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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The main point of digital radio seems to be that you can get more channels in the same amount of bandwidth. This means that you'll get things like displays that tell you what program you're listening to and what piece of music is playing. There will also probably be some kind of two-way communication so you can give instant feedback on polls and that kind of thing.

    Digital radio is really the poor relation of digital TV. And that industry is growing fast. I know very few people who don't have access to digital TV (but that's probably more indicative of the people I know than of the national usage stats). I now have anout a hundred channels to choose from rather than the five offered by terrestrial analogue broadcasting.

    One of the hottest political potatoes over here is when to turn off the analogue signal without annoying too many voters who can't afford to upgrade.

    What's the situation on digital broadcasting elsewhere in the world?

    • Well, out where I live ("Middle of Nowhere, MA") I would hope that digital radio would also mean better reception. Might this be the case?
    • In the states, there are two competing firms for digital (satellite) radio: XM and Sirius Radio. (XM had an ad in the America's Bowl last night).

      Both are pretty comparable: $10-$15/month for access, and something along the lines of 100-200 channels with better reception and no dropped signals. The only hiccup at the moment is that the two "stations" need dedicated hardware -- you can't subscribe to Sirius if you have a tuner that only picks up XM. (This should be solved in a few years' time when you ca