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Comparison of radio systems

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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.


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)
510–1610 kHz (Europe)
510–1710 kHz (USA and Canada)
N/A N/A No None
Motorola C-QUAM Analog radio (AM stereo) QAM N/A ? 18–20 kHz 510–1610 kHz (Europe
510–1710 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
510-1610 kHz (Europe),
510–1710 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)
510–1710 kHz,
87.5-108 MHz
HDC up to 7 (3 full-power, 4 low-power) subchannels (FM) No? Yes


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Comparison of radio systems
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