hd radio, i must admit...

Discussion in 'HD (Terrestrial) Radio' started by ctkatz, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. mch

    mch Member

    Here in Vegas, the local NPR group is the only people who know how to use HD Radio. They have two stations, and both are simulcasting three stations. Their own station, the other station, and a third station. so the NPR Talk station is also broadcasting a mirror of classical along with even more news and talk, while the Classical station is mirroring main NPR talk along with Xponential Radio, whatever that is.

    I like some of the HD2s, but I don't get to listen to them much.
  2. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    HD is a disaster. Poorly engineered and poorly executed.

    The tuners are unreliable, and the broadcasters are hesitant to jump on-board. And who can blame them? There is no incremental revenue stream in the foreseeable future to justify the investment. I do love the PR spin that Ibiquity and the broadcasters put on it, though...they compare HD to the pioneering visionaries of FM radio.
  3. ai4i

    ai4i Member

    Remember that in the hybrid mode, only 1% of the station's power is put into the digital sidebands. A 100Kw FM station is only running 1Kw digital and that 50Kw AM blowtorch only transmits with 500 watts of digital sidebands. This 20dB disparity between the signal strength of the main analogue signal and the digital component is bound to place a bad taste in the mouths of early listeners. Also, it might be described as being too little too late, now that the newly merged Sirius XM can offer the combined programming from both networks for even less money than thjey had charged prior.
  4. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    The other problem is that the digital receivers are not all that efficient.

    The only way to make it work would be to migrate, over a period of years, to a new digital band. Some stations would probably win, and some would probably lose. But it's the best chance for survival. Analog, as a transmission method, is dying. I realize that there are millions of analog receivers out there, but a "big boy" decision has to be made here.

    The AM band is so overwhelmed with noise. There are also so many lower powered stations on regional and graveyard channels that have to keep powering up just overcome the baseline noise on AM these days. Get rid of these overly engineered stations (in the NY area, there are at least 4 stations on 1300 and 1310 that are so highly directional it's ridiculous). You get 5kW stations that power up to 50kW (which looks good on your rate card), but the signal looks like a flashlight beam. Other than for big signals, AM is a waste and is antiquated.

    The FM band is jammed up with move-ins and suburban rim shot signals that powered up in the 90s as a result of relaxed FCC regulations and mutual interference agreements. Then you add all of the religious translators, LPFM's, and pirates and you have a total mess.

    Clean it all up. Come up with something that makes sense.
  5. kc1ih

    kc1ih Member

    I have the Sangen HD tuner with a big FM antenna about 40 feet up, so I get all the Boston stations in HD fine here, with the exception of WUMB, which the receiver will not decode due to strong adjacent-channel signals. It sounds good on FM, but the only AM HD station from Boston, WBZ, sounds rather shrill in HD, though that may be the station’s fault.

    Speaking of the name, I know some people say HD stands for Hybrid Digital, although I realize officially it‘s just a trademark.
  6. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    You just hit the nail on the head right there. When people think of radio, the want to stick in a battery or plug it in, and it just works. That's the way its always been with radio (and its biggest strength). Who wants to mess with big attic antennas, fussy dipoles, passive loops for AM, etc.? If you want to go through all of that trouble, IMHO you are better off with satellite. At least satellite gives a crap and takes time to program its channels. Most of the HD I've heard in the NY area are either simulcasts of the main (or another) signal or poorly programmed computerized jukeboxes.

    It's too bad. I think radio really dropped the ball with digital.
  7. ai4i

    ai4i Member

    I used to call it Herb Dorfmeister, now I call it Hunky Dory.
  8. I live in the Los Angeles are and there are dozens of HD stations from different Radio Stations out there. They have Kroq 106.7 HD which does Rock of the 80's. KBIG 104.3 has Pride Radio as it's HD channel. There are probably at least 3 or 4 extra channel available that make the HD more worth it than having a basic radio. If they were currently offering a $50 rebate for HD radios like they did during the summer then I might buy one. But right now they cost at least $100.

    The only one that is like an MP3 player is made by Coby which isn't well known for making good electronics. Also these radios have only 5 presets for FM. Just like those satellite radios with 30 presets these radios aren't very useful if you want to easily be able to switch between channels.
  9. ai4i

    ai4i Member

    How about one for 3¢ under $80?
  10. Kevin2500

    Kevin2500 Member

    Im thinking about getting a hd radio after i tried out the failure slacker g2 radio. Here in ohio there are a couple of Hd stations floating around.
  11. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    I was kicking that around too. But I ended up buying an iPod Touch. You can stream just about anything you want, provided you have wi fi. So, basically I ended up with a wi fi radio that also comes with a MP3 player!! :yesshake:
  12. joe2k4

    joe2k4 Member

    The president of Imus comes to my college and called Sat radio a failure oh it pisses me off. I think they have only sold like 800000 radios or so, but Sat radio is a failure. I all most punched him in his mouth.
  13. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    I think that until HDRadio comes in everyone's car standard (like FM radio does now) and becomes standard in receivers and off-the-shelf radios, that most people won't adopt it. Basically, they don't go to the store and think HDRadio. They get in their cars and turn on the radio and that's where the thought process stops. It has to be something that's already there that they're not entirely aware of until they notice, "Oh, this sounds slightly better - what's that little logo on the front of my radio?"

    For me, one of the great strengths of HD radio is that some of the local talk radio (AM) stations broadcast their signal on one of the HD sub-channels of their sister stations. AM radio is a pain in the butt to pick up most of the time. Even in the car it's pretty bad.

    I think the sub-channels, on the whole, will be a failure much like the sub-channels of your local HDTV station's broadcast. Basically people will talk about how great it is that they can deliver more content but they really don't have more content to deliver and, without something to draw people to the sub-channels (which I don't think will happen) most people won't even know they're there or, if they trip upon them, won't know what they are.
  14. PocketRadio

    PocketRadio New Member

    HD Radio is an attempt to jam and hijack our public airways by iBiquity and the HD Radio Alliance-owned stations. False claims of audio quality, number of HD radio stations and numbers of muticast channels, quality of HD channel programming, number of HD radios sold, and Struble's "momentum". HD Radio is nothing but a farce:

    Is HD Radio® a Farce?
    Stop IBOC Now!
  15. PocketRadio

    PocketRadio New Member

    "I think that until HDRadio comes in everyone's car standard (like FM radio does now) and becomes standard in receivers and off-the-shelf radios, that most people won't adopt it."

    "Radio’s Revenue Falls Even as Audience Grows"

    "And automakers, which have other problems, are not embracing the technology; so far, only Volvo is offering HD Radio as a standard feature in its new cars (it is standard in all but one of its 2009 models). HD radio is pretty much going to be nonexistent, because they can’t figure out how to get the auto guys to include that as an option, and the auto guys that do include HD don’t let the consumers know about it, Ms. Ryvicker of Wachovia Capital Markets said. It’s been a horribly marketed product that’s not going to save the radio industry. Mr. Struble objected to that characterization... He said there was 'a lot of momentum' with the auto industry."

    The New York Times > Log In

    "Is HD Radio going to be killed by manufacturers' desire to keep it a premium-priced upgrade?"

    "I just embarked on my twice-per-year online shopping trip to see if it's time to upgrade my car stereo to HD. Saw a sudden shift to car radios now being 'HD-Ready' instead of HD for a number of radios. This appears to require the purchase and professional installation of a separate, compatible unit. Anyone know why this appears to be a sudden new direction and what this might mean for the future of HD radio?"

    Is HD Radio going to be killed by manufacturers' desire to keep it a premium-priced upgrade? - DirectCurrent

    Retailers, and some manufacturers are giving-up on HD Radio. In-dash HD radios are moving to just "HD Ready". BMW, and others, are getting many HD radio complaints, and it costs $45/HD radio to install for the automakers. LOL!
  16. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    It's really a simple economic equation. Satellite radio put the expectation in the car makers' heads that the car dashboard is valuable real estate that programmers are willing to pay for.

    Sirius and XM entered into lucrative partnerships with the car makers to gain access to the dashboard. If the radio industry gets together and 'spiffs' the car manufacturers, you'll see rapid deployment of HD radio. The reality is that there is no compelling reason to do it on either side. No incentive for the car maker (other than adding it to a list of overpriced dealer installed options), no incentive for broadcasters (no incremental revenue), and no incentive for the end user (flawed technology and sub-par programming).
  17. PocketRadio

    PocketRadio New Member

    "If the radio industry gets together and 'spiffs' the car manufacturers, you'll see rapid deployment of HD radio."

    Doubtful, because automakers are smart enough to realize that HD Radio simply doesn't work. Ford is an investor in iBiquity and owns Volvo. BMW has a troubleshooting guide, and Ford previously-owned Jaguar has already dropped HD Radio, due to consumer complaints:

    "BMW HD Radio™ Troubleshooting Guide"

    "The HD-Radio™ sound keeps switching between Digital and Analog audio quality. HD-Radio™ Indicator keeps turning on and off... The current BMW HD-Radio™ system does not support multicasting."

  18. ai4i

    ai4i Member

    You might be too young to remember how FM overtook AM as the dominant radio service we know today.
    It took a long time, but it required active participation on the part of stations and listeners.
  19. TheScionicMan

    TheScionicMan Last non-Hating Stern Fan

    What reason have they given us to check it out? Other than a geek standpoint to checkout the technology, where's the draw? I can understand HDTV enhancing the same television watching experience, but the same is not true with HD Radio.

    "Hey tired of crappy old radio? Now you can get that same crappy product with (possibly) better sound (reception permitting) for just 100's more than you used to pay for a radio..."
  20. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    I've seen that point made by several HD proponents. Here are the problems with that...with respect to FM, it was mandated by the FCC that radios built after a certain date have an FM tuner. To do that with HD would only benefit iBiquity (the developer of HD) since they get paid a royalty for each HD receiver built. Also, the coverage of HD is nowhere near that of the analog main signal. People will no doubt be frustrated getting HD to work. Also, there is no portable tuner built yet. The chips run hot and are power hogs (just like the earlier generation...and to a certain extent the current versions of satellite radio chips)...digital radios (like satellite radios) are really little computers. iBiquity is not building receivers that people want to buy. Maybe that's because of the price, or maybe it's a function issue.

    In the dawn of FM, those signals were basically throw away counterparts to successful AM stations. They were not big cost centers, nor were they big revenue generators. That's why you saw a lot of free-form rock stations back in the day. In this day and age, such programming is not commercially viable. Radio stations cost much more to operate (especially when you consider the debt payments).

    With FM, there was a marked improvement in sound quality when compared to AM. That's not really the case with HD. There can be some differences on FM (and bigger differences in AM), but is it enough for anyone to really care? Is it worth the trouble? For radio companies to invest in the transmission infrastructure and programming, there needs to be a return on investment. It's just not there. Nobody has shown that there is incremental profit to be made with HD. There is no incentive on either side of the table.

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