hd radio, i must admit...

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

  1. ai4i

    ai4i Member

    Actually, I am a strong proponent of the Eureka-147 flavor of DAB.
    I do not like compromise systems.
    I probably would have favored field sequential color, back in the 1950's.

    During this hybrid phase, the stations only run one percent power into the digital sidebands.
    This is to prevent interference to the analogue component.
    When they go digital only, they will pour all of their power into digital sidebands.

    The digital advantage is why, after having satellite radio for nearly seven years, I can not tolerate analogue radio:
    looking at the display and seeing only the time and frequency.
    Once I got totally used to seeing artist and title information, I could not do without it.
    Admittedly, RDS or RBDS would have also addressed this issue.
  2. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    Nope - I remember it.

    FM used to be the place to listen to 'boring music' (well, I was a kid then). It sounded great but it was nothing anyone wanted to listen too (well, my dad did).

    Of course, this is more or less on the tail-end of it as the guy who came up with it (Armstrong) had been pushing it since the 1940s or 1950s. So it was a long time. I think the government created incentives for FM stations to start broadcasting.

    I also remember AM Stereo and the various forms of it, though. HD Radio feels more like AM Stereo. I think HD Radio would have possibly had a better chance had it been in it's own spectrum and not hobbled on top of FM radio.

    The fact that more receivers are becoming HD-Ready (just taking the other posters word on it, I haven't checked) sounds like how there was a push with TV manufacturers to make their TVs DCR (Digital Cable Ready - they'd accept cableCards) but after years of cableCard failure they just gave up and you're expected to get the receiver from the cable company now.

    HD Radio isn't all bad but if my HD Radio tuner failed tomorrow (it's a separate module I picked up about 2+ years ago) I wouldn't replace it. I'd just stick with my normal AM/FM tuner in my HU.

    I'm not even considering an HD Radio for home. Of course, I don't normally listen to normal AM/FM at home, either.

    The fact that they didn't just adopt the European open standard (DAB) is also disturbing. I think they would have had a better chance with that.
  3. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    This is one of those things that has bugged me for years.

    RDS, for the most part, was ignored. The Traffic Info part was never used. The 'update the time in your radio' part was spotty and, many time, if I had it turned on , it would set the time wrong. The data on the unit was either flat out wrong or something useless like scrolling:
    Atlanta's Number One Hits Station WXXX 99.9 BLAH BLAH BLAH

    and they'd scroll that on both lines or scroll it on one line and leave the other info blank. Or they'd have the artist/song information there for weeks months for something. I remember an AC/DC artist/title being the screen for months for one local radio station.

    For RDS they just didn't seem to care, especially, when they had no competition from Sirius/XM. I do like looking at the display, and seeing the artist/title info on my sat-radios. It seems like such a simple/basic thing to have.
  4. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    All true.

    Dumping the existing band for a new all digital band would be best. But, again, what's the incentive? You have hundreds of millions of analog radios out there. There is a build out and receiver development cost. Where is the return on investment? That's the problem.

    The reality is that there is just not the demand that there once was for all of these different formats. Content delivery is becoming so much bigger than radio. Radio will not die, but it will no longer have the significance it once did. There are other ways to obtain content these days.

    The digital/analog hybrid scheme was the closest thing that they could come up with as a lower cost compromise. At best, it is a temporary fix until analog just goes the way of the dinosaur...but that's a long ways off. Analog is an antiquated and inefficient transmission mechanism relative to digital.
  5. satrad65

    satrad65 Member

    We have only one HD station in our area, NPR. The music is great sounding, but they have the same thing on sub-channels. Since most of NPR is talk, why can't they do all classical on one of the sub-channels?
  6. ai4i

    ai4i Member

    The NPR outlets in many markets do just that.
    If they are mostly News-talk on their main channel, they run Classical 24 on their HD-2 and visa versa.
    Some split it up: when they have news talk on either they have classical on the other.
    News-talk fans and a classical fans can each have all they want with HD radios.
    Other popular HD (often HD3) feeds include jazz, folk, BBC, and this old shortwave listener's favorite, WRN.
  7. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    Just bought a new car. HDRadio wasn't offered or even mentioned, I wouldn't have paid extra for it, and I'm not putting my old stereo in the new car. They tried to sell me XM in the car but I already have that as part of my GPS so I passed.

    I think this is pretty much the state of HDRadio - just this weird little side-project thing that won't amount to much of anything.

    I don't see the HDRadio situation improving. It should be standard in all cars by now but I think the Ibiquity/royalties issue probably killed it. The DAB open/free stuff from Europe would have probably gotten the radio manufacturers to just add it in as a no-brainer selling point. Paying someone to add something in that no one is asking for doesn't make sense, though.
  8. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    It pisses me off because I'm a big AM Radio listener, and the noise from the HD Bands make AM Radio downright unlistenable at night, unless you're lucky enough to have a 50,000 watt blowtorch station in your town (we are, 850 KOA). Our ESPN Radio affiliate doesn't have the greatest reception to begin with, but is impossible to pick up once the sun goes down.

    Luckily in my case, I have an iPhone with about 5-7 radio apps that pick up stations I'm used to listening to, and they sound crystal clear. Even stuff I used to catch when I use to listen for long distance frequencies when I was a kid, and pick up stuff like WLS out of Chicago, KNX out of L.A. or KMOX out of St. Louis. So for the most part, HD Radio and even the radio in the truck isn't required.
  9. limegrass69

    limegrass69 Confused

    That's one of the big complaints people have had about HD on AM. The HD signal puts digital noise on the sidebands. At night, that noise ends up creating problems if you are trying to pick up skywave signals. When they approved HD, there was no skywave protection put into the rules...only groundwave. Some AMs drop their HD signals at sundown because of this.

    The other issue with DX-ing is the noise put out by dimmers, CFC bulbs and other electronics.

    With the exception of the big signals, AM is on its deathbed.
  10. ai4i

    ai4i Member

    One of the items I checked when first I got satellite radio was the BBC World Service, but where was the fading, where was the phase distortion, the co and adjacent channel QRMary? This digital studio-quality feed just did not sound like my old Beeb. Welcome to twenty first century radio. I want a standard DIN size www car radio to connect to my aircard. Why do you need a half dozen apps, are there really that many file types out there?
  11. TheScionicMan

    TheScionicMan Last non-Hating Stern Fan

    That brings back memories. We used to connect the tv cable to my uncle's stereo and could get incredible reception...
  12. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    For the most part its just because of the different frequencies available. Slacker is a standalone service by itself, iheartradio has clear channel stations including my local news/talk station. Wunderradio has scanner frequencies, weather radio and international frequencies. the Public Radio app has all the NPR/PRI frequencies, AOL has CBS Radio and Flycast has BBC and others I listen to like CSPAN radio. And last.fm is basically my collection that I'm not able to have on because I can't squeeze 40GB on a 16GB phone.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009

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