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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

World Radio TV Handbook 2009

I received my dealer copy of World Radio TV Handbook WRTH09 yesterday, and with 680 pages, it maintains the finetradition of comprehensiveness and coverage established over many years.

Major editorial themes from guest authors discuss and analyse the continuing decline in HF broadcasting, and the standstill for commercial development of DRM-HF.

One contributor says "... we will be very surprised if any flavour of DRMever becomes the mass-market digital mode..."

WRTH professional writers also suggest that HF radio, in any of its forms,may become a lost cause, due to the emergence of Internet, satellite, broadband, and mobile telephone for delivery of content, news, information and entertainment.

They also assert that local digital radio broadcasting has become a hotchpotch of various delivery platforms, standards, and technologies, with some countries now having abandoned this technology altogether.

Equipment reviews are confined mainly to some high-cost software-defined radios, the Racal RA1778 general coverage receiver, a small section ona ntennas, and stories about Internet computer "radios". The writers explain that Internet "radio" is of course not "radio" at all, but the technology is considered to be an emerging field as a subset of "global broadcasting".

A non-technical article on FM DXing is included, from a European perspective.

George Jacobs continues his long association with WRTH through his excellent professionally orientated summary of HF conditions expected during 2009, and suggests that HF broadcasting may not be the "dinasaur" as some people may think, even though the medium is competing with other technologies.

The number of organizations in the listing of "DX Clubs" is reducing steadily year by year. Those located in Asia include many "Listener Clubs", which traditionalists may feel are not "DX Clubs" at all, but groups of people interested in meeting to discuss particular international broadcasters.

The scaled-down page on "Selected Internet Resources" contains details about various on-line services, many managed by private individuals as Email lists ,message boards, or websites, proclaiming to be about some form of "radio" or"broadcasting".

The difficulty in publishing such links in an annual hard-copy reference is that these services frequently tend to disappear when their proponents lose interest.

Comparisons are always made between WRTH and other commercially-produced annual references, which I regard to be misleading. The editorial objectives and coverage of these references differ, and such comparisons are meaningless.

WRTH publishes free updates and new HF schedules on its Website throughout the year, and these support the hard-copy product.

WRTH09 is becoming available through local booksellers, or from the WRTH itself in the UK. Amazon Books is also offering the title, with an estimated release date of Fehruary 3, 2009.

Here in Australia, no shop-front bookseller stocks the product due to negligible demand. I offer the title to Australian readers from my on-line bookshop "Padula Books", for A$45, which includes postage and packing. To order, visit

Further details and on-line ordering are available from the WRTH Website,

Regards from Melbourne!

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