Lots has been happening since I started formally dissertating on the debacle that is HD Radio. Below is a collection of intriguing snippets and informed prognostication:
1. HD Radio Reception. Mediageek Paul Riismandel recently posted two articles on Radio Survivor dealing with real-world HD reception in a major market (in his case, Chicago), using a bottom-end (~$80) HD receiver. The results are not impressive. On FM, Paul sez,
I find that the technology of cramming a digital signal in next to analog one has too many compromises to be successful. The bandwidth for the HD channels is not enough to offer significantly better fidelity for the primary HD channel, and the leftover bandwidth available for HD2 and HD3 provides sound quality that does not surpass what is available online or on satellite radio. Importantly, tuning in a clear HD signal can be a very finicky process that can try one’s patience.
AM-HD engenders even less enthusiasm (love the graphic, BTW): “I consider HD Radio on AM to be mostly useless and not worth the effort. It’s especially not worth the loud digital hash noise I receive on my analog-only radios on the frequencies adjacent to the HD stations. It’s like a line of digital litter strewn across the AM radio highway.” Continue reading “HD Radio Roundup”
A crash-course in the dramaturgy of media studies has the mind fully occupied at the moment, but not quite busy enough to do other stuff quasi-related to this site: Continue reading “Miscellaneous News of Note”
About a week and a half left until dissertation-research formally concludes. Then a short break after which it’s time to organize the ~800 pages of notes collected from FCC dockets, trade publications, and related materials into formal prose. In the meantime:
Pirate Radio: Pally-pal Paul Riismandel wrote two excellent articles this week for Radio Survivor on unlicensed broadcasting. The first looks at a spate of FCC enforcement actions in Massachusetts, and especially around the Boston area. Continue reading “More Miscellaneous News of Note”
I spent my New Year’s eve in somewhat bittersweet celebration with my compadre Paul Riismandel, otherwise well-known as the Mediageek. After seven and a half years of doing his Mediageek radioshow, which had been syndicated on more than a dozen stations in North America, Paul’s decided to hang up the mic. Continue reading “Adios, (Radio) Mediageek”
One of the traditions Paul and I have fallen into the habit of doing is looking back at the past year in telecom policy. Although 2008 was more a year of hot air than actual doings, we decided to take the time on his latest show to critically examine Lawrence Lessig‘s proposal to “Reboot the FCC.”
Since Mediageek the radio show only runs in half-hour segments on the Internets, but is now actually an hour long in real-time, Paul has also posted the second segment of our show, where we examine 2008 in the context of FCC enforcement against pirate radio.
Paul the Mediageek recently did an excellent interview with Sarah Kanouse, Assistant Professor in the Intermedia Program at the University of Iowa’s School of Art and Art History, about her latest project, Voices of America. In short, this VOA is a re-interpretation of presidential election coverage provided by the real Voice of America – the main radio arm of the United States’ international, over-the-counter propaganda efforts. Continue reading “Re-Translating the U.S. Elections Through U.S. Propaganda”
I have been remiss in mentioning this, but last week Paul the Mediageek did a comprehensive show with reporters on the ground in Oaxaca, Mexico, where a teacher’s strike started earlier this year has escalated into a full-scale state revolt.
According to Nancy Davies and George Salzman, most of the stations occupied by those in the movement to reclaim Oaxaca for those who live there have been reacquired by the authorities; the university’s previously-licensed radio station has been declared a “pirate” and suffers from active jamming. Continue reading “Mediageek Highlights Oaxaca Crisis”
Paul the Mediageek notes National Public Radio’s Morning Edition ran a piece on pirate radio in Florida last week that screams “lame.” The reporter, WGCU news director Amy Tardif, only talked to a representative from Clear Channel (who whines about losing advertisers to a pirate), someone from the Florida Association of Broadcasters, and a cop on the hunt of a station. This makes her come off as a well-played, ignorant cracker. And the news hook is only a year and a half old. Possibly one of the worst pieces on the subject ever run on public broadcasting. Continue reading “Public Radio Hacks On Florida Pirate”
Paul the Mediageek interviewed the producers of the still-forthcoming documentary Pirate Radio USA, Jeff Pearson and Mary Jones (aka DJs “Him” and “Her”), for his latest radioshow. That, and a podcast-only supplement, finally reveal details about what to look forward to.
The film runs 82 minutes (whittled from 115). It’s the first feature-length piece for Cannonball Productions: they warmed up on a couple of shorts and long runs on public access television. Continue reading “Pirate Radio USA Producers Speak”
While the proliferation of FM translator stations by religious broadcast groups arguably constitutes spectrum abuse, it’s just one perspective on a larger problem. Religious broadcasters are not only snapping up translator channels on which real community LPFM stations might have been sited, they’re also engaged in LPFM broadcasting.
A recent SF Chronicle story illustrates how Calvary Chapel organizes LPFM station affiliate growth:
This month, the Calvary Chapel Radio Ministry of Costa Mesa in Orange County hosted 170 mostly Christian low-power broadcasters, offering them operational tips as well as up to “16 hours per day, seven days a week” of programming beamed in via satellite, according to its Web site. Continue reading “Religious Broadcasting As Franchise Operation”