My interest began peaking in HD radio quite awhile back. I had assumed that this tech had died the Beta death.
Quite wrong I am it is still a working technology that is freely broadcasted in most areas in the United States.
Like the digital broadcast upgrade that took place to television also occurred for radio as well.
With the one difference being that the Government is not enforcing or forcing the change out.
So you can buy the hardware to get these digital channels or not and opt to listen to standard analog which majority are choosing to do. Unless your in a new car 2014 or better and depending on the make/model it may be built into the radio in your car. Earlier top end cars may have HD radios. And even top end Home Theater receivers will have the tech built in. Or can purchase the tuners separately for your current home theater system or buy a new car radio that has the technology.
The “HD” in HD radio does NOT stand for High Definition or Hybrid Digital. Matter a fact HD is just there for marketing purposes it actually has no meaning at all.
“HD Radio” is a brand name owned by the company iBiquity that supplies the FCC-approved technology used in the U.S. and several other countries.
So no High Def or Hybrid Digital just plain old marketing.
A company named iBiquity Digital created the technology to make this happen.
They license this technology to radio stations and consumer electronics manufacturers.
Don’t mistake HD Radio for Satellite Radio.
Satellite radio is a pay for service HD Radio is free over the air only need to buy the hardware to grab the digital signal. Old radios can not get these signals because they are analog only.
There is no monthly payment to listen to HD radio it’s free OTA.
What the digital channels add is better quality and multicasting with the ability to transmit additional information along with the music signal. Enables scrolling text on your receiver’s display, such as a song’s artist and title and station call letters. HD Radio also supports Artist Experience — with compatible and full color screen receivers you can view album art, logos, and more, if the station broadcasting sends this information out.
Better quality= Digital FM stations will have almost CD quality sound and AM digital stations will have FM quality sound.
Going digital also is goodbye to static and popping and other annoying sounds dead air or bad signals analog produces.
What is multicasting? Allows a station to broadcast two or more programs simultaneously.
Same thing as Digital Television channels over antenna. Example channel 10.1,10.2 for TV on Radio would be 97.9-1,97.9-2.
I love multicasting it opens up a lot more listening options for the consumer.
Tampa Bay area has quite a few stations that broadcast Digital signals.
You can use indoor antenna if your close to broadcasting towers or can hang a outdoor antenna for stonger signals and also possible to reach stations all around Florida.
Back in 2013 I remember seeing HD Tuners at Best Buy in the $199 range. Today I looked about and could not find any HD Radio tuners in any of the local electronics stores.
You can buy car radios with the HD Radio technology but not any for home theaters.
This brought me to online shopping at the normal places Newegg, Amazon and Ebay.
What I most wanted to find was a tuner under $100. I really don’t listen to radio enough to dump a $100 or more into this technology.
The tuner I wanted was the Sangean HDT-1 this had the features I wanted in a small component package.
Prices varied from $120 up to $200 this is way out of my range. Off to Ebay I went to my surprise the prices were about the same as every place else. The ones I did bid on I lost since $65 was my max for this item. They were selling at $80 used.
Finally found an open box missing the remote on Ebay straight selling for $69. Now this was my speed! PURCHASE IT I DID:-)
Combined with my Receivers built in Internet Radio and Spotify/Pandora this will add even more listening options.
I have started making our garage my man cave that already has Radio and TV maybe this new hardware will make me listen to more OTA radio than I did before.
Installing the outdoor antenna came at just the right time:-)
Side Note: I absolutely love the Harmony 1100 universal remote control. I was sweating getting this without the remote. Went and did a check on Logitech software and sure enough it has the exact tuner ready to go in software.