I read an interesting tidbit in the Tacoma News Tribune that I thought I would share. Seems that 50 years ago in April of 1958, Radio KTNT AM and FM invited listeners to experience a “revolutionary type of broadcast”. On Sundays, from 9 to 10 PM they would broadcast in binaural or “stereophonic” sound. The broadcast utilizes two microphones… the left one picks up the sound and feeds it to the FM transmitter and the right microphone feeds the AM transmitter. Listeners were instructed to sit between the two radios 5-7 feet apart with the volume equal on both radios. Radical but easy to explain to the average listener. I’m sure it helped in making people more aware of FM at the time.
We fast forward today to HD Radio. I’m in the business and even with technical prowess I find just maneuvering my factory installed automobile HD Radio a distracting discomfort. It will not lock in HD many times. The HD2 and 3 channels don’t just fade out, they stop working altogether when the signal gets weak. You and I know why. I worry that others simply won’t. They’ll just move on. To an IPod or Satellite. Or mobile phone.
I really hate too say this, but I’m going to. In what we have accomplished in the ensuing 50 years, I think putting two radios together, AM left, FM right, was refreshingly simple.