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Georgef551

HD Radio

Do you own, or plan to purchase, an HD radio  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you own, or plan to purchase, an HD radio

    • Yes.
      4
    • No.
      27
    • I`m happy with my crystal AM radio from 1920.
      6


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I got one a couple years ago for work, and the first one broke upon hooking up the antenna, got a second one (Boston Accoustics model, by the way). Reception was awful, but ran an antenna cable out the door, then an antenna. It worked alright, then got a bonified FM antenna, and all is good, but of course, the ONE STATION that likes to fail, is the one I want to hear. Played with the orientation, and it's fine.
The SECOND radio broke, same way as the first (75-ohm connector broke off). Decided to go with the Insignia Bookshelf HD Radio this time. The connector is much tougher, as noted when I accedently forgot to take my home roof antenna off the connector during home testing. Solid as a rock. Works fine, but AM is utter crap. Then again, the other radio failed to pick up AM as of late as well.

Do any of you have an HD radio at home, work, or in the car? Give me your thoughts, if you have one, or test drived one.

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I think your last option displays a certain negative bias and can skew incidences, not to mention it possibly being a portion of no AND yes. As your poll is not multi choice (nor should it be), I recommend providing options that say something like:

"Yes, I own an HD Radio set"
"Yes, I plan to purchase an HD Radio in the near future"
"No, I do not have any plans to purchase this"
"Not sure"

Remember most of the time you'll want to poll on behaviors, not attitudes (certain exceptions notwithstanding).

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If it's a troll, it'll probably be an interesting one.

That said, WTF is an HD radio and how is it better than a normal FM radio?

FM radios already have the audio frequencies from 20Hz-20KHz in 2 channels plus an optional data channel used for sending out what song's playing or whatever, and anything more than that's overkill unless you're dealing with video or data.

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I never listen to the radio. Ever. So I don't see the need in buying an HD radio. My 250gb portable hard drive works nicely.

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I don't own a HD radio and the nearest digital broadcasters are interstate so there's no opportunity to testdrive a receiver that doesn't involve air travel. I'm unlikely to consider purchasing a HD radio before (a) there's something to listen to (b) the content's better than what's available on the analogue service OR - more likely - (c) the analogue broadcast service is about to be shut down. That's pretty much my attitude towards Digital TV as well.

Georgef551 said:

AM is utter crap. Then again, the other radio failed to pick up AM as of late as well.

I'm not suprised. AM has for decades been added to receivers very much as an afterthought.

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Given that all my radio listening is in a car, which the outside noise affects perceived sound quality more than the actual signal, HD radio is not at all interesting to me.

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kc32 said:
That said, WTF is an HD radio and how is it better than a normal FM radio?

I think this is the one that sticks a digital subcarrier on the FM signal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio

If so, then it's at most a lossy 150kbps variant of HE-AAC, and seems to be more often 100kbps. The "HD" also stands for Hybrid Digital, not High-Definition as they're probably hoping we'd expect.

I'm gonna stick with my crystal radio. At least I made that one myself...

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Yes, this is an important point about "HD Radio" - it's just a brand name, and it does not stand for "high definition radio." It's just digital radio.

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This HD Radio you speak of sounds pretty miserable and I'm tempted to avoid considering getting one for someone as a christmas gift.

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It can't be much worse than satellite radio. $15 a month for 64kbps equivalent sound from about 100 channels that aren't good enough to be public stations. Oh and you can't use it indoors.

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Mancubus II said:

I think your last option displays a certain negative bias and can skew incidences, not to mention it possibly being a portion of no AND yes. As your poll is not multi choice (nor should it be), I recommend providing options that say something like:

"Yes, I own an HD Radio set"
"Yes, I plan to purchase an HD Radio in the near future"
"No, I do not have any plans to purchase this"
"Not sure"

Remember most of the time you'll want to poll on behaviors, not attitudes (certain exceptions notwithstanding).


Yeah, that was a good idea, but I didn't think of it until after I copied-and-pasted it here from another DooM site I posted this in.

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[QUOTE]kc32 said:
If it's a troll, it'll probably be an interesting one.[quote]No. Not a troll post. Kids are up with the technology these days.

That said, WTF is an HD radio and how is it better than a normal FM radio?

FM radios already have the audio frequencies from 20Hz-20KHz in 2 channels plus an optional data channel used for sending out what song's playing or whatever, and anything more than that's overkill unless you're dealing with video or data.


In the United States, probably to compete with the wavering XM/Serious "radio", HD Radio was designed to broadcast your local shows in CD-quality format, eliminating the flat-sounding limits of analog FM stations have. Although this actually depends upon the station. Some stations here in the Boston area (100.7 WZLX, classic rock) live up to the sound quality, if not, very close, sounds a LOT better than analog FM. Others, like rock station WBCN (104.1), sound like mud. Some actually sound better if they DON'T come in HD. WAAF (107.3, and 97.7), rock station, sounds better in HD, but their sub-channel (live rock) is muddy.

The biggest difference is with AM stations. Those are very tricky to work, though, but when they do, you'll get a station that almost sounds as good as an FM station, but with a slight digital-noise-sound quality to it. A HUGE difference.

That brings up another plus, is that HD stations can broadcast up to 3 (as I know of) shows at once. AAF has their regular station on HD1, and Backstage Pass (the live rock) on HD2. Some station has 3, but I don't remember which one.
Same as the RSS stations (analog with the artist/title), HD displays those, and depending upon the model, a descritopn of the (sub) channel you're listening to. WJMN (94.5, Hip-Hop) displays a description of the channel's format, and the HD2's classic hip-hop, describles it as "Old-skool Hip-Hop". Many here just say "HD Radio http://hd-radio.com" for a description.

The drawback is that it takes a good antenna to make it work, if you are 20 to 30 miles or more from a station. You can't go by how strong your analog stations are. Those can sound crystal clear at only 20% strength, but you need 33% to make HD radio work. So, if you decide to try one, try a friend's, or keep that recipt handy if it doesn't work for you. You'll probably need a pair of cheap bunny-ears at the least.

When I listen to regular radio, I notice the difference. On AM, it's like night and day. On FM, it's a crap shoot, usually for the better.

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CODOR said:

I think this is the one that sticks a digital subcarrier on the FM signal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio

If so, then it's at most a lossy 150kbps variant of HE-AAC, and seems to be more often 100kbps. The "HD" also stands for Hybrid Digital, not High-Definition as they're probably hoping we'd expect.

I'm gonna stick with my crystal radio. At least I made that one myself...


Actually, when iBiguity (creator of HD Radio) ran commercials on stations broadcasting in HD, and yes, from the horse's mouth, HD does stand for High Definition. It can sound like crap on some stations, but it does sound near CD-quality on others. In most cases, it sounds better than analog, and better by a mile on AM stations. Either way, no more static, and better clarity, unless a station handles things badly.

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AndrewB said:

It can't be much worse than satellite radio. $15 a month for 64kbps equivalent sound from about 100 channels that aren't good enough to be public stations. Oh and you can't use it indoors.

You can, but you need to have the special antenna at a window. In a steel building, that'll kill it. I don't have this, but a friend does. It failed at work, but works in his home.

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Georgef551 said:
yes, from the horse's mouth, HD does stand for High Definition.

From http://www.hdradio.com/faq.php:

Q : WHAT DOES THE HD IN HD RADIO MEAN?

A: The ‘HD’ in ‘HD Radio’ is part of iBiquity Digital’s brand name for its digital AM and FM radio technology. It does not mean either hybrid digital or high definition, it is simply the branding language for this new technology.

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I don't really listen to the radio so I have no intentions in getting HD Radio. But my dad might be interested in such a thing because he is a truck driver.

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Csonicgo said:

YEAHH riight. I'll believe that when I stop believing the obvious. That's like telling me that Kirby of the Videogame fame is named after the Lawyer for NOA.


It makes sense. This way, you get customers to think that your product is "high definition" when, well, it isn't actually better at all.

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Imp said:
But my dad might be interested in such a thing because he is a truck driver.

A friend of mine who was driving long haul got a satellite radio. The main advantage is that you don't get signal fade and can listen to the same program when travelling from city to city without needing to seek out different stations. The disadvantage is the sound quality which doesn't matter too much in a moving vehicle, but I've heard it with the engine off and they've really managed to capture the sound of an MP3 encoded in 1998 or so...

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CODOR said:

A friend of mine who was driving long haul got a satellite radio. The main advantage is that you don't get signal fade and can listen to the same program when travelling from city to city without needing to seek out different stations. The disadvantage is the sound quality which doesn't matter too much in a moving vehicle, but I've heard it with the engine off and they've really managed to capture the sound of an MP3 encoded in 1998 or so...

That's definately a plus, and why satelite is still alive, although barely. Radio isn't doing all that well, either.

As for the HD Branding thing, they contradicted themselves (thanks for the excerpt, CODOR!). They did use "Hd doesn't stand for handy-dandy, it's High Definition" on radio commercials. Wonder why they did that? Probably like some of you said, to sell, sell, sell.

It does sound better than regular FM. In a loud room, yeah, not much the difference. On headsets, a difference. On AM, it's way better, in any room. In fact, in loud areas, AM HD stations sound just like FM. Headsets/quiet room, a bit of artifacts.

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DJ_Haruko said:

I never listen to the radio. Ever. So I don't see the need in buying an HD radio. My 250gb portable hard drive works nicely.

You have a computer to play music in your car?

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Georgef551 said:

yes, from the horse's mouth, HD does stand for High Definition.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio

According to iBiquity's website HD Radio is simply a brand name, although their earlier whitepaper documents refer to "Hybrid Digital" radio technology.[4] There is no connection with high-definition television (HDTV), except in the sense that both HDTV and HD Radio are digital formats.


Also, I hardly see the point, considering there are such things as CDs and peer-to-peer programs. If you really must have a large list of songs to listen to while driving and whatnot, there are iPods.

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Lüt said:

You have a computer to play music in your car?

My deck (an Alpine CDA-9886) has USB, iPod, and 1/8" mini jack inputs. I usually carry around my external hard drive with a ton of mp3s on it, though I also use my iPod to listen to Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, NFS, and SPC files through the mini jack (my iPod runs Rockbox).

I could hook my laptop into it through the mini jack, too. One idea I've had for a while is to get good at using Traktor, have my friend drive me around on a road trip, and then do a live mix in my car.

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Heh, I am still using cassettes for my car, and I still use a high-quality Philips hi-fi deck to record them, although I connected an external DVD/MP3 player to access compressed music. MP3->tape ;-)

They usually sound very good, and chrome tapes sound near CD-quality in the car's environment. Very durable too, and I can throw them around without fearing damage or scratches.

If I'm too lazy, I just use a cassette adapter and plug in a portable CD/MP3 player, although with tapes I don't have to worry about road bumbs or batteries.

Anyway, if you think HD radio is crap, just wait until digital terrestrial TV will be coaxed into our homes (I'm glad that my country has no mandatory "digital switch" ongoing plan yet).

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