Oct 7, 2015

May HD Radio be an alternative for Turkey?

There are mainly three worldwide digital radio technologies: DAB/DAB+, DRM30/DRM+ and HD Radio™. According to some sector professional Turkey should not even think of HD Radio™ as an alternative for the digitization of radio. I have some doubts on that. Lets have a closer look at HD Radio™:

Who is behind the HD Radio™?

IBiquity Digital is the firm that developed the HD Radio™ technology. Some argues that as it is a firm, not a consortium, so broadcasters should avoid choosing HD Radio™ as the digital radio technology. It sounds a little bit ambiguous. Why should broadcasters avoid using it? Do they avoid using Windows, for their PCs? Well, it is the same actually. Microsoft is a firm, that has a product, and broadcasters, like many others are using it. So, Ibiquity Digital is a firm like Microsoft. They have an approach to digital radio, with using FM band, they can digitize the radio broadcast. 

One technology, many manufacturer

By choosing HD Radio™ as the technology, actually you, as the broadcaster or consumer, are not left with just one manufacturer. There are many companies to produce receivers and transmitters using the IBiquity's technology, with paying some fee to the company. Like with the operating system & computer case. 

Analog and digital can live together during simulcast

One of the problems that comes with the digital radio is the transition period and simulcasting. As you may think that there are millions of FM receivers in the market and if you are not living in Norway or Switzerland, it is not easy for many to replace the cheap FM receiver with a DAB+ one. Nowadays, although the DAB+ receiver prices went down to 20 €, it is still much more expensive then a 1 € FM receiver. With the HD Radio™, it is possible to simulcast through the same FM band with analog. So, if your audience has a digital receiver, he/she can enjoy the superior sound quality and can reach much more then just audio. If she/he has just an FM receiver, he/she can still enjoy the music. 

There are no European reference

So what? Who cares if you, I mean Turkey, has no company to be directly involved with any digital radio technology. If it is the case that a national company is involved with one of the digital standard or technology, then it may be meaningful for Turkey to start thinking on the issue. But, in any case, the receivers and transmitters will be sold with some companies. 

Why not Turkey be the first reference of HD Radio in Europe. Actually that may be a chance for Turkey also to get reasonable support from IBiquity

2 comments:

  1. I think the primary advantage of HD Radio technology over DAB is that it does not require additional spectrum allocation whereas DAB/DAB+ will require band III (typically) space.DRM and DRM+ could also claim this advantage. However, with HD Radio, one must look at the way FM is allocated in a country to make sure that there is sufficient spacing on the band to permit the digital radio carriers which are actually adjacent to the analogue. If the allocations are too tight, interference both to the digital by analog and the reverse will occur. 400 KHz spacing would be the minimum within the same market for analog to analog separation. And if stations 200 KHz apart are not geographically separated sufficiently the same type of interference will occur. All in all, HD Radio offers a very good solution without requiring additional spectrum assignment to FM broadcasters (the AM system is not very good).

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