Technology - Broadcasting - Frequencies, Modulations, Spectrum


The physical properties of radio waves are explained, including propagation, antennae and potential health effects. We explain the main approaches to modulation, their data-carrying potential, effects on the spectrum and their spectral efficiency. Audio and video data rates and compression techniques are discussed in order that the carrying capacity and geographic limitations of differing frequencies and RF bandwidths can be understood.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Introduction and historical perspective
  • 3. Frequency, wavelength and propagation
    • 3.1 Electromagnetic radiation
    • 3.2 Health aspects of electromagnetic radiation
    • 3.3 Propagation and antennae
  • 4. Information carrying capacity and spectrum usage
    • 4.1 Amplitude Modulation
    • 4.2 Frequency Modulation
    • 4.3 Phase Modulation
    • 4.4 Sidebands and bandwidth
    • 4.5 Spectral efficiency
  • 5. Audio and video compression techniques
  • Exhibit 1 – Propagation and antennae characteristics of seven broadcasting technologies

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Number of pages 7

Status Archived

Last updated 10 Apr 2002
Update History

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

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