Would you be interested in a high-end audio broadcast medium?

Would you be interested in a high-end audio broadcast medium?
Very interested
31% (69 votes)
Moderately interested
19% (44 votes)
13% (29 votes)
Mildy bemused
14% (32 votes)
Not really interested
16% (36 votes)
Who cares?
7% (16 votes)
Total votes: 226

The technology exists to create high-end audio programming that could finally solve the problem audiophiles have had with FM radio for years. But would you be interested enough to buy the equipment and/or pay for the service?

Gregg Littlefair's picture

You bet I'd pay for no disc jockeys.

George Antunes's picture

The quest for better quality and variety of audio programming is one of the main reasons I got a Big Ugly Dish and a GI 4DTV satellite receiver. It's terrific! I'll be interested to hear what the signal from CD radio sounds like when they start satellite broadcasting next year.

-Jon Sumners's picture

Stereophile's on-line Q/A session is the Barber Shop/Locker Room of the 90's. No women answered the question last week; none will proably read or answer the question this week. Forget talking audio. We don't this kind of freedom often

Don Howden's picture

FM radio today exists primarily as sonic wallpaper. I'm not sure that would change very much with the advent of high-end broadcasts . . . same listeners simply shuffling stations.

Priya N.  Werahera's picture

Yes, I would love to listen to high-end broadcasts, as long as the equipment and monthly charges (?) are reasonable. I have previously listened to digital musical channels on cable and enjoyed it very much. I am assuming that when you say high-end audio, it is at least CD-quality sound, if not better.

MacGregor Rucker's picture

Of course, I listen to FM broadcasts daily and I'm not unhappy with the sound. Sometimes late at night it can be startling it's so good. Then again, my expectations are lower than for any other music source. I'd welcome an upgrade in broadcast quality if it came with an upgrade in program quality. Maybe the heightened interest in broadcast media would generate a demand for higher quality programming, or maybe not. We don't really need more of the same at any quality.

Jeff Loney's picture

As with television technologies such as satellite, HDTV, etc., the opportunity for improvement lies in the programming content. No matter what the audio/video quality, having 100 channels of "fluff" to surf through still leaves you with "fluff" as "entertainment"!

E.  Casey's picture

DSS has COMMERCIAL-FREE programming that is not CD-quality but is good enough for recreation. I'd be more interested in high-end anything for my car . . .

Scott Francis's picture

It'd either have to be real inexpensive or real good, and that assumes that I wanta listen to what's being broadcast---preferably hours and hours of Grateful Dead shows done on DAT from soundboard feeds. Yeah, I'd be real interested if the Dead stuff was there; then I'd pay for it. Otherwise, it's just interesting.

J.L.  Olivier's picture

They better hurry up before the whole thing gets taken up by computers.

Craig Copeland's picture

Presently very satisfied with the quality of sound I get from my Yamaha TX-950 receiver. Have no desire to junk it and move to new equipment. Hoping that digital broadcasting does not make such a change necessary until my hearing deteriorates to the point I won't care.

Bruce Stewart-Smith's picture

I see no point in introducing yet another medium, complete with its baggage of initial cost, unknown universal standards, and inescapable obsolescence.

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

Buy the equipment? Perhaps. I listen to classical music on the radio and I wish it could sound better. Pay for the service? NO. No one has had to PAY to listen to the radio since Marconi's day.

Woody Battle's picture

Sound quality is not the issue. Who wants to listen to radio or any other broadcast medium where someone else controls the playlist? Radio is for the car; at home, I want to program my own music.

t.m.dolan's picture

purchase the equipment if public radio were to broadcast it

C LIM's picture

To: jiverson@stereophile.com @ SMTP cc: jatkinson@stereophile.com@smtp, letters@stereophile.com@smtp, products@stereophile.com@smtp, backissues@stereophile.com@smtp, jheintz@wayoutware.com@smtp, subscriptions@stereophile.com@smtp Subject: Where are my Stereophile CDs??? Dear Jon, Any update on the delivery status of my CDs? I have already faxed over proof of payment to Stereophile 6 times and e-mailed to you guys close to 70 times over the past 5 months! If the order cannot be fufilled please forward a refund (USD $133.95) to me as soon as possible. Thank you. Christopher LIM Please respond to jiverson@stereophile.com @ SMTP To: Christopher LIM/MOM/SINGOV@SINGOV cc: Subject: Re: Where are my Stereophile CDs??? Hi Chris, I've contacted the company that sends the CDs and asked them to respond to you as well as let me know what they are doing. I'll do this again and hope they will give you an explanation for what is happening. If you payed with a credit card, you may be able to cancel the charges. JON -- Jon Iverson http://www.stereophile.com http://www.guidetohometheater.com http://www.hifishow.com

John Wm.  Mulcrone's picture

The equipment would probably cost too much for me to justify the expense. I wouldn't want to pay top dollar to listen to the crap that passes for music on my local stations. I'll put my money into my own software so that I can listen to what I want, when I want.

Jeff Mulder's picture

While listening to and collecting your own music library is one of the most enjoyable pastimes I know of, there is still something to be said for just sitting back, reading a book, and listening to the radio. Where else can you find a never-ending supply of very different music FOR FREE? The only problem with radio is that it, well, sounds like crap most of the time. (I, unfortunately, don't have enough disposable income to blow on a $5000 tuner.) Anything that could possibly make FM radio sound better should be embraced by audiophiles everywhere---if not all, then at least those who find themselves listening to the radio for more than five minutes a day.

Shawn's picture

It seems that FM broadcast stations have become even LESS clear and dynamic in recent years! I'm not sure why, but it's getting worse.

Adi Lungu's picture

Interested if I can listen to live performances of some famous orchestras.

Ken Holsgrove's picture

With the 30+ music channels I get off my DBS system, the only time I listem to FM is in the car. And with all the road noise/engine noise/etc. FM for the car is just fine.

Stephen Schwinn's picture

As with DSS, it depends on quality and programming choices relative to what we have already. Lots more programming choices and much better quality will sell me on the idea . . .

Chuck Gerlach's picture

My FM-radio listening is done in the car. While my home audio system retails for an obscene amount of money, I would never spend any $ to upgrade my car audio system. If I want to listen to FM-type music at home, I use my DSS system. And since it is only for background music, I sure would not pay more for better quality.

Carl Fuggiasco's picture

This is, of course, a tangled query: 1) It all depends on the equipment at both sending and receiving ends. 2) Is this what broadcast media should be doing to begin with? I'm sure you at Stereophile, as well as myself, could spend pages in discussion of this 50-year misstep! 3) It's about damn time!!!

A.G.  Mann's picture

The problem that I would have with another medium for broadcasting audio is variety. Not everyone has the same tastes in music. Right now, over FM radio, one can listen to just about any kind of music. A new, high-end system for broadcasting audio must incorporate all types of music, not just what is the most popular.

Erik Leideman's picture

As long as I live in Japan, I could not care less about the audio quality of FM radio, since all stations here transmit only nonsense programs anyway. When I go back to Sweden in the future, although there are a lot of quality programs, the problem is that they rarely transmit the interesting stuff whan I want to listen to it. That is why a huge private record collection is so convenient.

eaz's picture

It depends on the selection of music, of course.

Blair Zasitko's picture

FM dosen't compare with CD or LP. It's only good for boom boxes and cars.

Anonymous's picture

Depends on the cost and the type of music. If it is strictly high brow snob classical then no. If it is blues/rock or lite jazz then maybe yes. Direct TV provides music channels that are good for background music. If they could improve the sound by switching to MLP or a different compression program then we would already be there. Well almost, we still need a decent DBS reciever.

Bruce Beckner's picture

Audio quality is, IMHO, the least of the problems with FM radio. Most listeners have four choices: rock and roll, recycled and non-recycled, country, and classical with a short playlist and stuffy, pretentious announcers. No real jazz ("smooth jazz," Kenny G, etc. doesn't count). Better reproduction of the same poor programming is not much of an improvement.