Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An Open Letter to Canada

I was sent the following email by a DRMNA reader. What do you think guys?

"I am an Australian who has a great interest in digital radio. Australian regulators have ruled out any HDradio due to poor performance. This is what happens when you compromise.

We started DAB+ broadcasting in all of our major cities in August 2009 and sales of receivers has been good see www.digitalradioplus.au As a result DAB+ has now been adopted in many European countries.

Radio Australia transmits DRM30 but not in your direction, however Radio New Zealand International covers many Pacific Islands using DRM30. I understand that it is receivable on the West Coast of USA. (admin: quite true!)

Australia is currently deciding what technology to use in the less populous areas of Australia:

Review of digital radio technologies for regional Australia

The decision is yet to be made.

You will note that Canada has not adopted HDradio despite the lack of success with L Band DAB.

Canada and Australia have a lot in common, which is a large proportion of the population concentrated in cities and large areas of low population densities. This makes DRM+ ideal for regional areas and DRM30 for remote areas.

The real issue in the USA is the power of the broadcasters over the FCC and their investment in ibiquity.

It is really necessary to push DRM+ which covers the same area as analog FM with a fifth of the power, and surround sound can be added as well. 47 – 68 MHz which I available worldwide for DRM+ with the switch off of analog TV.

I have been getting the manufacturers of DRM receivers to contact our minister of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. I suggest you do the same to the Canadian equivalent.

USA: Band 1 ATSC channel 2 - 6 54 - 88 MHz 32 transmitters between 270 W - 45kW, average 14.65 kWERP which are all very low powered or tiny in broadcasting terms.

Canada: There are 10 ATSC transmitters in the proposed DRM+ band. Thunder Bay, Ontario is the only one close to the USA border. Effective radiated powers are unknown. Analog switchoff 31st August 2011

Lastly all DAB+ and if we use DRM+ will use vertically polarised antennas. This means that the receiving antenna can be a telescopic rod pulled up vertical, this is particularly good for cars. In addition it reduces the interference to and from horizontally polarised TV transmissions."