AM Being Switched Off?Follow @mediaukdiscuss
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Dear Magic 1170 namely D.L.T. whilst trying to purchase a digital radio I am informed that the AM band will shortly convert to FM. Could you please inform me of when this change will occur?
James, whoever told you that is very misinformed. There are no such plans that I, or any of my learned colleagues in this forum, are aware of.
Naturally there will be changes to all broadcast platforms over the next 10 years or so, but there is nothing in the immediate future that support this outlandish statement.
If you live in a good DAB reception area, treat yourself to a new DAB radio for as little as £30. It’s not a lot to lose even if things change sooner than I have suggested!!
Tell your supposed ‘expert’ that it is better to be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and prove it so!
Some of the local BBC radio stations are turning off their AM broadcasting to save money.
I brought a compact alarm, DAB and FM combined radio for less than £30 from Asda their own brand and its very easy to use.
Spot on David Hoffman..
I heard another similar story recently when some one I know went into a store and was told much the same thing…
Not good news for any sales exec’s still trying to sell airtime on some of the Gold network…Imagine walking into a business to look to sell some airtime and the guy turns round and says ,“well I see your station can’t be heard soon there turning off AM”
Mind you no doubt the Gold network is not being sold locally any more?
Whoever told you that was totally way out.
There’s no definite switch off for AM or FM. Like someone else has said, all that’s happened is that the BBC have shut off a few AM TXes.
There are some stations in the AM band will shortly convert to FM or have already like Stray or Sunshine.
Also if there is a DSO of main stations, any small AM stations will move to FM or perhaps DRM+.
Very few new digital radio sets have AM and increasing electrical interference in homes will make it harder to get clear AM signals.
I’m going to throw a comment in that might surprise people.
I think it’s pointless to switch off AM – but I do think it needs an overhaul. To me it seems pointless having a plethora of classic hits, oldies, and near replica of FM stations on the band anymore.
However, I get a sneaking suspicion that with a little TLC and nurturing, there might be a small medium wave and long-wave revival, provided that the stations that broadcast on there provide something different from what will be the primary broadcasting platforms of the future (DAB ad FM).
Why do I think this? Well, in recent months, many high power European stations have closed (with more to come). As a consequence, the night-time interference levels have diminished and smaller local stations are being better heard than they have been for a few decades now. Granted, there is still the problem with electrical interference in some locations, which does need to get sorted.
Also, when I say stations have to offer something different, I mean that they provide something unique. For example Manx Radio now have their motorbiking service on medium wave, a small number of community stations are currently on there, Spirit Radio in Ireland has appeared and speech stations are still doing rather well.
Meanwhile, in the US and Canada, the medium wave band is changing and altering all the time, with new stations coming on air and others changing format away from music to become, sports, ethnic, talk, business, religious and even comedy services – but the MW band is definitely not being wound down.
Maybe that should be considered.
Denis, where are you getting this rubbish from?
The proposed migration of FM stations to a digital platform has been postponed with no new date even being suggested. Even if that did happen, AM stations will not replace the empty frequencies! The original idea was for ALL stations to move to DAB.
Whilst I am an advocate of DRM, there is no current infrastructure in the UK to support this platform so where does that idea come from? Its taken 10 years or more to persuade the listener to invest in DAB. Do you think DRM will replace DAB overnight? Plus, where can you buy a DRM radio for the same low price of a DAB?
If DRM did by some miracle become adopted as a mainstream platform tomorrow, it would take another 10 years for the listener to embrace it.
The instances where AM stations have migrated to FM is purely down to the allocation of a LOW POWER frequency being available or one where the previous occupier has surrendered the channel.. Most FM frequencies are currently tied up with a small section of the spectrum reserved for low power community style broadcasters, as agreed with our European neighbours, many years ago.
There are still a large number of radios available with AM facilities. Current legislation also limits the amount of interference any electrical device emits.
DRM or more likely DRM+ as an upgrade path for AM stations seems quite likely in future, but for now AM is here to stay. FM is strongly contested, DAB likewise (not to mention massively more commercial – there’s no real equivalent for community radio on DAB), so the stations on AM now are not likely to go anywhere till a better, equivalent solution exists. DRM/DRM+ radios not being available in the UK is a matter of demand – license the services and radios will become available. Nobody’s going to sink R&D time into making products for unlicensed services. Replacing AM radios would be the main issue but AM radio typically has quite dedicated listeners.
Anyway, FM and AM are both here to stay for the next few years at the very least, almost certainly more.
(See also whitepapers 174 and 199 by BBC Research and Development: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/whp/whp-pdf-files/WHP174.pdf and http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/whp/whp-pdf-files/WHP199.pdf respectively for results and feedback from DRM/DRM+ trials if you’re interested)
It’s like the guy who sold my aunt a laptop:
“oh you need to purchase antivirus software”
Why when there is suitable free antivirus software.
“you will need Microsoft Office”
What about open office and libre office where you get more, and it’s free?
It’s just sales talk, most people in jobs selling tech don’t know Jack. Even in stores that I have been in that pride themselves for knowing what they are selling struggle with basic principles.
DRM has actually started to pick up again. One reason maybe that it is getting a lot attention in Brazil and India. It is being considered as a main digital radio standard on those two countries. Once one country has adopted it as its main platform then receivers may be more available for the consumer. This might be the reason why trials are starting up in Sweden and France.