Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Radio World's Thom Moon tries to buy an HD radio, finds comedy of errors:
[At Best Buy] On display, next to one another, were the Sony XDR-53HD table unit and another house-brand Insignia product, their NS-HD2114 HD radio/DVD player with matching speakers. Even though both were connected to an external antenna, neither unit received enough RF input to lock onto the HD-R stream.You get the idea. Out of eight retailers, the only one where Moon got satisfactory demonstration (“I could actually audition an HD Radio without several other audio sources blasting at me.”) was the local Alamo Electronics chain.
Another problem was, I never did figure out how to tune the Insignia unit, and a Best Buy employee who wandered by and offered to help was just as puzzled as I...
The Insignia was tuned to 107.1, home of Class B1 WKFS(FM). That should have been fine, as the station’s antenna is less than 10 miles from the store. But the radio wasn’t receiving any signal at all. That’s not a strong recommendation of the unit.
[At Circuit City] As I expected, their selection of home HD Radios was underwhelming: just the Sony XDR-53HD.
Of course, it wasn’t connected to an antenna, so it wouldn’t link with HD-R, even though I was only about six miles from the WKRC(TV) tower, home to all of Clear Channel’s local FM’s and Entercom’s WKRQ(FM).
A Target is just across the street, so I sauntered over and looked around their home electronics section, located about as far as possible from the front door and against an outside wall. HD Radio? Nada. Zero. Zip.
Talked to the gentleman who appeared to be in charge and he said, “Nope, we don’t sell those.” When I said I had found Target mentioned on the HD Radio Web site, he just said, “Oh — it must be Internet only.” And, indeed, the Target Web site lists three HD units...
Moon blames the retailers (“...the few HD Radios displayed aren’t able to receive an HD signal. It’s bad when you’re trying to sell an expensive unit and the prospect can’t hear the main selling points of the technology...”), but my cynical reply is: If HD Radios were flying off the shelves there would be no problem with working displays. (Just walk down the aisle and look at the HDTV department.)
It does make you wonder what the radio industry is actually getting for its multi-million-dollar HD ad campaign.
Via: “rbrucecarter5” at Radio-Info
"The FCC Tunes Into HD Radio--And May Turn Off Distant AM"
"But HD Radio AM broadcasts may also obstruct one of AM radio's oldest attractions--so-called skywave reception, in which AM signals bounce off the ionosphere after sunset and allow listeners to tune in from hundreds of miles away... A nearby HD AM signal, however, can interfere with a distant analog signal if the two stations are adjacent on the dial. For instance, a Jersey station's digital broadcast on 1510 or 1490 AM might have stopped me from getting WTWP's analog signal at 1500 AM."
"Editorial on the recent approval of HD Radio (IBOC) in the USA"
"The reason the big boys in the big markets are so pro IBOC is because they like the hash as it wipes out distant signals getting into their market. There is no way to stop skip, but if the IBOC hash wipes the signal out, then the locals will have to listen to their local station. Kind of like legal jamming. Considering that, then even if the public does not buy the radios, keeping the IBOC signal might be worth their while."
What they are getting, is being able to jam the smaller broadcasters off the dial, or into submission!
Posted by: PocketRadio at 06/12/08 20:09:35 (de+ej)
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