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June 8, 2021 1:13 pm  #1


CHLO HD

I noticed the HD symbol come on dimly (meaning HD present but not locked on) in car last week for 530 CHLO.  It was gone later in the day but I set a preset and have been checking it periodically.  Well today, they are on in HD on the main channel with no sub-channels indicated.  The program was just a talk program so hard to hear any improvement in audio.

The first AM HD for the GTA and maybe Canada too!

https://i.ibb.co/4tXwdTB/IMG-0256.jpg
11 11 images
 

Last edited by mjf (June 8, 2021 1:39 pm)

 

June 8, 2021 1:43 pm  #2


Re: CHLO HD

Hi I'm a long time lurker first time poster to this forum. 
I ran into a fella wearing a Z 103.5 shirt this morning at Tim Hortons so I struck up a conversation. He turned out to be their engineer. In the quickest way possible, he explained to me how radio signals work and mentioned that he would be turning on the digital AM signal on 530 today. He mentioned that there is still some tuning that has to be done to the antenna in order to make sure that the full HD power is transmitted but they have a month to do it in.

 

June 8, 2021 2:43 pm  #3


Re: CHLO HD

This went up last March, but is more about HD in Canada in general than about AM. It's interesting how it all centres on cars.


 

June 8, 2021 3:32 pm  #4


Re: CHLO HD

So does this mean CHLO 530 AM can no longer be received on an analog radio (ie "all digital") or are they hybrid digital transmitting both analog and digital signals? 

 

June 8, 2021 3:41 pm  #5


Re: CHLO HD

They are hybrid sending out both analog and digital. 
The digital signal is very strong in Mississauga although I did notice that it disappears now and then. Maybe this is part of the tuning?

 

June 8, 2021 7:44 pm  #6


Re: CHLO HD

They've issued a press release about this, and it's probably the most publicity AM 530 has ever received!

"CHLO AM530 is the first and only AM station in the country to adopt digital HD technology....Evanov’s VP and Regulatory Affairs, Carmela Laurignano, said: “We are excited to be on the leading edge....it might also prove in some cases, to be a lifeline for the AM band which is so challenged to the point of being abandoned."

Toronto CMA’s CHLO AM530 first AM station in Canada to adopt HD Technology

 

June 8, 2021 7:54 pm  #7


Re: CHLO HD

They mentioned it in their ID at the top of the hour too.  "Now transmitting in HD" or something like that.

I was listening to one of the programs and switching in and out of HD to get an idea of the change in sound quality and the host mentioned CHLO and HD a few times.  The difference in HD sound quality is like taking a radio with a narrow bandwidth filter active (< 4 KHz) and switching to a wide filter (> 9 KHz).  I'm guessing there is no stereo on AM HD?

I sent a reception report to Classic 1220 last week and also suggested that they be the first in the area to implement AM HD since they play music.  Guess it's too late now https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/grin.png
 
 

Last edited by mjf (June 8, 2021 7:56 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

June 8, 2021 8:28 pm  #8


Re: CHLO HD

AM HD can be in stereo but's right now it's not capable of carrying sub channels. Here's a short comparison of AM HD with AM C-Quam stereo.



 

Last edited by Fitz (June 8, 2021 8:28 pm)


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

June 9, 2021 1:04 pm  #9


Re: CHLO HD

I don't know..but why do I think AM Stereo and Quadophonic?

 

June 9, 2021 1:20 pm  #10


Re: CHLO HD

Quadrophonic sound, strobe light and waterbed.



 

Last edited by grilled.cheese (June 9, 2021 1:20 pm)

 

June 9, 2021 1:31 pm  #11


Re: CHLO HD

CHLO is obviously the guinea pig for future Evanov expansion, if you read this Broadcast Dialogue article the right way. But how many really have the radios to hear it? And how many of them will ever tune in AM 530, beyond just a moment of curiosity?

Evanov’s CHLO becomes first Canadian AM to utilize IBOC HD technology

 

June 9, 2021 2:22 pm  #12


Re: CHLO HD

RadioActive wrote:

CHLO is obviously the guinea pig for future Evanov expansion, if you read this Broadcast Dialogue article the right way. But how many really have the radios to hear it? And how many of them will ever tune in AM 530, beyond just a moment of curiosity?

Evanov’s CHLO becomes first Canadian AM to utilize IBOC HD technology

Actually you would be shocked..   In car tuning is the focus with this, and should be..    In home, most people do not even use radios anymore.     Most recent model cars come with HD installed standard.   If it can do FM HD, AM HD is already there.

 I also like how easy it is for a listener to understand if we are not saying tune to a different frequency, then wait for it to show HD, then tune up to HD 2 or 3..   Way to complicated to get what you already do.    Tune to the same station you do now... and it becomes HD without any input from the listener if their radio is compatible.   

 The issue we have in Canada is our biggest owners are also cell companies.  If they can charge for fast speed data add ons (because overages are not a thing anymore with most), they would rather people use the mobile networks instead.   There is also lack of willingness to work towards a fully digital plan, like what happened with OTA tv.    If there was a plan, every car, and home radio should have HD by default moving forward.   This could be done if the industry would work together with auto and radio manufacturers.

HD is not the fix everything plan, but it's a step to deal with situations where your AM is not profitable and there is no frequencies to move it to FM.   It also can allow addition stations that you could never offer currently to pull off a profit.   Those extras will take off, as more and more get HD, and stations offer unique content that people care about.  You can't make people care if they can get what you are offering free without effort today, which is why most don't understand when stations push their AM on some HD FM frequency subchannel.    

Good on Evanov for trying...  and doing it within frequency they already have.  

Last edited by radiokid (June 9, 2021 2:34 pm)

 

June 9, 2021 2:28 pm  #13


Re: CHLO HD

Well bless 'em for trying. Not too many years ago I did a deep dive into the practicalities of this for our AM operations. I was not assured. Inconsistent quality between the back and forth of the digital and analogue signals, unimpressive signal throw weight, lack of receivers, difficulty with listener acceptance of this new technology, and resistance from broadcasters themselves who have been down the various tech paths over the years including, yes, AM Stereo and Quadophonic. And most notably the failed roll out of Eureka for all kinds of reasons.

 

June 9, 2021 2:37 pm  #14


Re: CHLO HD

Been there wrote:

Well bless 'em for trying. Not too many years ago I did a deep dive into the practicalities of this for our AM operations. I was not assured. Inconsistent quality between the back and forth of the digital and analogue signals, unimpressive signal throw weight, lack of receivers, difficulty with listener acceptance of this new technology, and resistance from broadcasters themselves who have been down the various tech paths over the years including, yes, AM Stereo and Quadophonic. And most notably the failed roll out of Eureka for all kinds of reasons.

I think the unwillingness was the expectation that everyone would run out and by new radios...  It's not going to happen... but now HD is standard in most cars...  I think within frequency it's possible to work if the transmitter site can pull it off.    Some are not in the best of shape.   Listeners are not going to care as long as it works and sounds better than they have now with no extra effort.   Once they learn "why does station A with HD sound better than station B" then that's when the pay off happens.    I really don't think AM has anything to lose at this point.. this could save it, if done correctly. 

Last edited by radiokid (June 9, 2021 2:41 pm)

 

June 9, 2021 2:54 pm  #15


Re: CHLO HD

I'm not an engineer, but I've read in the past that the IBOC (in-band on channel) method being used can cause interference with other stations and sometimes isn't that reliable. Still, unless stations start using their HD channels for more than simply improving their existing signals and begin offering alternate programming, I wonder how really successful it will be. 

Which brings up another issue - would the CRTC have to licence a new station that was on HD Radio only, piggybacking off an existing signal? Or would it be considered a different kind of animal? Also, would they still have to meet Cancon regs if they were to start, say, an all-heavy metal beautiful music format (I picked something impossible as an example) on their separate HD-2 channel? 

Still lots of questions about this and if you look to Europe where DAB is becoming the norm in many countries, there are more stations on the air than ever before. Hard to believe England once only had the BBC and a few pirates!

List of British radio stations

 

June 9, 2021 3:28 pm  #16


Re: CHLO HD

HD FM or AM is considered experimental by the CRTC. Register the allocation and you're home regulation free.

Last edited by Bristol (June 9, 2021 3:28 pm)

 

June 10, 2021 10:06 am  #17


Re: CHLO HD

Until Numeris updates their rating policy we will not see many stations adding exclusive content on their HD subs. Right now, Numeris does not rate sub channels, unless they are rebroadcast of an existing AM or FM channel.
Why would stations spend time, effort and money for programming extra content which they can't sell or even figure out how many people listen to? These secondary channels may also take away listeners from the primary.

As i understand Evanov is playing around with the audio processing, trying to make the transition between analog and digital seem less drastic. Today I noticed that my car radio transitions slowly when going from the analog to HD, fading in the treble gradually instead of a sharp cutover. I also noticed that they added RDS to the signal. Currently is it rotating between displaying between their website address and station name but earlier this morning it was displaying what I believe is the name of the current program on the air. There is no station logo like all other Evanov stations display on their HD. 
I am told that aside of testing the usefulness of the hybrid digital signal, they are planning to run fully digital during some times. This is actually very interesting and exciting to me. 

 

June 10, 2021 10:16 am  #18


Re: CHLO HD

PTE wrote:

Until Numeris updates their rating policy we will not see many stations adding exclusive content on their HD subs. Right now, Numeris does not rate sub channels, unless they are rebroadcast of an existing AM or FM channel.
Why would stations spend time, effort and money for programming extra content which they can't sell or even figure out how many people listen to? These secondary channels may also take away listeners from the primary.

You are 100% right, but the corollary is that if there's nothing special to listen to, who would go out and buy an HD radio for the privilege of tuning in something they can already hear (albeit in less clear sound?)

I suspect the answer is no one is going out to buy an HD radio in any case and if it's in your car, you'll probably use it. Fair enough. But to me, it's the old "if you build it, they will come" argument. Give me something worthwhile and different to hear that I can't get anywhere else and I'll find a way to tune it in. Give me CFRB in stereo and I won't bother. 

 

Yesterday 9:48 am  #19


Re: CHLO HD

The chief engineer from CHLO answers questions about the AM HD move in an article that will interest both regular radio people (like me) and engineers, who will appreciate the digital air chain info.

A few highlights:

"If tests in hybrid mode turn out to be positive, we will look into testing the full digital mode in certain dayparts, but as of right now, we’re not anticipating a full shutdown of our analog transmission."

"We have specifically chosen CHLO to be our test station because of the frequency that it uses. Being at the very bottom end of the AM dial, 530 kHz is being utilized by very few stations in North America. This means that the interference levels are very low."


Evanov Tries Out Hybrid AM HD Radio in Toronto

 

Yesterday 10:25 am  #20


Re: CHLO HD

I've gotten some blips of CHLO's PAD data in the car across the lake here in Rochester - just enough to make "CHLO-HD" display on the screen but no audio decodes. Next time I'm over closer to Buffalo I'll try again. 

 

Yesterday 12:54 pm  #21


Re: CHLO HD

It seems to work very well except at night.  They are a weaker signal and underpasses cause the HD to drop out at night.   Other than that, it actually sounds great!  (mind you I don't understand a word outside the imaging).   The host mic processing does need some work.... Sounds ok on analog, but awful on digital. Some changes there would improve things hugely. 

Daytime is actually really good.. no issue really.   I think if the station was more powerful, it would be even better..

Last edited by radiokid (Yesterday 2:01 pm)