Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss online scams, Apple’s macOS update, the collapse of the Arrecibo Observatory, a smartphone camera test to detect Covid-19, planets getting close together, depression, hopelessness, and digital devices, and more.
Bob in Worcester, Massachusetts listens online and asked: “The receiver that I’ve been using for the last 20 years finally died. So I went down to the store and bought a new one. When I got it home, I found out there was no AM, it was FM only. My question is, do you think AM radio is dead, or was the manufacturer just trying to save costs?”
Bob, this sounds like a case of cost saving.
AM and FM radio have both been changing to meet the times, so as more people shift to streaming their music from phones or smart speakers, FM has taken to simulcasting AM talk shows.
There are some obvious advantages there, FM sounds better, but AM still wins in other ways like range.
AM still has a large and dedicated audience, so it does seem very early to be trying to take out of devices. Sometimes though, these cheaper devices are marketed to people who dont really care. For example, brands like Vizio have been making displays without TV tuners for years. TV is not dead, though. But some people dont use or need the TV tuner and would rather pay slightly less and just not have it.
Depending on the type of receiver you got the reason may be simple, for example, FM chips can be embedded into the same chips that manage WiFi signals, so if you bought a receiver that is WiFi-capable FM probably came for free, and AM wouldve cost them extra hardware.
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