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October 11, 2021 9:17 am  #1


CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

I like to give credit for these things, so I should say from the outset that this comes from the excellent Facebook site Canadian Radio News, which gives great updates about radio across the country. 

They report that CBLA, aka Radio 1 at 99.1 in Toronto, has started testing an HD channel. It appears the station is simply piggybacking their existing signal onto the newcomer, and they speculate that Radio 2 could also be included at some point. 

The other outlet that's going that route is CFLZ, also known as 101.1 MoreFM, in Ft. Erie. No word on exactly what they're going to put on there but they have a page on their website trying to explain it to listeners. 

The great HD experiment has been going on for some time now. Does anyone here think this will eventually pay off? If most people either don't have an HD-capable radio or simply aren't aware of it (or, worse, don't care), is there any point to keep signing on more of these?

 

October 11, 2021 9:31 am  #2


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

I'm not sure what the point of putting CBC Music on 99.1's HD would be. It's not like they're lacking a good signal for that.

Will be interesting to see just what they do with it though. It does mean they could now broadcast in stereo while maintaining the clean signal being in mono gives them - but if their whole audio chain is mono, it wouldn't be worth it. As for a sub-channel, maybe some indigenous based programming, or classical music like they've done in Quebec, if anything.

We won't see the majors launch any new HD stations though. The only exception might be Flow 93.5, as it could clean up their poor signal a bit. Otherwise, not much point.

Last edited by RadioAaron (October 11, 2021 9:34 am)


 
 

October 11, 2021 9:34 am  #3


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

RadioActive wrote:

 If most people either don't have an HD-capable radio or simply aren't aware of it (or, worse, don't care), is there any point to keep signing on more of these?

Who are these "most" people?  Cars are where you'll notice HD first, then take it from there.
Any station with a traditionally weak signal is suddenly strong.
Z103 & KX 96, to name two that sound a lot better in HD.



 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

October 11, 2021 10:36 am  #4


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

Maybe they'll add an HD channel for CBC Radio 3?

 

October 11, 2021 11:11 am  #5


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

Hansa wrote:

Maybe they'll add an HD channel for CBC Radio 3?

I always assumed that if/when CBLA went HD, they'd use a subchannel for CJBC.

 

October 11, 2021 11:18 am  #6


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

It will never happen, but how about the audio from CBC News Network or even the main CBC TV network? Just like in the old days when it was on Channel 6 and appeared on 87.7 on FM! "Take CBC Television with you wherever you go. Can't watch TV? Follow your favourite show in your car!"

It would be useless but fun.

I used to have a portable Sangean radio that got VHF signals, from channels 2-13. I remember walking the dog and listening to a TV show. Outside of missing some visuals, most times it was pretty easy to follow - and I didn't have to catch up when I got home. Miss those days!

     Thread Starter
 

October 11, 2021 2:40 pm  #7


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

Hansa wrote:

Maybe they'll add an HD channel for CBC Radio 3?

I always assumed that if/when CBLA went HD, they'd use a subchannel for CJBC.

CJBC is on 90.3 HD-2.


 
 

October 11, 2021 2:42 pm  #8


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

Radiowiz wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

 If most people either don't have an HD-capable radio or simply aren't aware of it (or, worse, don't care), is there any point to keep signing on more of these?

Who are these "most" people?  Cars are where you'll notice HD first, then take it from there.
Any station with a traditionally weak signal is suddenly strong.
Z103 & KX 96, to name two that sound a lot better in HD.

 

Absolutely most people are unaware of it.
 


 
 

October 11, 2021 2:54 pm  #9


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

RadioAaron wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

 If most people either don't have an HD-capable radio or simply aren't aware of it (or, worse, don't care), is there any point to keep signing on more of these?

Who are these "most" people?  Cars are where you'll notice HD first, then take it from there.
Any station with a traditionally weak signal is suddenly strong.
Z103 & KX 96, to name two that sound a lot better in HD.

 

Absolutely most people are unaware of it.
 

Sure. Okay. People who use public transit to get around.  
HD has been in cars for a little while now. People are taking notice and using...


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

October 11, 2021 3:20 pm  #10


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

Radiowiz wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:


Who are these "most" people?  Cars are where you'll notice HD first, then take it from there.
Any station with a traditionally weak signal is suddenly strong.
Z103 & KX 96, to name two that sound a lot better in HD.

 

Absolutely most people are unaware of it.
 

Sure. Okay. People who use public transit to get around.  
HD has been in cars for a little while now. People are taking notice and using...

Some people. Absolutely not the majority. Surveys on this get distributed at every radio/media conference every year, and it's always the same story. Virtually no awareness.


 
 

October 11, 2021 3:23 pm  #11


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

RadioAaron wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

 If most people either don't have an HD-capable radio or simply aren't aware of it (or, worse, don't care), is there any point to keep signing on more of these?

Who are these "most" people?  Cars are where you'll notice HD first, then take it from there.
Any station with a traditionally weak signal is suddenly strong.
Z103 & KX 96, to name two that sound a lot better in HD.

 

Absolutely most people are unaware of it.
 

I think it's not so much unaware as they do not understand.     Stations in Canada made the same mistakes they made with the last digital radio experiment.   You can't get people to care if you offer the same content they can currently get without spending time, effort, or even money to get it.     More and more cars are getting HD as standard out the gate, and going from analog to HD is a huge upgrade. People who have HD by default do notice the difference.   Z1035 for example it's very noticeable.  Their sister station AM 530, is like going from AM to FM  STEREO which is a huge difference. 

 As long as you are not telling the listener to do anything special like tune to a different frequency, change settings, and make it standard, acceptance will continue to grow.   Once people have it, and content is different on subchannels, you may see people slowly grow to care enough to check them out.   Job one should be making all cars out on the lot have HD, and  HD being broadcasted.      Unless both of these levels are completed, you will NEVER see anything more than what we have today.  (oddly this is the same issue back when FM was new and AM was the standard) 

Last edited by radiokid (October 11, 2021 3:34 pm)

 

October 11, 2021 3:42 pm  #12


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

It may be noticeable that Z is better, but to the average consumer it boils down to something like "Z sounds better in my wife's car." And Z is a bit of a unique example too of what has become a fringe signal using HD to improve signal quality, and they haven't diluted the sound quality by adding sub-channels.

As for sub-channel content, it's not happening. It's too late. NYC has had interesting sub-channels for a decade now. And recently, a single detection on PPM now gets you a 0.1 share. In the latest ratings, only one HD sub-channel even got that: WKTU's dance format on their HD. Unique sub-channels are never going to get enough of an audience to monetize.

Latest NYC ratings here:
https://radioinsight.com/ratings/new-york/

Last edited by RadioAaron (October 11, 2021 3:43 pm)


 
 

October 11, 2021 3:56 pm  #13


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

FWIW, Radio One is running a music show this afternoon, and the audio on their HD signal is not stereo.


 
 

October 11, 2021 5:29 pm  #14


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

RadioAaron wrote:

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

Hansa wrote:

Maybe they'll add an HD channel for CBC Radio 3?

I always assumed that if/when CBLA went HD, they'd use a subchannel for CJBC.

CJBC is on 90.3 HD-2.

Yes but at a fraction of the coverage of CBLA.

 

October 11, 2021 9:59 pm  #15


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

RadioAaron wrote:

FWIW, Radio One is running a music show this afternoon, and the audio on their HD signal is not stereo.

Just saw this thread now  and tuned into Tom Power's program and that is HD/mono. I have always thought that the mono feed on 99.1 has been a lost opportunity. I read that it was mono to get better coverage but the music programs on CBC 1 are national and it seems that all Radio 1 programs are produced in mono so I guess they bank on better coverage across the country in glorious mono.

CBC French on 90.3 HD 1 is in stereo and I think that channel is the French equivalent of CBC  Radio 2,  They have interesting music programs which I listen to occasionally even though I don't speak French, Like CBC Radio Two they are in stereo and that's the way it should be for all CBC stations.


 

Last edited by Fitz (October 11, 2021 10:20 pm)


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October 11, 2021 11:42 pm  #16


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

RadioActive wrote:

It will never happen, but how about the audio from CBC News Network or even the main CBC TV network? Just like in the old days when it was on Channel 6 and appeared on 87.7 on FM! "Take CBC Television with you wherever you go. Can't watch TV? Follow your favourite show in your car!"

It would be useless but fun.

I used to have a portable Sangean radio that got VHF signals, from channels 2-13. I remember walking the dog and listening to a TV show. Outside of missing some visuals, most times it was pretty easy to follow - and I didn't have to catch up when I got home. Miss those days!

I've often thought a good format for AM would be to run the audio for old sitcoms. While you would not see the visuals, many of these episodes would be familiar to listeners so you wouldn't need them. Kind of like old-time radio, but for TV.
 


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

October 12, 2021 8:37 am  #17


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

Ive only heard HD in a new car once or twice, from what I recall the HD counterparts of the stations usually sounded worse but no idea if its been changed.

Nobody I know notices or talks about the HD signals and they have HD in their car.

 

October 12, 2021 10:23 am  #18


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

This new article is coincidentally timely for this thread. It's from an L.A. newspaper and lists all the HD signals available in that market, the second largest in the U.S. after New York. It's interesting to note how many of them feature original programming and which others simply rebroadcast existing AM or FM stations. 

It seems to me that HD will only ever be a success if it offers something different. I don't see that happening in Canada. If it's just an enhanced signal for something you can already get, it will never have the same allure. 

Anyway, check out what's on HD in L.A. and wonder what we could do here if there was a will.

What’s on Southern California’s HD radio stations? Here’s what you need to know

     Thread Starter
 

October 12, 2021 8:33 pm  #19


Re: CBC Radio 1 One Of Two Southern Ontario Stations Testing HD

RadioActive wrote:

This new article is coincidentally timely for this thread. It's from an L.A. newspaper and lists all the HD signals available in that market, the second largest in the U.S. after New York. It's interesting to note how many of them feature original programming and which others simply rebroadcast existing AM or FM stations. 

It seems to me that HD will only ever be a success if it offers something different. I don't see that happening in Canada. If it's just an enhanced signal for something you can already get, it will never have the same allure. 

Anyway, check out what's on HD in L.A. and wonder what we could do here if there was a will.

What’s on Southern California’s HD radio stations? Here’s what you need to know

But that's just it -- The US did everything right and yet all indications are that nobody's listening.

In radio's sunset years, successful stations will be
a) stupid-easy to find
b) very mainstream

HD subchannels are neither.