Why is digital so expensive?

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dnoyeb

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I keep going back and forth on getting the digital scanner or the analog trunking? I went through this dance last year and ended up getting the analog. Then I ended up returning that. Now that I got back my money from the government, I am looking at another scanner and having the same problem.

The core of my problem is I like to get a good deal. I don't know any other market where the 2nd tier product is less than 1/2 the price of the top tier product. Digital scanners seem disproportionately expensive!

They don't really do that much more from an engineering/technical standpoint do they?

Why are they so expensive?
 

mikepdx

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reason #2:

we, the consumers, are willing to pay the much higher price for the opportunity to receive the "new and improved" mode.
The only other option is silence.

Licensing fees paid to DVSI for use of IMBE vocoder.
I would have said that, except one would need to have an idea of what the licensing fee is.
Licensing purchased in quantity = ??
Does that fee alone justify $200-300 more per scanner than a similar analog only model?
 
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dnoyeb

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Does digital trunking make digital, only the channel selection? Or is the voice encoded digitally as well, meaning the chance to get higher quality audio? If audio is digital, is that not available with analog trunking.

I'm going to hit some trunking FAQs about now...
 

mancow

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I think I am understanding you question as (Can analog trunking systems carry digital voice?) If so, yes. There are some non P25 standard compliant systems that carry a mix of analog and digital voice traffic. A true P25 compliant system will carry no analog voice.

You have to remember that P25 is not really meant as a term to refer to digital voice but is a standard comprised of many different things.
 
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kb0nly

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Does digital trunking make digital, only the channel selection? Or is the voice encoded digitally as well, meaning the chance to get higher quality audio? If audio is digital, is that not available with analog trunking.

I'm going to hit some trunking FAQs about now...
Digital trunking usually refers to the voice being digital, P25. Analog trunking usually refers to the voice being analog.

If the audio is digital and you have an analog trunking scanner you won't be able to listen to it cause you can't decode the audio portion of it.

I think the other confusing thing, at least from my standpoint, that new scanner users run into is the scanner itself being called digital. For example back in the day we used to have scanners with nothing more than a led for the selected channel, crystal controlled, then we had a two digit channel display, synthesized, and then the newfangled scanners came out with a LCD screen on them and everyone started calling them a Digital Scanner because they had a Digital Display. The older units were then being called Analog Display by most of the scanner crowd. Boy have times changed!

Now days Digital Scanner means a unit which can receive and decode Digital Audio, and an Analog Scanner means a unit which can only decode Analog Audio.

Does that help at all?

The main thing is what do you have in your area and want to monitor? If everything you want to listen to is Analog Audio/Voice then you don't need a digital scanner. But if you can afford a Digital Scanner i would say go for it even if you don't need it now, you might need it in the future, and the digital units have so many more features and options than the analog scanners do. Most significant is that they usually have more memory also. I have a TON of stuff in my 396T and i'm only using 13% of the memory! I remember my old analog scanners in the past i would have them filled up and buying another one to listen to more.

If you area has trunked systems look at the database, are any of them P25? Then you need digital to listen to them.
 

KC2ZHY

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summary of all of the items above: demand-based economics. it does more, we want it because it's better; therefore, we get charged significantly more so the companies maximize their profits.
 

dnoyeb

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I can see some real engineering in the digital radio now. I still can't see it being more than double the analog radio, but I can see it somewhat.

I live in Michigan where the State stuff is digital. Also I live next to Detroit which is also Digital and I assume has lots of action with its large population.
 

mciupa

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You have to decide...Do you want to listen to what's going on?...or not?:confused:
 

n5ims

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Reason #3: Greed

I wonder if FM radios when new costed 3 times as much as AM radios?
When new, color TVs were 5 - 10 times what "black & white" TVs were selling for. More recently, HD televisions were significantly more expensive than regular analog TVs were selling for.

For that matter, I saw at a "big box" electronics store the exact same make and model set of TV "rabbit ear" antenna that sold for $19.99 without the "HD Ready" sticker selling for $59.99 with the "HD Ready" sticker on the box. Yes, you read correctly, the antenna had the exact same model number (and UPC code for that matter) so the sticker on the box was what made the cost jump the $40. This proves that a 300% markup for new technology vs old technology isn't all that rare.
 

dracer777

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poltergeisty said:
Does lack of competition play a part here? :lol:
No. Why would you think that??? ;)
 
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