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OFFLINE   newtaste #81

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 05:41 PM

In Sydney, community stations 2OOO, 2SER and 2MBS are now all broadcasting.

OFFLINE   TV Cynic #82

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 01:14 PM

In Brisbane 4ZZZ now running as "Test Z" on 9B

OFFLINE   PeteP #83

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:35 PM

"TEST" is 6RTR
"Test R" is 6RPH (990 Information Radio)
Now waiting for 6EBA (95.3) , 6SON(98.5), 6NR(100.1) ,6NME(100.9) and 6SEN(101.7)


And still waiting ....
Mind you Perth only has 256 kbps to share amongst 7 community broadcasters and the two still testing have used up half of that allocation (both stations run at 64 kbps). So out of the remaining 5 who will win the last 2 slots? I vote for 6SON and 6NR, although 6SEN should be given special consideration as they seem to be the only community radio station actually interested in going digital and already gearing up to do so (check out the 5 Nov and 15 Dec 2010 news items at http://www.capitalco...om/CCR_News.htm).

And another question: what happened to the 64 kbps that Grant/Capital broadcasters purchased at the auction? It still there somewhere but not being used as the bit rates for 6iX+MyPerth+HotCountry=48+48+32= 128 kbps which is the original allocation to commercial broadcasters.

Finally, will Perth ever get Koffee (i.e. buy 64 kbps from the 128 kbps 96fm!)?

OFFLINE   dryfry #84

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:57 PM

And still waiting ....



I've heard CBAA wants to launch Community DAB radio with all Perth wide community stations being officially switched on all at once.
Quite a few of the five remaining stations are sending their DAB signal to TX Australia at Carmel .Its just a matter of switching them on .

OFFLINE   PeteP #85

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:09 AM

I've heard CBAA wants to launch Community DAB radio with all Perth wide community stations being officially switched on all at once.
Quite a few of the five remaining stations are sending their DAB signal to TX Australia at Carmel .Its just a matter of switching them on .


But where is the bandwidth coming from for the remaining 5 stations given there is only 128 kbps left (2/9 of a 1x multiplex = 256 kbps only for community, or has this changed)? Given 6RPH and 6RTR are already using 64 kbps something has to give. I can just imagine how good 36 kbps ( 7 x 36 = 252 kbps) will sound!

OFFLINE   Moe #86

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:29 AM

And another question: what happened to the 64 kbps that Grant/Capital broadcasters purchased at the auction? It still there somewhere but not being used as the bit rates for 6iX+MyPerth+HotCountry=48+48+32= 128 kbps which is the original allocation to commercial broadcasters.

I believe that Austereo bought 96kbps and Grant only got 32kbps. That said, most broadcasters are not using the additional spectrum purchased, I suspect most of it was just blocking out competitors.

The community stations are going to run into the bitrate problem everywhere except Brisbane - which has enough spectrum for 72kbps each. In Melbourne the spectrum is full with 8 test stations, but 3KND is left with no spectrum.

OFFLINE   crankymedia #87

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:44 AM

Mt Gibraltar is only about 800m ASL whereas a plane over the Blue Mountains would be somewhere like about 3000-4000m ASL.

ASL = Above Sea Level


Bzzzzzzt, the highest mountain in Australia is Mt Kosciusko at 2228 metres.

OFFLINE   Moe #88

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:02 AM

Bzzzzzzt, the highest mountain in Australia is Mt Kosciusko at 2228 metres.

I don't see anyone saying otherwise.

OFFLINE   PeteP #89

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:42 PM

I believe that Austereo bought 96kbps and Grant only got 32kbps. That said, most broadcasters are not using the additional spectrum purchased, I suspect most of it was just blocking out competitors.

The community stations are going to run into the bitrate problem everywhere except Brisbane - which has enough spectrum for 72kbps each. In Melbourne the spectrum is full with 8 test stations, but 3KND is left with no spectrum.


Didn't know the actual allocation but not surprised Austereo hogged most of it (e.g. prevent DMG from acquiring spectrum for Koffee). Still why doesn't Grant use the 32 kbps to improve their existing offerings, e.g. 6iX+MyPerth+HotCountry: 64+48+48 (personally I would prefer 64+64+32 since I don't listen to HotCountry!)?

Regarding Community yes Perth and Adelaide are the hardest done by (Perth the worse since we have 7 stations) and I guess having another multiplex is out of the question (given how much is spare in Brisbane, the perks of having that extra commercial license!). So what will happen? Only 4 of the 7 stations in Perth will be able to go DAB?

OFFLINE   Moe #90

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:28 PM

So what will happen? Only 4 of the 7 stations in Perth will be able to go DAB?

I suspect a few of the stations will get 64kbps and some of the talk/ethnic ones get much less than that.

OFFLINE   PeteP #91

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:25 AM

I suspect a few of the stations will get 64kbps and some of the talk/ethnic ones get much less than that.


According to:
http://www.dtvforum....dpost&p=1678845
Melbourne has all 9 community stations at 64 kbps. But I thought Melbourne only had capacity for 8 community stations at that rate? Where did the extra capacity come from? Can something similar be done with Perth (at least 48 kbps for the 7 community stations we have, would require an extra 80 kbps to be found).

OFFLINE   Moe #92

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:18 PM

Trying to piece this together.

DAB 9A has 5 commercial radio licences, for 128kbps each making 640kbps. Add to that 256kbps of Community Radio Spectrum and you get 896kbps.
DAB 9B has 6 commercial radio licences, for 128kbps each making 768kbps. Add to that 256kbps of Community Radio Spectrum and you get 1024kbps.

The digital radio action sold "up to 12 new audio and /or data services" in Melbourne to Radio Sport National, Austereo and ARN. A audio/data service was signified as 32kbps each, or a total of 384kbps of spectrum sold off.

The 5 stations are on 9B, with 9A having only 4.

Austereo has the stations: Barry Comedy, Fox, M Stage Rihanna, Radar New Music and Triple M - each at 64kbps, resulting in 320kbps used, or 64kbps more than the 256kbps they were initially entitled to.
ARN has: ARN Events, Classic Hits Live, Edge Digital, Gold Plus, Gold 104.3 and Mix 101.1 - each at 48kbps, resulting in 288kbps used, or 32kbps more than the 256kbps they were initially entitled to.
Radio Sport National runs a single 64kbps stream on 9A which is 64kbps less than allocated, with no guess as to how much spectrum they purchased at auction.

That means, while 384kbps of spectrum was actioned, 288kbps of it remains unused.

That results in 9B having: 6 commercial radio licences using 768kbps, 96kbps of additional spectrum sold at auction and currently in use and 256kbps of assigned community radio spectrum in use, with a further 64kbps extra used by 3KND. That adds up to 1184kbps.

Now this manages to work by the fact that while digital radio was sold in 9x128kbps chunks, it actually is on an 1184kbps multiplex, so 32kbps extra is left over. 32kbps left over, plus 32kbps of spectrum that was sold to one of the commercial licensees and then not used allows all 9 community stations on air in 64kbps.

That also means that there remains not only 64kbps of spectrum allocated to Radio Sport, but there is 256kbps of sold spectrum on 9A that no one is using.


----------------

For Perth, Grant/Capital and Austereo purchased "up to four new audio and/or data services" worth of spectrum, or 128kbps between them.

Based on some old data:

Southern Cross: 6PR (64kbps), Buckle (64kbps) and 96fm (128kbps) - no spectrum purchased.
Grant/Capital: 6IX (48kbps), Hot Country (32kbps) and MyPerth (48kbps) - using only 128kbps.
DMG/ARN: Nova and NovaNation (64kbps) - no spectrum purchased
Austereo: 929 (64kbps), Barry (48kbps), Main Stage (64kbps), Mix (64kbps), U20 (48kbps), Radar (64kbps) = 256 + 96kbps purchased. U20 is now shut off, so Barry should be back at 64kbps, and the remaining 32kbps is probably either doing nothing or added to Mix or 929.

Again with the spectrum being bigger that 9*128 and another unexplained 32kbps gap, that leaves 320kbps for the community stations should Melbourne's lead be followed. Divide by 7 and you get 45kbps each, not quite 48, but closer than 36kbps is. If Austereo doesn't use the remainder of U20 you could even get to 50kbps. Still, there's no chance 64kbps could be maintained for all the community stations in Perth.

-----------------

TL;TR: Commercial stations aren't using all their purchased spectrum and that is allowing more space for Community stations.

OFFLINE   PeteP #93

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:05 PM

Trying to piece this together.



Again with the spectrum being bigger that 9*128 and another unexplained 32kbps gap, that leaves 320kbps for the community stations should Melbourne's lead be followed. Divide by 7 and you get 45kbps each, not quite 48, but closer than 36kbps is. If Austereo doesn't use the remainder of U20 you could even get to 50kbps. Still, there's no chance 64kbps could be maintained for all the community stations in Perth.

-----------------

TL;TR: Commercial stations aren't using all their purchased spectrum and that is allowing more space for Community stations.


Can purchased spectrum which is unused then be used by community broadcasters? Does CBAA pay the commercial broadcaster for the spectrum they purchased (its sold off to the CBAA)?

In Perth the unused commercial spectrum amounts to 32 kbps from Austereo (256+96 - 64x5 = 32) and 32 kbps from Grant/Capital. If one includes the 32 kbps gap then we have a total of 352 kbps assuming the purchased unused spectrum can be used by community stations (so around 50 kbps each), otherwise if only the 32 kbps gap is available then that is 256+32=288 kbps (not 320 kbps?) or around 40 kbps each.

To be honest I can see Grant/Capital wanting to use their 32 kbps to at least update HotCountry to 48 kbps but I wonder why they haven't done that? However Austereo can well return the unused 32 kbps.

Interesting times ahead ...

OFFLINE   Moe #94

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:17 PM

Can purchased spectrum which is unused then be used by community broadcasters? Does CBAA pay the commercial broadcaster for the spectrum they purchased (its sold off to the CBAA)?

No idea, I'd suggest that it is a temporary arrangement while the stations are in test mode to make things easier. I suggest most of the spectrum purchased was so that they could stop the other companies buying it, and that the commercial broadcasters see having the community stations on air as a good way to promote the platform without it costing them money.

I've yet to see any smart decisions made on digital, 96fm running at 128kbps is about the only good thing you can find on digital radio nationally.

OFFLINE   PeteP #95

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:36 PM

No idea, I'd suggest that it is a temporary arrangement while the stations are in test mode to make things easier. I suggest most of the spectrum purchased was so that they could stop the other companies buying it, and that the commercial broadcasters see having the community stations on air as a good way to promote the platform without it costing them money.

I've yet to see any smart decisions made on digital, 96fm running at 128kbps is about the only good thing you can find on digital radio nationally.


Thanks Moe. To be honest I would prefer 64 kbps for 96fm so Perth can get Koffee (which can only happen if DMG ever buys 96fm from Fairfax Radio I guess). In terms of quality difficult to say since most DAB+ radios are of the portable kind where you probably don't get much in the way of hifi performance from the headphone jack (and who would want to spend $$$ on a high-end DAB+ tuner rather than a good Panasonic hifi?).

Funny though, 96fm was the first Perth commercial radio station (all the others came almost a decade later from AM to FM conversion) so a certainly a pioneer. I guess now they are pioneering DAB+ by being the only one running at CD+ quality bit rates (if only the DAB+ products where there to notice) although I am sure this is farthest from the minds of the media owners worried about ratings.

OFFLINE   Brianc68 #96

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:07 PM

Is anyone else really confused about digital radio. It's not offering anything different at least in Brisbane, from what I can gather. The only advantage is 4BH and 4KQ in stereo, which could have been achieved by selling them FM licences.

Even the operators don't seem to have a strategy for what they're doing, and the how the spectrum is divided up and being used seems like a dog's breakfast.

I had such high hopes for digital. I expected I would have a multitude of choice of different music styles and formats. I also thought the ABC would do something interesting like launch an adult music and entertainment station like BBC Radio 2. They haven't even done anything with Dig other than make the music so disjointed and out there that it's unbearable to listen to. And you'd think they could spring for an announcer on Dig too.

And still no sign of DAB+ in cars so what's the point.

ACMA has some explaining to do about the failure to deliver on their promises IMO.

While they try to fix the mess they should allow conversions of existing AM stations to FM.. and if necessary move the community stations to AM in the meantime if there isn't enough spectrum. They should also allocate another new FM licence to Brisbane and possibly also Perth becuase at this rate it's going to take a decade or more for digital to provide any more variety. Just my opinions :)

OFFLINE   simmo #97

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:40 PM

Is anyone else really confused about digital radio. It's not offering anything different at least in Brisbane, from what I can gather. The only advantage is 4BH and 4KQ in stereo, which could have been achieved by selling them FM licences.

Even the operators don't seem to have a strategy for what they're doing, and the how the spectrum is divided up and being used seems like a dog's breakfast.

I had such high hopes for digital. I expected I would have a multitude of choice of different music styles and formats. I also thought the ABC would do something interesting like launch an adult music and entertainment station like BBC Radio 2. They haven't even done anything with Dig other than make the music so disjointed and out there that it's unbearable to listen to. And you'd think they could spring for an announcer on Dig too.

And still no sign of DAB+ in cars so what's the point.

ACMA has some explaining to do about the failure to deliver on their promises IMO.

While they try to fix the mess they should allow conversions of existing AM stations to FM.. and if necessary move the community stations to AM in the meantime if there isn't enough spectrum. They should also allocate another new FM licence to Brisbane and possibly also Perth becuase at this rate it's going to take a decade or more for digital to provide any more variety. Just my opinions :)

i wish i was still living in sydney so i could receive the digital broadcasts.....however i mainly invested in two good receivers to get the better quality signal from the am stations.....2ch sounded great.....i must say most of the stand alone digital stations leave a lot to be desired so not much attraction there unfortunately....by the way moving community stations to am would be unviable for most as the costs associated with running an am transmission site are horrendously high compared to an fm site.....in any case all the sub metro stations aren't getting a look in as far as digital is concerned.....

OFFLINE   Moe #98

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:51 PM

Is anyone else really confused about digital radio. It's not offering anything different at least in Brisbane, from what I can gather. The only advantage is 4BH and 4KQ in stereo, which could have been achieved by selling them FM licences.

Or just switching AM Stereo back on.

Even the operators don't seem to have a strategy for what they're doing, and the how the spectrum is divided up and being used seems like a dog's breakfast.

It's the same cockblocking tactics that they use on FM. There's a reason in a market with 6 commercial FM stations we have 3 hit music stations and 3 classic rock stations, no one is willing to settle for targeting a niche, they want their fingers in as much of the pie as possible. The US get this right, they allocate as many licences as they possibly can find spectrum for, they don't have the huge limits on station ownership, and they get a large range of varied formats.

Less operators or substantially more new licences are the only ways to improve listener choice.

I had such high hopes for digital. I expected I would have a multitude of choice of different music styles and formats. I also thought the ABC would do something interesting like launch an adult music and entertainment station like BBC Radio 2. They haven't even done anything with Dig other than make the music so disjointed and out there that it's unbearable to listen to. And you'd think they could spring for an announcer on Dig too.

The problem really is that the ABC haven't received a cent more for digital radio, but at the same time have wanted to expand digital TV services. More funding would mean they could do those sorts of things, the ABC have certainly indicated they want to. Though they want a Kid's Digital radio station, which is just what we need more of.

And still no sign of DAB+ in cars so what's the point.

You can finally buy some in car aftermarket ones, but I wouldn't buy until the outcome of the regional digital radio review.

While they try to fix the mess they should allow conversions of existing AM stations to FM.. and if necessary move the community stations to AM in the meantime if there isn't enough spectrum. They should also allocate another new FM licence to Brisbane and possibly also Perth becuase at this rate it's going to take a decade or more for digital to provide any more variety. Just my opinions :)

The problem here is that the Commercial stations managed to make a deal limiting new licences for 5 years to help fund the costs associated with digital. Not to mention the quiet sell off of digital radio spectrum means that even if a new FM licence was awarded anywhere (except Brisbane), there's no digital radio spectrum to be given to them.

They did it backwards. Digital radio would best have been pushed by new entrants, have two commercial mutlplexes in the 5 mainland state capitals an open auction for spectrum in 64kbps chunks out of what was left after giving 128kbps to the incumbents. In Melbourne and Sydney that could have meant 6 new stations from new operators, and over 14 in the others. By having the burden of pushing their commercial interests, they would have improved formats and provide a stronger push to go digital, the incumbents would then need to respond with better formats.

OFFLINE   PeteP #99

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:54 PM

Is anyone else really confused about digital radio. It's not offering anything different at least in Brisbane, from what I can gather. The only advantage is 4BH and 4KQ in stereo, which could have been achieved by selling them FM licences.


Well these are the pros of DAB+ from my perspective:
(1) Better quality ABC stations (RN, ABC Local, Newsradio) compared to the muffled, static AM reception
(2) Quality, stereo of commercial music format AM stations (e.g. 6iX)
(3) New stations which do offer something different (Radar, SBS Chill, SBS 6, MyPerth)

But then the cons:
(1) Very limited selection of receivers (nothing has really changed since 2009) including hifi systems from major manufacturers (e.g. Panasonic) and, of course, car radios
(2) Sound quality is not CD quality (despite the claims) and FM quality at best; distorted, coloured at worst. And with digital flexibility (sound processing and bit rates) such variety/variability in quality is possible, but unfortunate.
(3) Community stations are a hit and miss, and only wide coverage, no local community and no narrowcasters.
(4) Does anybody really bother with the data stream? Only some stations and then only sometimes will indicate the artist and track.

OFFLINE   Reuder7 #100

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:58 PM

It's the same cockblocking tactics that they use on FM. There's a reason in a market with 6 commercial FM stations we have 3 hit music stations and 3 classic rock stations, no one is willing to settle for targeting a niche, they want their fingers in as much of the pie as possible.


Surely though now with digital you can have your main station PLUS offer wide niche stations aswell?