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October 28, 2020 10:06 am  #1


Why is AM radio still around?

It is the 21st century. With all the advances in modern communication and technology, why is AM radio still around?
We have digital TV, streaming audio and video on multiple devices, wireless TV.  I live in a high rise condo and can barely tune in to any AM stations. All I get is weak reception with lots of static and electrical interference even from
using a microwave. My only option is listening online. The FM band should somehow be expanded to allow for the
complete migration of all AM stations to FM.  Our TV system has been updated to today’s standards, why hasn’t radio
received the same treatment?  My old Sony watchman analogue TV no longer works. It is time for the AM band to be relegated to the media archives along with analogue TV, 8 track tape, cassettes, VCRs, etc.



 

 

October 28, 2020 10:39 am  #2


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

I also live in a high rise condo. I view television OTA and Netflix, My radio listening is done of one of these. You really should get one. Unlimited world wide tuning. ...



 

Last edited by Marsden (October 28, 2020 10:42 am)

 

October 28, 2020 10:50 am  #3


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

mojo55 wrote:

It is the 21st century. With all the advances in modern communication and technology, why is AM radio still around?
We have digital TV, streaming audio and video on multiple devices, wireless TV.  I live in a high rise condo and can barely tune in to any AM stations. All I get is weak reception with lots of static and electrical interference even from
using a microwave. My only option is listening online. The FM band should somehow be expanded to allow for the
complete migration of all AM stations to FM.  Our TV system has been updated to today’s standards, why hasn’t radio received the same treatment?  

My old Sony watchman analogue TV no longer works. It is time for the AM band to be relegated to the media archives along with analogue TV, 8 track tape, cassettes, VCRs, etc. 

I, for one, would miss AM if it disappeared. I find myself more and more on that band only. The programing on FM just doesn't appeal to me and the AM signal - for all its static and EMF interference troubles - still travels much farther than its FM counterpart, which is important to me.

Until there's a way to get a streaming signal into every car, I believe the band will survive. 

But we may both get our wish sooner than that if this takes off - although it's very unlikely since it's totally voluntary.

FCC Approves All-Digital Option for AM

Radio Ink: AM Radio (NO STATIC AT ALL)

 

October 28, 2020 12:37 pm  #4


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

RadioActive wrote:

I, for one, would miss AM if it disappeared. I find myself more and more on that band only. The programing on FM just doesn't appeal to me and the AM signal - for all its static and EMF interference troubles - still travels much farther than its FM counterpart, which is important to me.

I have been a AM only listener for as long as I can recall.  While acknowledging the technical shortcomings,  I would be lost without it.
 

 

October 28, 2020 12:37 pm  #5


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

I wonder the same thing - not only is the quality extremely poor, the cost of the transmiter and space for the site and all its towers is another thing.  Granted, yes the signals travel far and for a DX person hobby its cool to pickup stations so far.  

 

October 28, 2020 2:53 pm  #6


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

I don't know if expanding the FM band is technically possible - the transition from analog to digital television transmission has freed up 76 to 88 MhZ (analog channels 5 & 6) or will do so when the transition is completed so I suppose the FM band could be extended down to 76 MhZ but that would only be viable if the FCC (or even the CRTC alone) required manufacturers to equip FM tuners with the extended band - and even then it would take several years for enough of the new units to proliferate for there to be a large enough viable. And even then it might be a waste of time if other countries follow Norway's lead and switch off their FM bands in favour of DAB+. 

 

October 28, 2020 6:18 pm  #7


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

Expanding the FM band is as pointless as HD. Anything that requires the purchase of new radios is DOA.

AM is still around because companies are still able to broadcast programming over it that attracts enough of an audience that advertisers view it as useful, and there's no way to transition that using other technologies. 


 
 

October 28, 2020 6:25 pm  #8


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

mojo55 wrote:

  Our TV system has been updated to today’s standards, why hasn’t radio
received the same treatment?  My old Sony watchman analogue TV no longer works. It is time for the AM band to be relegated to the media archives along with analogue TV, 8 track tape, cassettes, VCRs, etc.
 

Any migration of AM programming to anything but the existing FM band would kill the majority of the audience overnight. That's why.


 
 

October 28, 2020 6:40 pm  #9


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

I love AM radio.  No, I'm not a Luddite.  I just like the 'live' aspect, and listening to breaking news and commentary that hasn't had a chance to be edited, sanitized and spun.  Sure, for the most part, every station has a bias, but you know that going in, and siphon out the truth as best you can.

 

October 28, 2020 6:44 pm  #10


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

There is one other reason for keeping AM, although thankfully, it doesn't happen often. 

In the event of a huge emergency - like a hurricane or an ice storm striking Southern Ontario - an AM signal travels farther and can reach more isolated areas than an FM station. And when cell phone towers are down and power is out, they can be a real lifeline. 

I remember listening to WWL in New Orleans, the 50,000 watt blowtorch on 870, during Hurricane Katrina. Not only were they the designated emergency station in the city, every other radio outlet was broadcasting their signal as parts of Louisiana became submerged. I tuned many stations in over the web. Those that were still able to broadcast on the Net all had WWL's signal, regardless of their format or ownership. 

But not one of them made it as far as that killer signal. In times of emergency, the reach of AM radio can be a lifesaver.

 

October 28, 2020 6:50 pm  #11


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

I regularly listen to AM radio especially at night.  I enjoy picking up stations hundreds of miles away.

 

October 28, 2020 8:06 pm  #12


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

Charlie wrote:

I love AM radio.  No, I'm not a Luddite.  I just like the 'live' aspect, and listening to breaking news and commentary that hasn't had a chance to be edited, sanitized and spun.  Sure, for the most part, every station has a bias, but you know that going in, and siphon out the truth as best you can.

Which is great, but I don't think it's the original poster's point -- they weren't wondering why the content was still there, but rather why it's delivered the way it is.


 
 

October 28, 2020 8:08 pm  #13


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

When you are a DXer, you have a higher tolerance for static and interference on the AM band.

 

October 28, 2020 8:24 pm  #14


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

The immediacy and the personality of radio lives on AM. The magic of radio lives on AM.

 

October 28, 2020 8:29 pm  #15


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

A follow up to my previous note about the access to world wide radio. Oddly enough - most of the stations I listen to on my Internet receiver are ...... wait for it -  AM. :-) 

From a small station in Minnesota to AM's in Western Europe. And from time to time 640 etc.
 

Last edited by Marsden (October 28, 2020 8:31 pm)

 

October 29, 2020 12:08 am  #16


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

RadioAaron wrote:

Charlie wrote:

I love AM radio.  No, I'm not a Luddite.  I just like the 'live' aspect, and listening to breaking news and commentary that hasn't had a chance to be edited, sanitized and spun.  Sure, for the most part, every station has a bias, but you know that going in, and siphon out the truth as best you can.

Which is great, but I don't think it's the original poster's point -- they weren't wondering why the content was still there, but rather why it's delivered the way it is.

Exactly.....there must be a better way of broadcasting the content of the quality AM stations over the air without the
static and interference and reaching inside high rise residences and office towers.
By the way, the Logitech UE Smart Radio has been discontinued.

     Thread Starter
 

October 29, 2020 4:17 pm  #17


Re: Why is AM radio still around?

I was reading the CRTC daily release and heard that Bell Media's CKHJ 1260 (Id'ed as Pure Country 103.5) Fredricton, New Brunswick got an approval today (October 29, 2020) decrease their nighttime power from 10,000 watts to a low-power 32 watts, while their daytime power will remain at 10,000 watts!
https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2020/2020-364.htm

CKHJ, has two nested FM rebroadcasters in that same market. 32 watts? that's lower than the CBC low-power 40 watt relay AM transmitters and hard to believe that there's still a handful of them this day in age across most of Canada with the most in British Columbia and Quebec with only a few left in Ontario including  northern Ontario one left in eastern Ontario in Rolphton just west of Deep River near Pembroke. 

I wonder how long all these LPAM CBC transmitters will be around for since a lot of them had already moved to FM since the 1980's and the trend from AM to FM seemed to have slowed in the last few years. 

Last edited by Scorpio42 (October 29, 2020 4:17 pm)