog and HD unless a new combiner would do both.  

 

Yesterday 3:20 pm  #13


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

markow202 wrote:

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

tvguy wrote:

CHUM FM will not be running HD any time soon, from what I hear. 
The balance of stations which broadcast from the CN Tower, will need to have an upgrade to the "Master FM" antenna

Thanks for this tvguy... To be precise, is it not the CN Tower FM combiner that needs replacement to accommodate HD Radio? Why would the actual antenna need to be replaced? From what I recall (40 years ago), that's a broadband antenna up there. Is it a polorization issue?

How come it worked for TV?  I believe the tv antennas are still the same ones used back then in analog with changes of course in modification and...they were lucky that most of them were UHF to start with.

Can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure the antennas for TV were replaced. Two phases:

1. DTV Transition
2. DTV Cutover:

Combiner #1: RF Channels 19, 20, 25
Combiner #2: RF Channels: 40, 44, 47

I think RF Channel 41 is on it's own antenna.

CFTO is the only VHF station post-transition. Not sure if they're using the original 40 year old antenna on the CN Tower. ATSC assumes circular polarized antennas. Doubtful the original CFTO antenna was built that way.

Last edited by Tim Brown 2016 (Yesterday 3:21 pm)

 

Yesterday 5:39 pm  #15


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

With the way the top antenna radome is enclosed and Skypod underneath, I dont know how they would remove antennas to start with.  Seems to be a fixed system.

 

Yesterday 8:47 pm  #16


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

The issue with HD, as I understand it, and perhaps some engineers can weigh in, is that the digital (HD) subcarriers add about 10% (additional RF) to the existing envelope of RF going into the antenna.   Across the FM band, at the CN Tower, that's a significant amount of additional RF into a very old antenna.  I had been told that the Master FM antenna, was "maxed out" in terms of the amount of RF that it can handle. (not just a combiner issue).   Consider that CHFI operates at 44 KW ERP, CBL-FM 38 kw ERP  and there are several other high power (grandfathered) Class C stations.   I also understand that a typical Nautel transmitter (HD) may consume more power than an older analog transmitter.  So there may be an electrical upgrade (plus standby power generation) required for all stations to transition to HD & HVAC upgrades.  My recollection is that the master antenna at the Empire State Building which was quite old, also required a major upgrade to transition NYC stations to HD.   I also understand that with CKFM (and initially for CHUM-FM), the RF for the HD digital subcarriers, is routed into a separate antenna, so the HD component by-passes the Master FM antenna. I recall that Scott Fybush did a comprehensive article of the NYC Empire State Building master antenna system a few years back.

One might speculate that from a status quo situation, various stations that use the Master FM antenna could reduce the Analog ERP, while adding HD Digital subcarriers, but that would impact their analog coverage, which no general manager would likely choose to do.  

here is an interesting article on the Empire State Building antenna rebuild - by Fybush:
https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/under-a-cocoon-esb-plans-for-new-fm-era
 

Last edited by tvguy (Yesterday 8:56 pm)

 

Yesterday 9:38 pm  #17


Re: HD Radio In Toronto

tvguy wrote:

The issue with HD, as I understand it, and perhaps some engineers can weigh in, is that the digital (HD) subcarriers add about 10% (additional RF) to the existing envelope of RF going into the antenna.   Across the FM band, at the CN Tower, that's a significant amount of additional RF into a very old antenna.  I had been told that the Master FM antenna, was "maxed out" in terms of the amount of RF that it can handle. (not just a combiner issue).   Consider that CHFI operates at 44 KW ERP, CBL-FM 38 kw ERP  and there are several other high power (grandfathered) Class C stations.   I also understand that a typical Nautel transmitter (HD) may consume more power than an older analog transmitter.  So there may be an electrical upgrade (plus standby power generation) required for all stations to transition to HD & HVAC upgrades.  My recollection is that the master antenna at the Empire State Building which was quite old, also required a major upgrade to transition NYC stations to HD.   I also understand that with CKFM (and initially for CHUM-FM), the RF for the HD digital subcarriers, is routed into a separate antenna, so the HD component by-passes the Master FM antenna. I recall that Scott Fybush did a comprehensive article of the NYC Empire State Building master antenna system a few years back.

One might speculate that from a status quo situation, various stations that use the Master FM antenna could reduce the Analog ERP, while adding HD Digital subcarriers, but that would impact their analog coverage, which no general manager would likely choose to do.  

here is an interesting article on the Empire State Building antenna rebuild - by Fybush:
https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/under-a-cocoon-esb-plans-for-new-fm-era
 

http://i68.tinypic.com/24x3yit.jpg