DTNS 2944 – Analog Epilogue

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comShould we just shut down over the air broadcasts? Or will it always have a place. Plus, Facebook has a plan to help journalists and Tesla steals some of Apple’s stars.

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3 thoughts on “DTNS 2944 – Analog Epilogue

  1. The change being discussed is the same as the switch made a few years ago with TV broadcast signals? If so, then I hope someone comes up with adapters for car radios that don’t require professional installation and costs less than $30.
    The “round” antennas used for indoor radio receivers should be easy enough to get adapters for, can’t be that much different from the TV antenna adapters.

  2. Re: Analog radio going away. From an amateur radio operator’s perspective.

    I’m with Scott. Analog radio needs to be maintained at least for public service and emergencies.

    As you know digital is great as long as long as you have a good signal. But when the single starts to get a little week the quality quickly degrades to the point of being unintelligible. There is almost no middle ground when it comes to signal strength and digital usability. Like when Skype or Hangouts has a hiccup and brings the show to a S-T-UT-T-E-R-I-N-GGG halt.

    The digital dropout problem is compounded by everything that can interfere with an over the air broadcast single. In the case of digital broadcasting (one way communication) there is no way for the sender to know that bits were dropped by a receiver and need to be resent. So that part of the message is just lost.

    An analog signal can be very week but still be understandable. You’ll have to listen through static, but since there are no bits to drop, the entire message is still delivered. As long as the single to noise ratio is sufficient to pick the voce of the noise.

    There is a reason the FCC still allows HAM radio operators as much analog band width on as many bands as they do. We have proven time and again that we can usually get a message thru when the normal communication infrastructure has failed in a disaster. In that way we provide a public service.

    As the fine engineer of the starship Enterprise once said. “The more complicated the pluming, the easier it is to stop it up.” And in an emergency, NOBODY wants your toilet stopped up. Analog keeps it simple. Digital offers speed and clarity when it’s working. Analog is more robust. At least for now.

    I’m not saying the demise of analog broadcasts will or should never happen. But I think analog will be important for some things for about another 25 yrs.

    I don’t think fully autonomous cars will ever be 100% self-contained. Especially in the northern states where we can’t see lane makers for weeks at a time, due to the snow. There will eventually need to be a truly nationwide wireless communication network to go fully autonomous coast to coast. Maybe automotive communications and general use communications can share an infrastructure. To speed things along.

    Sorry this went longer than I intended.
    Thanks to everyone involved for the great podcast!

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