Today in Mailbox: leaving shortwave, the quality of internet live streaming, the Litomyšl transmitter. Listeners quoted: Jonathan Kempster, Mogire Machuki, David Eldridge, Alex Torbeni, Armin Gerstberger.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox. The topic of Radio Prague’s leaving shortwave absolutely dominates in your e-mails these days. Today we are going to look at some of your comments and answer some of the questions.

Jonathan Kempster from England wrote:

“I have been listening to Radio Prague since 1979. I am very sad that the Czech government has decided to close you down. It takes years to build an audience, but only a short time to lose it. We don't want to listen to you on our computers: we want to hear you on the radio! The Czech Republic will be a poorer nation for this short-sighted decision. The Czech Republic will now disappear from people's consciousness: those of us who have been interested in Czechoslovakia/ Czech Republic for so many years will now be cut off, and we feel unvalued and deserted.”

Mogire Machuki from Kenya described himself as a “disgusted DXer”:

Pernštejn Castle | Photo: CzechTourism
“… finally you are falling silent. I remember very well it was RVI from Belgium that closed its foreign transmission entirely. Some years have passed. Later the CVC network from Australia came up with the idea and yap! Its shortwave transmission went off air and dedicated its service to web streaming which have been even cut further to only a few programs... I am aware that Radio Slovakia is already off and now Radio Prague is finally going dumb. So what am I to do with my super shortwave receivers?... That is a slap on our faces. Internet here is still in its infancy and getting access to this service will definitely cost us dearly. Well, we are to call it quits as it seems more radio stations will follow suit in the coming months.”

Alex Torbeni from Bali is another regular listener:

“I heard the news that radio Prague will terminate its transmission on shortwave at the end of January 2011. I’m very sad to hear this news but I can’t say anything except I will miss your broadcast on shortwave and I can’t collect any more of your QSL cards.”

As a matter of fact we will be sending out QSL cards this year in exchange for your internet reception reports. The 2011 series can be viewed on our website

And as regards internet reception, David Eldridge from England sent us this complaint:

“Just a short renewed complaint about the quality of your live streaming in both RM and mp3 formats affecting all bandwidths. Podcasts are not affected. The quality of the streaming is appalling and seems to have got worse. I feel sure you will be able to verify what I say by listening yourself on any Internet link. Sometimes it is more pleasant to listen to your broadcast via short-wave than by the Internet but that will soon not be an option.”

That fault has now been fixed and Radio Prague’s internet department are now looking into the occasional "clicks" or "pops" David has noticed since in our live-stream broadcasts.

Armin Gerstberger from the United States asked this question among others:

“I was wondering what will happen to your shortwave transmission facility in Litomyšl after 1/31/2011. Will it be maintained for future use by Český rozhlas, rented out or sold off? “

The Litomyšl transmitter has been closed down and the staff laid off. As for now, it is unclear whether the facility will be dismantled or whether it will be preserved for potential future operation.

That is all for today’s edition of Mailbox. All that remains to do is repeat our quiz question.

Our January mystery man was born in 1875 in Prague and died in 1926 in the Swiss city of Montreux. He is considered to be one of the most important German-language poets.

Please send us his name by the end of January to [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, the Czech Republic. Until next week, take care.