Clarity of Digital AM Radio

I caught the tail end of a news report in which someone prophesied a revolution in AM radio as a result of widespread digital broadcasting in the AM band. He said that the clarity of digital AM radio rivals digital FM radio.

True or false?

Check out RADIO-L: they have some discussion of the US standards for digital radio…

Can anyone else provide information on the relative clarity of digital AM vs. FM radio?

try and click on field trial results. You can listen to it yourself

That site is very interesting, scm1001. I’ve heard that Radio Canada International is looking at using DRM for its overseas transmissions.

Note to US people: DRM is Digital Radio Mondiale, which the worldwide standard, and is not the same as the US’ local digital AM standard. I think.

USA Digital Radio, Inc., a privately-held technology company owned by the largest radio broadcasters in the United States, and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), a global consortium from the broadcasting industry, have announced plans to work together in developing and promoting a worldwide standard for digital AM broadcasting.

Digital radio gives consumers a superior sound quality and a crystal clear reception when tuning into their favorite radio stations. It can also deliver a range of new data services on a radio screen from identifying song titles and artists to scrolling local traffic, weather, and news.

Geneva – A new wave of broadcasting is about to reach the marketplace with the recent adoption, by the International Telecommunication Union, of worldwide standard on digital sound broadcasting. The technology breakthrough promises to open up a new era of quality sound broadcasting for long, medium and shortwave transmissions. With the FM bands nearly congested and the poor quality of AM, digital AM radio offers many substantial advantages to broadcasters seeking to recapture market shares. For consumers, the decision means additional sources of programmes at FM like quality with low-cost, simple to use receivers.

For broadcasters, the new technology means that they will be able to bring FM quality to AM bands at substantially lower costs. Because the new technology is accommodating existing frequency plans, they will be able to modify and continue to use their existing transmitters provided they are fairly modern. Digital AM will also be much more spectrum-efficient, making it possible to reduce the power of transmitters by as much as 25% while maintaining the same coverage area. Broadcasters will also be able to transmit programmes in two languages, a plus in bilingual countries or in border zones between countries that use different languages.

The obvious follow-up question is: How clear will digital SHORTWAVE radio be–as clear as FM currently?