Riding Radio’s Technological Wave
Radio has not only survived but thrived through countless technological revolutions over the years. In this brief overview of the technological backdrop influencing the course of broadcast radio, this chapter concentrates on just a handful of topics: AM improvement, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) and radio broadcast data systems. Interestingly, format scanning—one of the features of Radio broadcast data systems (RBDS) that is most intriguing to radio receiver manufacturers—has not attracted much interest. Some of the specific features of RBDS systems are based on the use of transmitted data that can be displayed on screens in new radio receivers—station call letters or slogans, for example. RBDS would clearly support consumer services such as paging, though, because the capacity of the data stream is limited, at the expense of some other options. Radio has endured despite threats from telephone, newspapers, television, cable, CD players, digital audio tape players and even its own dramatic explosion of stations serving the American public.