X-Tower Airship Broadcasts Digital Radio & TV

A Swiss company, Stratxx, says it has launched a new tethered Airship called X-Tower, designed to broadcast both digital TV and radio.

According to Stratxx CEO, Kamal Alavi: “The X-Tower is the first airship that has successfully proven that digital TV and radio transmissions can be broadcast from an airship over a long period of time.” He says that far less energy is required to broadcast in this manner compared to conventional methods.

Is this a hoax? All that text in the report about ballistic tests on the fabric sound a bit strange. We know that Google was supposed to have looked at a project to bring high speed internet to large areas of Africa using an airship.

The only real application for a venture like this is in large, underdeveloped areas like Africa. If they intend to run it in Switzerland, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, the bands are so packed in the Vhf/Uhf/Ghz spectrum that Stratxx would find it difficult to slot into a gap where people could find them. If they tried, they would likely be in the same category as the old offshore pirate stations!

Remember, in about 1970 Radio Caroline’s Ronan O’Rahilly was going to fly planes and broadcast from them, but the project never got off the ground.

End Of UK LW Broadcasting In Sight?

Interesting to see how Russian state-run Radio Rossii suddenly chopped all its longwave services a few days ago.

Looks like it’s going away… analog AM on the LF frequencies will soon be dead. How long is it since you saw a radio receiver with long wave?

Politically it’s interesting to see the way in which Russia works. One day LW is there and the next day it’s gone… no warning to listeners (or anyone else for that matter), no consultation… that’s what virtual dictator rule is like.

Looking forward a few years, what will happen to those LF frequencies? Do you remember the US Defense Dept built an immense and very expensive station in Alaska using LF frequencies to communicate with submarines around the world. It was the only way they found to communicate over vast distances and underwater. Think it was called LORAN and it got the nickname “the woodpecker” by the interference it caused. Now it seems to have quietly died.

Will anyone have a use for these low frequencies? Don’t forget that DRM can be encoded and used even down to LF frequencies. Perhaps, just perhaps, in years, there’ll be public digital broadasts on LF digital.

New multi-platform chipsets are now comming to market. These multi-system decoder chips are a great advance – if they perform well across such a wide standards. Interesting that all emphasis currently seems to aim at the car market. When will the table top receiver market pick it up?

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