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HD Radio - Growing or Dying?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by MikeW, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. MikeW

    MikeW Hall Of Fame

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    I was pleased last year when I added and HD Radio module to my car stereo. There were several sub-channels available in Tucson and 3 stations on AM that broadcast in HD Stereo. I've noticed the stations dropping the subchannels slowly and realized today that there is only one FM station that continues to broadcast a sub-channel. On the AM side, there remains one station broadcasting music (and it sounds great). So it appears that the Tucson market is no longer utilizing the HD spectrum. I've travelled through Phoenix and Los Angeles and enjoy listening to the variety that is still available.

    So is your market growing HD stations or are you losing them?
     
  2. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Constant here.

    We have quite a lot of HD stations and most have a few substations.

    I love HD Radio, the sound is so good on some stations it is amazing.
     
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    While the *concept* of "HD Radio" (meaning: digital radio) is good, the execution was HORRIBLE. Radio has been a "portable" thing for almost a century, but the FCC awarded the contract for digital radio encryption to a single company, using their proprietary (read: expensive) encryption chip that requires too much power to make small portable radios feasable.

    Then, the early HD radio models released were hugely expensive and had low sensitivity, and were all fairly large. And given that the biggest driver for radio is the car, it would make sense that HD radio would have been designed around car radios, but the folks in charge did a horrible job working with car companies and aftermarket radio manufacturers, so there was very little product and very low sales.

    HD radio isn't free for broadcasters, and certainly programming additional channels costs money, so if there isn't anyone to listen to your feed, why spend the money to produce it? That's what happened to HD radio.

    HD radio should have been an open standard with minimal licensing, and it could have been a big success, but unfortunately, I think it's going to die.
     
  4. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

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    from the ads I hear I think channels just stable here.. see less ads for the hardware now tho..

    Personaly I never saw the use for it in a noisy automobile.. I'd rather listen to my CDs or MP3s anyways..
     
  5. MikeW

    MikeW Hall Of Fame

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    With the expenses in mind, I don't understand the benefit to broadcasters. Most sub-channels I've heard were commercial free. They are basically competing against themselves with, sometimes, a superior product. KLPX in Tucson was using the same basic playlist on their sub-channel sans the commercials. It has long since been shut down.
     
  6. max1

    max1 Godfather

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    In omaha there are not that many hd 2 stations maybe 4 or 5-and it hasn't grown. I sent an e-mail to star 104.5 and see if they could do like an all 80's channel-and the response i got was we cant afford to do it. Got same response from other stations. I will stick with i pod-and i p hone-i can stream cbs radio,I heart Radio and listen to other stations. I hooked up a portable speaker to I phone and it sounds great. So i would say Hd radio in our area is a bust-I hope they add more but doubt it.
     
  7. elaclair

    elaclair Rescued Racers Live Here

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    It looks like in the San Diego market we have 21 HD channels available. But I have to admit, I had to Google it to find out. I have seen virtually no advertising for HD here, and oddly enough, the main terrestrial station I listen to has an HD component, but they never mention it on the analog side, and I certainly don't recall seeing it on their web site.

    Go figure....
     
  8. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Yes but it is changing. Now there are portable players with HD radio (like the Zune) and more auto manufactures are having it standard or as an upgrade. The home players are also small now and coming way down in price. A lot of higher end receivers come with it built in.

    It is a very good technology, it does sound sooo much better even in the car than regular radio.
     
  9. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Indian...
    If you go to www.hdradio.com, you get the impression that HD Radio is growing. However, the general public is either unaware of its existence or treats it as a novelty. The industry has not done a good job of promoting HD Radio, and the cost of receivers and tuners acts as a deterrent. For example, the site lists only two tuners under $100 for upgrading existing home systems: one by Insignia (Best Buy) and one by Sony. Of the two, the Insignia tuner seems to have better spec's. Although most of the major HT receiver manufacturers have models with built-in HD radio tuners, they are pricey.
     
  10. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    I just bought the Insignia tuner from Best Buy, and it is really nice. Sound is excellent (both analog and digital), and it picks up all our Little Rock stations great. We havent gained or lost any subchannels since Ive had it. Enjoy falling asleep to the commercial free music.
     
  11. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    Is 1080P HD radio any better then 1080i HD radio?

    I'm in the NYC area and the ONLY advertising I have heard for HD Radio was the local all news channel CBS880. I'm sure there must be more but they sure aren't promoting it.

    "Music" Radio in general is going the way of the newspaper what with MP3 players and the like.
     
  12. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Here they advertise it a lot, but not as "HD Radio". They just say that they are broadcasting in HD.

    I think most just don't understand you need a different tuner and such to get the "HD" version.
     
  13. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Teays...
    I remember several years ago, before I went satellite, the local station started touting they were the first station to go "All HD".

    What they meant of course was that they have completely converted all music to digital and it was stored on Hard Drives.
     
  14. kc1ih

    kc1ih Legend

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    Another plus is that the FCC just approved a four-fold increase in the power level of the HD sidebands. Don't expect any immediate change because most stations will have to purchase and install new equipment to implement the change, but it will result in better reception, especially if you are on the edge of the signal area.
     
  15. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    This is sad to read. I bought a JVC head unit for my Jeep several years ago and loved it. When I traded that in for a 2009 Escape under Cash for Clunkers last summer, I pulled it since the Jeep was headed for the scrap heap anyway and I gave it to a friend.

    Ford was supposed to include HD radio in all new models after about 2007, but then Sync came along. Sync is great, but now I'm stuck with Sirius as the only broadcast alternative to AM/FM and there's no way I'm paying $12.95 a month for radio. The whole point of having a radio in the car is the local nature of it - weather, traffic, and local events. Satellite radio is useless for that. There is supposed to still be an HD module that can be added to the Sync unit, but if HD is dying, I guess I'll pass. BattleZone is absolutely correct about the way it was implemented.
     
  16. kc1ih

    kc1ih Legend

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    Hudson, FL
    I would take the statement that HD is dying rather subjectively. I think to some extent it depends where you are, it seems to be doing better in bigger markets, and the power boost will probably help there.
     
  17. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I'll say it again, the problem with radio is not the audio quality. The problem is the over-reliance on cheesy commercials, tight playlists and goofy, talky DJs. Compared to an iPod, commercial radio is a poor substitute.

    I do not have an HD radio, because I do not listen to radio stations that claim to play music (although it would be equally valid to say that they play commercials occasionally interrupted by music.)
     
  18. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Yup. Most just listen to radio because they are forced to in the car if they do not pay for extras like iPod docks or CDs, etc. It is easy to just flip on the radio.

    I have HD/Sirius/iPod/Local Hard Drive in the car and flip between them all depending on my mood. Local HD radio is nice at times, but gets repetative usually. Sirius is fun, but can get dull at times too. iPod and the Local Hard drive are unlimited but limited to what I own and put on them, so hard to find new music at times.
     
  19. MikeW

    MikeW Hall Of Fame

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    They do not keep the site updated. There are several stations listed for Tucson that no longer broadcast in HD. I would have thought it was due to something like equipment maintenance, but the fact is most of them have been off for more than 6-9 months.

    I sent an e-mail to their "contact-us" link and got a message back for what appeared to be a live human within a half-hour. He said he would look into it. Never heard back.
     
  20. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Stuart, we have two HD stations here that play music (same music they play on their FM analog channel) but with no commercials at all, except for the top of the hour station ID. That was the biggest reason I bought it. I have XM in my work truck, because I detest changing stations every hour while driving across the state through the mountains, but HD radio at home is great. I hope it survives. I also listen to the "commercial" version of the same station driving to and from work in my car, so their commercials are getting my ear, even though I dont listen to them at home, so they arent losing any ad money in my case.
     

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