early 1990s, large Government-run international broadcasters started to close down their shortwave operations, a trend which
has quickly accelerated in the years from 2000 to the present day.
It had become increasingly clear that shortwave broadcasting
was a technology with diminishing future, with no financial return to offset
the continuing investment in funds, production resources, and technical facilities.
The development of
direct broadcasts from satellites has reduced the demand for shortwave receiver hardware, but some international shortwave
broadcasters still exist. A new digital radio technology, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), was expected to improve the quality
of shortwave audio from very poor to standards comparable to the FM broadcast band, but this has been a dismal failure, with
negligible commercial interest.
The future of shortwave radio is threatened in some regions by the rise of power line
communication (PLC), also known as Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), which uses a data stream transmitted over unshielded
power lines. As the BPL frequencies used overlap with shortwave bands, severe distortions can make listening to analogue shortwave
radio signals near power lines difficult or impossible.
Shortwave use by hobbyists and licensed amateur ham radio
operators continues to decline, and some hobbyists have combined amateur radio HF with computers for experimental and established
data modes that can communicate very close to under the noise floor of receivers
DISADVANTAGES OF SHORTWAVE RADIO
Shortwave radio's benefits are sometimes regarded as being outweighed
by its drawbacks, including:
Shortwave broadcasts often suffer from serious interference problems because of overcrowding on the wavebands,
atmospheric disturbances and electrical interference problems (particularly in cities) from TV sets, computers, mobile phones,
poorly designed domestic appliances, and substandard electrical installations Even under ideal reception conditions, the audio
quality of a shortwave broadcast is usually inferior to that of domestic stations, particularly FM stations, and it has always
been in monophonic sound.
more people around the world gain access to television and the Internet, older technologies such as shortwave radio find it
increasingly difficult to compete for listeners' attention. In most Western countries, shortwave radio ownership is usually
limited to true enthusiasts, since most new standard radios do not receive the shortwave band. Therefore, Western audiences
Dependence of shortwave radio on atmospheric conditions (the
best frequencies for hearing different parts of the world vary by time of day and season) means that it can be difficult to
use by non-technically-minded listeners
international commercial shortwave radio is rapidly becoming an obsolete technology,
with closures of major broadcasters now occurring at a steadily increasing rate. Regional
shortwave broadcasting has also virtually disappeared in many countries.
International shortwave broadcasting continues to be utilised
by religious organisations, where funding is generated by philanthropists, benefactors, grants, and donations.
An analysis of language usage of remaining international
broadcasters reveals a sharp increase in Arabic, Farsi, Chinese, East European, and South Asian languages, with a dramatic
downturn in English output. Much of this is politically and ideologically based, attempting to deliver a constant stream of
pro-Western propaganda to regions judged to be of strategic importance.
The accelerated use of mobile SmartPhone telephone technology
to deliver entertainment, news and information in many developing countries has been remarkable, and radio, in its various
forms, has largely become redundant and of little meaningful application in some of those areas.
As is said, “nothing lasts forever”, and shortwave
radio is no exception.
(I hope you enjoyed the Project!)