Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Radio Waves Podcast #19

KNX (1070 AM) takes an in-depth look at the Crescenta Valley next Friday, January 31st as “KNX on Your Corner” heads North.
“Corner” was a program originally launched by sister station KFWB (980 AM) to get out into the local communities and highlight the areas through discussions and live broadcasts. KNX took over the series when KFWB changed from news to a news/talk format.
This time the programming will focus on the group of communities lying between the San Gabriel and the Verdugo Mountains: Sunland, Tujunga, La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta-Montrose. Civic and business leaders will be on hand to discuss the areas advantages and challenges.
KNX will broadcast live throughout much of the day from the Black Cow Cafe, 2223 Honolulu Avenue in Old Town Montrose. The morning newscast anchored by Tom Haule and Vicky Moore will start the day’s broadcasts from 5-9 a.m. It’s back to the studios at 9 while locals hear roundtable discussions with area leaders.
At 1 p.m., Frank Mottek will host the Business Hour live again from the Cafe, then at 2:00 Chris Sedens and the great Diane Thompson will anchor the afternoon news from the Cafe as well.
I think the Corner series is one of the best special events carried by KNX. Listeners can learn a lot about areas of the County that they may never have even visited, and it gets the station involved locally ... exactly what radio needs to do. It seems I am not alone in thinking that way; the series was honored in 2013 with a Golden Mike from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California.
Upcoming Corner visits for 2014 will include San Gabriel Valley, Orange County and Marina del Rey.
Digital Bliss
You may remember a while back that I was looking to install a new car stereo “head unit” in my truck to take advantage of some newer technology. Namely digital HD Radio and a built-in bluetooth cell phone connection. In took a while, but I finally found one I like, that also includes a new SiriusXm tuner add-on.
Without getting too technical, I learned a lot about about some of the newer equipment. For example, with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, there are actually three systems: the original Sirius system that uses the Sirius satellites. the XM system that sues the XM satellites, and the SiriusXM system that uses XM satellites but isn’t compatible with the other two systems and was the solution to the FCC requirement to offer receiver compatible to both Sirius and XM.
So my findings? I love the new radio. Not enough to marry it (I am already happily married anyway) but a fun toy nonetheless. In spite of its technical problems with interference, I do like the sound of digital HD Radio on AM. KNX, in fact, has a superb-sounding signal on HD that puts many FM stations to shame. KFI (640 AM) is nice as well but doesn’t have the smooth high-end that KNX offers. KABC (790 AM) sounds like the highs are overemphasized and not good to my ears. Where I drive, KNX, KFI, KABC and KFWB stay locked onto HD fairly well, while KDIS (1110 AM) has trouble. KBRT (740 AM) is somewhere between. As expected, KOGO (600 AM) from San Diego goes in and out of HD as I drive.
The extra channels offered by the newest SiriusXM system include some fun ones, such as Carlin’s Corner ... all George Carlin all the time. And for reasons yet unknown to me, the SiriusXM system seems to sound better than either of the old Sirius or XM system receivers. I am not sure if they are using a different compression scheme of it’s just a better amplifier on the new radio, but it is better to me ears. And I can now rewind the audio if I miss something.
Overall, call me a happy camper.

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