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Comparison of radio systems

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Title: Comparison of radio systems  
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Subject: Radio technology, Program-associated data, Overmodulation, Amplitude modulation signalling system, Broadcast engineering
Collection: Broadcast Engineering, Radio Technology
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Comparison of radio systems

Many of the world's radio stations broadcast in a variety of analog and digital formats. This page will list and compare them in chart form.


  • Table 1
  • References 2


World radio systems (Terrestrial)
System Type Modulation Data rate Sidebands? Ch. Bandwidth (KHz) Radio spectrum Sound Codec Digital subchannels SFN Metadata/RDS/RBDS
AM radio Analog radio Amplitude Modulation N/A ? 18–20 kHz 148.5-283.5 kHz (Longwave)
530–1610 kHz (Europe)
530–1710 kHz (USA and Canada)
N/A N/A No None
Motorola C-QUAM Analog radio (AM stereo) QAM N/A ? 18–20 kHz 530–1610 kHz (Europe
530–1710 kHz (USA and Canada)
N/A N/A No None
DAB Digital radio OFDM (DQPSK) around 1000 kbit/s (4 channels up to 256 kbit/s) ? 1500 kHz VHF-High/174-240 MHz,
L-band/1452-1492 MHz
MPEG-Layer 2 Yes, typically 4-6 "stations" per channel Yes Yes
DAB+ Digital radio OFDM (DQPSK) up to 256 kbit/s ? 1500 kHz VHF-High/174-240 MHz,
L-band/1452-1492 MHz
HE-AAC No Yes Yes
Digital Radio Mondiale Digital radio COFDM (QAM) up to 72 kbit/s ? 4.5–5 kHz (hybrid mode),
9–10 kHz,
18-20 kHz
530-1610 kHz (Europe),
530–1710 kHz (USA and Canada),
FM radio Analog radio Frequency Modulation N/A ? 200 kHz 87.5-108 MHz,
76-90 MHz (Japan),
65.8-74 MHz (USSR)
N/A N/A None Yes (depending on station)
HD Radio Hybrid/Digital radio COFDM-HDC (SBR) up to 60 kbit/s on AM,
up to 300 kbit/s on FM
? 20–30 kHz on AM band ±5 kHz (on adjacent channel),
up to 400 kHz on FM band (2 full FM channels)
530–1710 kHz,
87.5-108 MHz
HDC up to 7 (3 full-power, 4 low-power) subchannels (FM) No? Yes


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