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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Triana Butler
11 May 2021 - 10:12am
Apple Music has real live presenters. Zane Lowe, Matt Wilkinson, Nadeska, Kelleigh Bannen, Estelle, and Hanuman Welch all present live shows. And their live country music station features weekly shows presented by a large number of country artists that I'm sure our friends in Bankstown would appreciate! Who'd subscribe to radio when you can get it for free?
Anthony The Koala
11 May 2021 - 5:46am
In the belief that there is nothing new under the sun, in 1923, the earliest radio service was the sealed set system where the listener possessed a radio that was tuned to a particular station. The receivers could be hacked to receive other stations. The sealed-set system was a failure with only 1400 subscribers, ref https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/Media_ownership/1923-1938 .

A subscription to the four Bauer Media services cost AUD $7.16. Seems reasonable enough. In a similar vein to the sealed set system of 1923, will there be enough subscribers to break even, at least cover the cost of the wages of the presenters, power, administration, royalty fees?

Subcription radio in the US, is alive and well with over 34 million subscribers to the Sirius XM satellite services. https://www.statista.com/statistics/252812/number-of-sirius-xms-subscribers/. With monthly subscription rates ranging from US$10 to US$19, that would be an expected annual turnover of between US$4.2 billion to US$8 billion, source https://m.siriusxm.com/servlet/Satellite?c=SXM_PageDetail_C&childpagename=SXM/SXM_PageDetail_C/OpenContent&cid=1283879531775&p=1283872687292&pagename=SXM/Wrapper .

The range of channels is between 80 and 175 channels with the premium package offering online IP radio. Thats between $10/80 = US $0.125 per channel and $19/175 = US $0.11 per channel per month or AUD $0.15 and AUD $0.16 per month per channel.

For the British offering, that is $7.16/4 per month = $1.79 per channel per month, which is 10 times the price of the US offering.

Despite a slight drop in consumers for subscription radio in the US, the market is larger. Whether the market for subscription radio can be sustained in the smaller UK market, I doubt that subscription radio could be sustained in Australia.

There has to be a great reason to subscribe to paid radio. The pulling power of Foxtel/Kayo is the sports content. For general entertainment, Foxtel faces competition from streaming VOD services, whether paid or subscription. Paramount pictures is offering a VOD subscription service.

If sport is the 'pulling power' to attract subscribers to Foxtel/Kayo, then sport may be the pulling power for subscription radio.

But alas, the FTA services of ABC metro, Grandstand (DAB), Nine Radio (2GB, 3AW), 2SM, SEN, and MMM would make it hard to want to flick over to subscription radio, especially for sports offerings.

That's unless the subscription service does a larger deal greater than the accumulated offerings of the FTA broadcasters such that the only way to listen to sporting coverage is via subscription radio.

For Bauer Media's subscription service, time will tell whether there are enough subscribers to sustain its four musical channels. It would have to compete with the fourth largest commercial radio network in the UK, Classic FM, https://www.classicfm.com/contact/advertise-with-us/. By classic FM, it's music equivalent to ABC-Classic and 2MBS (Fine Music), NOT Classic Hits.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting and analytical Belfield
Who'd subscribe to radio when you can get it for free?
10 May 2021 - 10:09am
The Tecsun Australia SDR receiver is located at Araluen which is in a valley near Bateman's Bay Far South Coast NSW. In the coverage area of the Mt. Wandera ABC local radio, medium power FM transmitter was burnt down.
There are many of these on line SDR receivers around the world including New Zealand. Most of them will decode DRM when selected.
Infinite Dial 2021: Australians embrace digital audio, podcast listening soars
Dark Nebula
10 May 2021 - 9:06am
i did a mini-documentary on 2MCE which is now a little out-of-date as a few of the people interviewed moved on to other things but the substance of it is still relevant as it draws the various elements together to identify what 2MCE is to all & sundry. It's still up on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fqn3qhbZ8w Australia's 1st regional community radio station celebrates 45 years
Anthony The Koala
7 May 2021 - 4:39pm
Dear Mr St. John,
Two points:
(1) "There are SDR DRM radios which can be tuned via the internet. http://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/tecsun-sw-radio-online".

It is not unusual that instruments. testing and measuring equipment can be controlled remotely. They've been around since the invention of protocols such as RS-232, IEEE:488 and USB. Controlling via IP is no different. Over 20 years ago, I wrote a program in Java and VB that made LEDs 'dance' on a spare expansion slot of a 286 machine controlled by another 486 machine over an IP network.

By the way learning more about programming in VB was inspired by volunteering for a now defunct project at 2SER-fm in the late 1990s under the then Chief Engineer Mr Bruce Guinn.

Anyway I tried the browser remote control application demonstration at the Tecsun site by entering 873kHz (2GB) and 702kHz (2BL=ABC Sydney) and the signals were quite noisy, more noise than signal. I am theorising that it may be due to the position of the receiver's antenna.

Nevertheless, the interface at the Tecsun site was a demonstration that the instrument was able to be remotely controlled and the sound from the radio was outputted from the radio via an IP stream.

(2) In regards to jamming signals, CODFM is the combination of various mathematical techniques, heading 8, page 12, https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/techreview/trev_278-stott.pdf, which makes the signal "...able to cope with severe multipath and the presence of co-channel narrowband interference...." consequently making the received signal resistant to jamming.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting and researching Belfield

Infinite Dial 2021: Australians embrace digital audio, podcast listening soars
Richard Daniel
7 May 2021 - 9:45am
Hi Alison, your company has always been one of the greats in Australian Radio. Never worked for you or your mum in media.... but to read this article is just so relevant and so encouraging. Well done and keep it going.
So many if the great stations have not only lost their identity and call sign, they have lost the ability to be local and too even know what it means. Great stations on the Coast of NSW I worked for and Managed that owned the town... people knew us and staff were ready to be their at 3 in the morning if they had to and support a local issue. Keep up the great work, your staff and the people (sorry Community) you serve will love you for it.
Richard Daniel

We are entrenching our focus on localism: Grant Broadcasters CEO Alison Cameron
7 May 2021 - 8:19am
I'm moving to a Grant Market... Sounds like they've got their head squarely in the game!! Well done guys! We are entrenching our focus on localism: Grant Broadcasters CEO Alison Cameron
6 May 2021 - 1:34pm
Re: Tecsun Australia DRM receiver is badge engineering. It's the Gospell radio. It has a firmware upgrade to receive DRM in the 87.5 - 108 MHz band.
77 % of new cars in Australia contain DAB+/FM/AM radios. Bluetooth is a good way to upgrade car infotainment systems for DRM. The Starwaves Tuktuk radio can be placed in the boot. There is no DRM because there are no DRM broadcasts. India has high powered DRM broadcasts and 3 million cars with DRM and rising.
Starwaves has a program for the RTL SDR stick which will receive DRM+ on a phone or computer. The RTL SDRs currently will not tune below 22 MHz.

There are SDR DRM radios which can be tuned via the internet. http://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/tecsun-sw-radio-online/

I don't think the Pacific DRM broadcasts are publicised. Radio Australia would have to do this at electronics and brown goods retailers.

As for jamming it is harder to do on a DRM signal because the jammer must be on exactly the centre frequency. Adjacent channels are ignored as are weaker signals due to COFDM, data shuffling, forward error correction. China has high power HF DRM but is further away from the South Pacific ocean.
Infinite Dial 2021: Australians embrace digital audio, podcast listening soars
Darren Moss
6 May 2021 - 11:35am
So good to read this. Clearly Grants understands local radio and are willing to give it a go even in places where others have exited.

Hot Tomato is an excellent example of good local radio that has massive support in the community.
We are entrenching our focus on localism: Grant Broadcasters CEO Alison Cameron
Anthony The Koala
5 May 2021 - 9:42pm
Dear Mr St. John,
Two points, one on DRM/DRM receivers and the restoration of RA directly from Australia rather than local re-transmission.

First, thank you for pointing to the latest DRM/DRM+ receivers at https://www.drm.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/DRM-Radio-Receivers-leaflet-April-2021.pdf. I must say that the Gospell model GR216, page 3 of the document looks very similar in style to the Tecsun Q-3061 at https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/product/tecsun-drm-radio/.

The article mentions receivers decoding DRM/DRM+ in the MW, SW and VHF bands. My car's infotainment unit can decode analogue AM, FM and DAB+ as well as Bluetooth. The Sangean DPR-45/"Dick Smith" DPR-44 decodes analogue AM, FM and DAB+.

However none of the DRM/DRM+ receivers featured in the article from drm.org have a receiver decoding all analogue bands. It is similar to most receivers featuring DAB+ reception excluding analogue AM reception.

You mentioned that the receivers use SDR to decode the DRM/DRM+ signals.

One's PC can receive DRM/DRM+ transmissions using USB-tv dongles implementing the RTL 2832U decoder chip used in conjunction with HF frequency upconverters such as the "Ham It Up" branded upconverter, https://www.rtl-sdr.com/tutorial-drm-radio-using-rtl-sdr/ . The USB tv dongles are very cheap and can be purchased for about AUD $20.

I discovered the versatility of the USB-tv dongle 10 years ago when the supplied software allowed one to tune outside the TV band including broadcasts from NESB narrowcasters on say 154MHz. I must say the audio quality from the narrowcasters is "AM quality"/telephone quality, not FM quality even though the narrowcasters utilize FM encoding.

Furthermore, tweaking for bandwidth and noise reduction especially for analogue AM reception can be achieved with SDR software.

Secondly, your reminder of RA's signal could not be switched off during the Fiji coup because the RA signal was broadcast from Victoria not a local retransmission. I also that

Secondly, the direct transmission of signals from source country rather than local re-transmission is not subject to being cut to destination listeners by the destination country. The 1987 coup in Fiji demonstrates that RA could not be cut because it was transmitted from Victoria. Local re-transmission facilities can be cut.

Similarly countries can block IP access outside the country preventing views from other countries.

A reminder too that corporations can also block views that are considered politically incorrect while allowing illicit material such as porn and blasphemy.

Returning to broadcasting via the electromagnetic spectrum, it's imperative that RA's SW broadcasts resume, and in light of DRM transmissions with its consistent clear sound that RA's broadcasts resume from Australia. That is provided that there are enough DRM receivers to the Pacific Island listeners.

The one concern though is whether countries hostile to Australia's or NZ's view of the world may have the facility to 'jam' RA's signals.

Thank you,
Anthony of thinking Belfield
Infinite Dial 2021: Australians embrace digital audio, podcast listening soars


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