HD radio doesn't sound any better - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:15 PM
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Dfiler, considering that HD Radio itself is still lying on its back and twitching at the starting gate, it doesn't really matter whether its 50 or so remaining fans can be convinced that the term HD is being used deceptively.

Stations are going to be looking to make deep cuts in their already anemic operating budgets, and it's safe to assume that HD Radio streams that nobody can hear are going to have a big old bullseye painted on 'em. Even if the costs to operate and maintain them are relatively negligible, they're still worthless expenditures, and the day that Ibiquity shows up at any given station wanting this year's royalty payment is the day HD Radio gets shut off at that station. Permanently. HD Radio is circling the drain along with the economy, and will most likely beat it to the bottom.

But you guys just carry on "discussing" the whole HD audio thing. Everyone needs a hobby. (I think my new one will be schadenfreude.)
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:40 PM
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Despite my criticism of the deceptive name, I certainly do hope HD Radio succeeds. I'm listening to it as I type this post in fact. All it needs is to be bundled in enough new cars that people come to rely on it, even if unknowingly and/or by accident.

I just take issue with the attempt to convince the public that the sound quality is above and beyond what they hear elsewhere today. It is better than analog radio, but that is about it. (I'll go ahead and put in the customary disclaimer: HD Radio sounds good, most people are quite happy with the sound quality.)
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Look, you're repeatedly saying "This isn't HD!" over and over and every time you refuse to tell us what on Earth you think this "HD" thing is. Hey, if you know what it is then just tell us. If you don't know what "HD" is then please stop pretending you know what it is.

He has to keep the concept as elusive and nebulous as possible because he realizes as soon as he makes any specific or absolute declaration we have him pinned and he's lost. He needs to be able to change "the" definition at will to whatever will fit his argument at the time.

A. "Your car is low quality"
B. "In what way?"
A. "It's inferior."
B. "How?"
A. "In car quality"
B. "By what measurement, specifically?"
A. "Uh, quality."
B. "What do you mean by 'quality'?"
A. "Your car....it's...it's...it's low quality"
B. "Compared to what?"
A. "Compared to a high quality car."
B. "What specific aspect makes for a "high quality" car then?"
A. "Um, the quality."

See as long as party 'A' never admits a particular, definable, measurable trait like highway gas mileage, 0-60 mph acceleration time, stopping distance etc. he can't be proven wrong with numbers since "low" and "quality" are relative terms [just like the words "high" and "definition"] and can never be measured by a single number. ["defibels"]

Re-read the above exchange between party 'A' and 'B' but replace the word "car" with "radio format" and "quality" with "definition" and I think you'll see what I mean.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-05-2008, 08:12 AM
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I understand what you mean if things were cut but there's the other thing. Business don't make more money when they cut things they simply are trying to stem losses.

The way that any industry survives in a slump is something new needs to be made in terms of innovation.

With the internet it was broadband...in other industries it's something that makes it more profitible. Just like with luxury cars it's all the little things that warrent the price.

if people are cutting xm/sirius then this might be the more logical alturnative...just like how some people instead of cancelling a service might just downgrade it.

It's going to be interesting to see how much of this pans out because car sales are tanking, advertisers are withholding and the industry as a whole is down.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

He has to keep the concept as elusive and nebulous as possible because he realizes as soon as he makes any specific or absolute declaration we have him pinned and he's lost. He needs to be able to change "the" definition at will to whatever will fit his argument at the time.

A. "Your car is low quality"
B. "In what way?"
A. "It's inferior."
B. "How?"
A. "In car quality"
B. "By what measurement, specifically?"
A. "Uh, quality."
B. "What do you mean by 'quality'?"
A. "Your car....it's...it's...it's low quality"
B. "Compared to what?"
A. "Compared to a high quality car."
B. "What specific aspect makes for a "high quality" car then?"
A. "Um, the quality."

See as long as party 'A' never admits a particular, definable, measurable trait like highway gas mileage, 0-60 mph acceleration time, stopping distance etc. he can't be proven wrong with numbers since "low" and "quality" are relative terms [just like the words "high" and "definition"] and can never be measured by a single number. ["defibels"]

Re-read the above exchange between party 'A' and 'B' but replace the word "car" with "radio format" and "quality" with "definition" and I think you'll see what I mean.

There appears to be nothing but personal attacks left in your arsenal. The point of view you're arguing against is well defined, you simply disagree with it.

The bitrate and the codec involved have already been mentioned as well as comparisons to other audio sources. If you're seeking an empirical criteria for what is "HD" or not "HD", it simply doesn't exist. Perception of sound quality involves cognitive and sensory quirks such that not everyone agrees on precise quality rankings. However, "high definition" is commonly interpreted as referring to A/V quality that is obviously superior to all previous generation A/V sources. It is at the very top of the quality scale.

While an exact assessment of HD Radio's quality will never be unanimous, it doesn't have to be. It can still be commonly agreed upon that it isn't at the top of that same quality scale. Everyone would rank it differently, but few people would have it at the top of the scale.

Here's another car analogy since they've proven so popular:
An exact definition of what constitutes a "luxury" car would be difficult agree upon. However there is probably near consensus that a Toyota Carola is not a "luxury" car.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

If you're seeking an empirical criteria for what is "HD" or not "HD", it simply doesn't exist. Perception of sound quality involves cognitive and sensory quirks such that not everyone agrees on precise quality rankings.

So you're not familiar with frequency response, stereo separation, dynamic range, or any of the other objective methods we use to determine sound quality? It's no coincidence that HD Radio excels in all of these measurements.

Quote:


However, "high definition" is commonly interpreted as referring to A/V quality that is obviously superior to all previous generation A/V sources. It is at the very top of the quality scale.

And for radio broadcasting, you've described exactly what HD Radio is. 96 kbps HD Radio from a good source (not an ancient MP2 playout computer) sounds positively fantastic, very close to CD quality. It is without a doubt the highest quality of radio broadcasting that exists today.

Quote:


While an exact assessment of HD Radio's quality will never be unanimous, it doesn't have to be. It can still be commonly agreed upon that it isn't at the top of that same quality scale. Everyone would rank it differently, but few people would have it at the top of the scale.

And what form of radio broadcasting would you place above HD Radio? It is without a doubt at the top of the scale for radio broadcasting. Absolutely no other form of radio broadcasting can compare to it at the moment.

However, the new DAB+ in Europe is certainly going to be comparable to it if not exceed it in quality depending on what bit rates they intend to use. It's very possible they'll just drop the bit rates to barely listenable levels like they did with the original DAB.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

Stations are going to be looking to make deep cuts in their already anemic operating budgets, and it's safe to assume that HD Radio streams that nobody can hear are going to have a big old bullseye painted on 'em. Even if the costs to operate and maintain them are relatively negligible, they're still worthless expenditures, and the day that Ibiquity shows up at any given station wanting this year's royalty payment is the day HD Radio gets shut off at that station. Permanently. HD Radio is circling the drain along with the economy, and will most likely beat it to the bottom.

My local radio stations are laying off people left and right but there is not the slightest hint that they'll turn off their HD Radio transmitters any time soon. They will never ever let some other company slip in and influence the future of digital broadcasting in America in any way. They've invested hundreds of millions of dollars to get a near monopoly on the format and they not going to let that money go to waste.

We've been through this before. Just look at the format that radio stations wasted their money on for decades: FM radio. People were proclaiming the end of that form of broadcasting when the FCC prohibited simulcasting with their AM stations. It was predicted that stations would sooner pull the plug on these worthless transmitters before they spend a dime on these "worthless expenditures" that "nobody can hear". Surprisingly the owners had the brains to know that listeners would eventually switch to the higher-quality format over the years and continued to invest in FM broadcasting.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

Ahem. Says who? Source please. I must not have gotten that memo, the one that states which audio sources are "HD" and which aren't. Please provide a link.

[My premonition: No link will be provided and I'll get a "Well, I think it's perfectly obvious to everyone that we all know that...." sort of response instead. As if that constitutes proof.]

Looks like my premonition panned out exactly as I predicted:

A) He provides no source or link. Despite his earlier claim that what is or isn't HD is definable; "HD radio is not". (He starts to backtrack on that concept a little now though.)

B) The argument provided is one of "Well its perfectly obvious that everyone knows what HD is or isn't when it comes to sound and HD radio clearly doesn't hit that level". We also discover that for some odd reason he seems to think that the quality level must also be "the best" (in his mind), not just against other forms of radio mind you, which is what HD radio clearly claims to be from its very name, but rather all known forms of audio reproduction in general, I guess:

Quote:


"high definition" is commonly interpreted as referring to A/V quality that is obviously superior to all previous generation A/V sources.

I see, how do we know what "HD" is or isn't? Well it's the "common interpretation", i.e. "pretty much everyone knows that..." line of thinking.

Quote:


It is at the very top of the quality scale....

I see, it is "more better" then you mean, got it, that is to say the quality, er, "definition" is high, as measure by a definitionometer. And since HD radio only measures medium on that imaginary scale, so says you, it doesn't deserve the moniker "HD" in its name despite the fact that you seem to agree it is the best form of US commercial radio transmission ever invented.


Quote:


It can still be commonly agreed upon that it isn't at the top of that same quality scale.

"commonly agreed upon" = "everyone knows that..."

Ever read the fable "The Emperor's New Clothes"? You can dupe a lot of people with the "everyone knows that..." argument but you can't dupe everyone.

"The emperor has no clothes on!"

Oh, and one more thing, under your, IMO, absurd logic that in order to be properly labeled as "high definition" it must be the best not only form of radio transmission but also the best form of audio known to man [The proof? Well, "everyone knows this." ] , note they didn't name it "very high definition", "extremely high definition", or "the best definition", they simply called it "high definition" and that's in terms of radio quality; hence the name "HD radio".

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-05-2008, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

So you're not familiar with frequency response, stereo separation, dynamic range, or any of the other objective methods we use to determine sound quality? It's no coincidence that HD Radio excels in all of these measurements.

Very true, but even if he were aware of such technical terms, which would surprise me, he'll obviously stay clear of these concepts because they all have definable numbers assignable to them. His argument of what's better than what falls apart if they can be measured with numbers and therefor can be shown to be incorrect. He has to keep all sound assessments entirely subjective so they're up for interpretation and therefor can't be contradicted:

Quote:


If you're seeking an empirical criteria for what is "HD" or not "HD", it simply doesn't exist. Perception of sound quality involves cognitive and sensory quirks such that not everyone agrees on precise quality rankings. However, "high definition" is commonly interpreted as referring to A/V quality that is obviously superior to all previous generation A/V sources. [Ahem. Source please.] It is at the very top of the quality scale.

Note his backtracking now. Before in earlier posts we were told that HD radio just factually wasn't high definition. Now it seems he may be allowing for people's individual perceptions to come into play on this non-definable "quality scale", at least somewhat.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-05-2008, 12:36 PM
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The criticism of HD Radio's trademark has been consistent and well explained. Disagreeing with this criticism is reasonable. Unfortunately the two of you are out to achieve character assassination rather than trying to discuss the topic in a civil manner.

Hopefully, when other forum readers make it this far in the thread, they will associate your position with the tactics used to support it. Your assertions will be seen as coming from people interested mostly in slandering their opponent at any cost.

I'll bow out of this thread with a comment on this excerpt from your last post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

... note they didn't name it "very high definition", "extremely high definition", or "the best definition", they simply called in "high definition" and that's in terms of radio quality; hence the name "HD radio".

According to the trademark owner, the "HD" in HD Radio doesn't stand for "high definition". They purposefully don't claim that HD Radio is "high definition". Instead, they just want to piggy-back on the perception of what "HD" means to the average Joe. They are playing fast and loose with the term in a manner that I've characterized as deceitful.


I know the above won't convince you guys. My participation in this thread is an attempt to get the word out. When someone googles for opinions on HD Radio's sound quality, they'll hopefully be exposed to the opinion asserted here, that the term "HD Radio" was chosen to be purposefully deceptive. HD Radio sounds good, but HDC at 48kbps is no where close to HD, not even in the same ballpark.

They'll also be exposed to your dissenting opinion, which is entirely fair.


I'll let you guys have the last word if you so desire.
Commence character assassination in 3, 2, 1...
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I'll bow out of this thread with a comment on this excerpt from your last post:

Originally Posted by m. zillch
... note they didn't name it "very high definition", "extremely high definition", or "the best definition", they simply called in "high definition" and that's in terms of radio quality; hence the name "HD radio".

[Note: I can't figure out how to easily show the quote he is re-quoting in the proper way, it gets deleted when I post for some reason, please excuse my crude cut and paste job above.]

I'm 99% sure he's trying to point out that the "HD" in "HD radio" is shown to be "hybrid digital" in some internal documents, not "high definition" as I'm loosely referring to it here in the quote. But my point is that his repeated characterization throughout this thread that "HD radio is not HD!", and I'm pretty sure he doesn't mean "hybrid digital" BTW, is purely his subjective view and not a matter of fact as he has been stating all along, for example here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

But high definition, HD radio is not.

HD Radio is one of the lowest definition audio sources available.... But it is also lower definition than CD, SACD, DVDA, VHS audio, CableTV, Satelite TV audio, Blu-Ray, Laser Disc, OTA TV, and arguably even analog tape, vinyl, and FM radio some of the time...the term HD is incorrect, and sometimes gives people false expectations.

As if "HD" were quantitatively definable, which it isn't. What is "high" to one person may be "medium" or "low" to another.

Worrying about the semantics of the exact acronym reminds me of people who say DVD doesn't stand for "Digital Video Disc" but rather "Digital Versatile Disc", also because of early original documents. Whatever.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-06-2008, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

The criticism of HD Radio's trademark has been consistent and well explained.

No it has not. Saying that it has will not make it so.

Quote:


Disagreeing with this criticism is reasonable.

Yes it is, but you have not been able to explain why HD Radio cannot be called "high definition". You've compared it to media formats ignoring the "Radio" part of "HD Radio". You've stated incorrect definitions of "high definition" (most notibly "128 kbps or better") then fled from these definitions when you were unable to back them up.

You then tried to argue using your own personal definition of the term but refused to tell us what it is. That turned the discussion turned into a game of us trying to figure out what dfiler thinks "HD" is while you argued that your definition of "HD" isn't important when you argue that something isn't "HD".

Quote:


Unfortunately the two of you are out to achieve character assassination rather than trying to discuss the topic in a civil manner.

This is not true. I have made absolutely no personal remarks about anything you said. I did nothing but respond to your words.

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Old 12-06-2008, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post

We've been through this before. Just look at the format that radio stations wasted their money on for decades: FM radio. People were proclaiming the end of that form of broadcasting when the FCC prohibited simulcasting with their AM stations. It was predicted that stations would sooner pull the plug on these worthless transmitters before they spend a dime on these "worthless expenditures" that "nobody can hear". Surprisingly the owners had the brains to know that listeners would eventually switch to the higher-quality format over the years and continued to invest in FM broadcasting.

How many stations have newly signed on with HD radio in the last six months?
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:40 PM
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My gosh you guys. This is rediculous.

Mind you, were arguing about audio formats. This isn't politics and religion, or is it???

Were debating something completely subjective. In the case of audio, "HD" as not been defined. Also, 96K is clearly more acoustically transparent than analog FM stereo and requires less of the awful compression and processing found in the average FM signal chain.

Sound codecs evolve.

To get a "decent" stereo sound (according to my standards), you need at minimum 160k for MP3, 128k for AAC, 96k for OGG. See a trend? Better codecs take up less space.


In the world of HD, MPEG 4 is quickly replacing MPEG 2 in sattelite uplinks and Direct TV. Why? Because it's more efficient. I don't hear any HD viewers going "good HD picture, no matter the codec has to be 18MB/s or higher!!!"
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

How many stations have newly signed on with HD radio in the last six months?

With 80% of the US now receiving HD radio transmissions probably few, but I think the thing really holding HD radio back now is how few manufacturers currently make HD radios, including:

Accurian, Alpine, Audio Design Associates, Boss, Cambridge Soundworks,
Denon, DICE, Dual, Insignia, Integra, JBL, Jensen/Audiovox, Jensen/Insignia,
JVC, jWIN, Kenwood, LG, Marantz, Niles, Onkyo, Pioneer, Polk, Radiosophy,
Roadmaster, Rotel, Sangean, Sony, Visteon, Yamaha.

Brands showing HD Radio products at CES 2008
-- AAMP of America/Peripheral (North Hall 5218 & 5333)
-- AGT (Central Hall 9817)
-- Alpine (North Hall 101)
-- Audio Design Associates (The Venetian Tower 30-121)
-- AudioVox/Jensen Mobile (Central Hall 10506 & 11006)
-- Boss (North Hall 4208)
-- Cambridge SoundWorks (South Hall 30642)
-- Denon (Mandalay Bay Ballroom)
-- DICE (North Hall 4828)
-- Dual (North Hall 1007)
-- Harman/JBL Hilton (Invite-Only)
-- JVC Automotive (North Hall 1431)
-- jWIN (Central Hall 12838)
-- Kenwood (North Hall 1001)
-- LG Electronics (Central Hall 8214)
-- Marantz (Mandalay Bay Ballroom)
-- McIntosh (Mandalay Bay Ballroom)
-- Metra (North Hall 3406)
-- Onkyo/Integra (The Wynn Invite-Only)
-- Pioneer (Central Hall 9827)
-- Polk Audio (South Hall 20507)
-- Roadmaster (North Hall 5618)
-- Sangean (Central Hall 15007)
-- Sony (Central Hall 14200)
-- Spectra/Jensen (Central Hall 13238)
-- Visteon (North Hall 6027)
-- Yamaha (The Rio Invite-Only)

That and of course the high monthly subscription costs compared to satellite radio...Oh, wait a minute.

Narkspud, I get the impression you hope for its demise or have a vested interest in it's death for some unknown reason:

Quote:
Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

Dfiler, considering that HD Radio itself is still lying on its back and twitching at the starting gate, it doesn't really matter whether its 50 or so remaining fans can be convinced that the term HD is being used deceptively.

... it's safe to assume that HD Radio streams that nobody can hear are going to have a big old bullseye painted on 'em. Even if the costs to operate and maintain them are relatively negligible, they're still worthless expenditures...

HD Radio is circling the drain along with the economy, and will most likely beat it to the bottom.

Care to share with us why you seem hopeful for its death exactly? Or is that a private matter?

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-07-2008, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

No it has not. Saying that it has will not make it so.


Yes it is, but you have not been able to explain why HD Radio cannot be called "high definition". You've compared it to media formats ignoring the "Radio" part of "HD Radio". You've stated incorrect definitions of "high definition" (most notibly "128 kbps or better") then fled from these definitions when you were unable to back them up.

You then tried to argue using your own personal definition of the term but refused to tell us what it is. That turned the discussion turned into a game of us trying to figure out what dfiler thinks "HD" is while you argued that your definition of "HD" isn't important when you argue that something isn't "HD".


This is not true. I have made absolutely no personal remarks about anything you said. I did nothing but respond to your words.

My apologies, I had mistakenly attributed some of m. zillch's posts to you. Your posts have indeed been on topic.

It is very tempting to rebut your characterization of my argument, but I'll stick to letting the opposition have the last word. Hopefully this post doesn't count against that.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

It is very tempting to rebut your characterization of my argument, but I'll stick to letting the opposition have the last word.

I agree it would be interesting to see you attempt to rebut his argument considering it is spot on:

Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

...you have not been able to explain why HD Radio cannot be called "high definition". You've compared it to media formats ignoring the "Radio" part of "HD Radio". You've stated incorrect definitions of "high definition" (most notibly "128 kbps or better") then fled from these definitions when you were unable to back them up.

You then tried to argue using your own personal definition of the term but refused to tell us what it is. That turned the discussion turned into a game of us trying to figure out what dfiler thinks "HD" is while you argued that your definition of "HD" isn't important when you argue that something isn't "HD".

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry if you don't like my sarcastic style of writing throughout this thread, dfiler, it's my nature, but imagine our frustration with your repeated ignoring of our very simple, polite questions regarding your personal, subjective definition of "high definition" which has no right or wrong response:

Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

Hey dfiler, since you seem to personally "know" what is and isn't HD in terms of sound reproduction, would you please share with us:

A) What it is exactly or more precisely your descriptive definition of it, that is.

B) An example of a format or broadcast medium that uses it, or does that not exist yet?

Thanks.

Note, I even allow for the possibility that unlike television, radio "high definition" (or even any audio format for that matter) hasn't been invented yet, should that be your view. Responses like "It's whatever HD radio is not, everyone knows that." or "It's whatever is the best of everything, across all formats, on my imaginary (non-definable), secret, subjective, arbitrary scale, so says me." are complete and total cop outs, if you ask me. You're simply evading the question rather than answering it.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-07-2008, 11:41 AM
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My apologies, I had mistakenly attributed some of m. zillch's posts to you. Your posts have indeed been on topic.

I do try really hard to stick to what people say and not make judgements. After all, what we say here doesn't really make any difference about what's true.

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It is very tempting to rebut your characterization of my argument, but I'll stick to letting the opposition have the last word. Hopefully this post doesn't count against that.

I'll just say one more thing. Originally I also thought that the term "HD" in HD Radio was inappropriate and nothing more than misleading marketing crap to ride on the coat tails of HDTV.

But then I thought about how HD Radio and HDTV work and realized the exact same principles were involved in both systems. They both use digital compression to achive their goal of transmitting improved video and audio compared to existing analog broadcast systems. The two systems are not perfect and do fail regularly but that's expected and the artifacts produced during these failures are acceptable to most people.

In my opinion, the output of 96 kbps HD Radio is very close to perfect. It's rare that I hear any kind of distracting artifacts from the compression. The output of 18 mbps ATSC however is far from perfect and anyone can see the resolution drop continuously as well as mosquito noise around moving objects. Both systems are far better than their analog systems and that's amazing considering that HD Radio is not allowed to use the entire bandwidth of the analog signal like ATSC is.

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Old 12-07-2008, 12:25 PM
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Narkspud, I get the impression you hope for its demise or have a vested interest in it's death for some unknown reason:

Care to share with us why you seem hopeful for its death exactly? Or is that a private matter?

Not at all.

(1) Anything short of HD Radio codec 64 kbps sounds inferior to a reasonably clean analog FM signal. Show me all the measurements you want, but unless they're measuring artifacts, they are irrelevant. It's the artifacts that ruin it, regardless of the noise floor, separation or frequency response.

This opinion (and yes, it's opinion) is subject to change if I hear proof, with my own ears and not yours or Ibiquity's, that quality sound has been achieved at a lower bitrate, but "codecs are always going to improve" I put in the same category as "housing prices are always going to go up." And yes, 96 kbps sounds great, but how many stations are running it?

(2) Too unreliable to use in a moving vehicle. Which means that on most stations, which are not and cannot be perfectly synchronized for any length of time, it does more harm than good. The HD2's are worthless unless you're close to the transmitter, thanks to dropouts. Are these (few) people buying the new cars REALLY going to take the time to figure out how to stop all the dropouts and hiccuping, or will they just plug in their iPods? You know the answer.

(3) This not-ready-for-prime-time technology is being forced on the industry as a whole by the same conglomerates that I see as having killed radio programming in general - the ones for whom a publicity stunt consists of slaughtering cattle in their parking lot, and local programming means voice-tracking from Texas. Not unexpectedly from these weasels, very little worthwhile is found on the HD2 streams, unless you enjoy listening to somebody else's iPod more than your own.

(4) Analog AM sound quality - RIP. If they decide to boost HD power on FM, it's next.

(5) I consider Ibiquity's ethics throughout this entire sordid tale - with their dishonest promotional efforts, their razzle-dazzle lobbying of the government, and their obviously cooked test results - to be somewhere between Enron and Countrywide. They deserve to go down in flames.

In short, I'm not opposed to digital radio, just THIS digital radio. It's the new FMX, and it's currently standing in the way of the US getting a digital radio technology that actually works.

It's literally good vs. evil. I'm rooting for good. And good's looking pretty good at the moment.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:57 PM
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Thanks, narkspud. Thanks for taking the time to actually answer my question rather than be evasive (unlike some others). I appreciate that. You have many good points there.

I'm not sure I quite understand all of them, like the killing cattle in a parking lot one [seems now you deleted that part? edit: No, its still there, I just don't get it. Some stunt I'm unaware of I guess.], but others I think you are quite correct.

A lot of your quite valid gripes can be applied to ATSC as well:
rushed to market, dubious claims from the promoters, other better systems that didn't rely on 8vsb should have had a chance, problematic mobile applications, only "better" when optimal, otherwise inferior to analog when heavily compressed, etc.

If I didn't have cable (or sat) I think I'd throw my HDTV out the window with how poor the OTA reception is even with massive, directional Yagi antennas. I'm lucky that HD radio works quite well for me on the stations I like though. One out of two is not so bad and thanks to true 1080i quality from at least a few TV stations/programs I like, cable has helped me out greatly on that front.

You also impress me, narkspud, in that you accept that some of this stuff is subjective, program/ radio station and compression dependent, location dependent, and you are willing to change your mind if contrary evidence should be compelling enough. Bravo! Finally a forum member that applies science instead of dogma to their reasoning.

In regards to things getting better in the tuner department, both HD TV and radio tuners seem to have been getting notably better since the early days of HD. I can't speak for the transmitting side of the equation though and how much compression they choose to use.

Hey, don't knock FMX or Dolby FM, my friend. I hear they may be making a come back! [I was an NAD dealer when the first FMX tuner, the 4300, came to market.]

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-07-2008, 03:20 PM
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I'm not sure I quite understand all of them, like the killing cattle in a parking lot one

Oops, not cattle ...

"More recently, Jacor's Tampa stations were back in the news in February, when WXTB morning man Todd Clem, who has the on-air handle "Bubba the Love Sponge," broadcast the killing of a live boar from the station's parking lot. WXTB posted pictures of the blood-soaked stunt on its Web site. It was the third time in a year that an animal was killed or tortured on-air at a Clear Channel station. "
http://archive.salon.com/ent/feature...el/index3.html

Points taken about ATSC, although I submit that when it works, the improvement is obvious. With HD Radio (at least on FM), usually not so much.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

(1) Anything short of HD Radio codec 64 kbps sounds inferior to a reasonably clean analog FM signal. Show me all the measurements you want, but unless they're measuring artifacts, they are irrelevant. It's the artifacts that ruin it, regardless of the noise floor, separation or frequency response.

I don't know where you've heard HD Radio in 64 kpbs but I can tell you that the stations around here that have the most compression artifacts are playing MP2 files from playout computers. Take a 192 kbps MP2 file, recompress it 48 kbps with AAC and you'll end up with the awful mess that many HD Radio stations are broadcasting.

As I mentioned before, one station went through the trouble of pulling the PCM audio from CDs of almost all of their song library and this improved their audio quality a lot. Unfortunately they still play some songs in 192K MP2 files and you don't need bionic ears to tell which ones they are.

Overall I think 48 kbps sounds somewhat better than FM stereo and that's too bad because FM stereo doesn't sound very good these days.

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It's literally good vs. evil. I'm rooting for good. And good's looking pretty good at the moment.

And what is this good you're looking at? FMXtra? I'll gladly root for anything that sounds better.

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:59 PM
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I don't know where you've heard HD Radio in 64 kpbs

KLOS-FM. Their processing is terrible, but it sounds roughly the same as their analog signal, no worse.


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And what is this good you're looking at? FMXtra? I'll gladly root for anything that sounds better.

I meant good in general. It's always good to throw the wicked witch off the cliff even if you don't have a good witch standing by in reserve.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:50 PM
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KLOS-FM. Their processing is terrible, but it sounds roughly the same as their analog signal, no worse.

What service mode are they using to get 64 kbps? Is it MP5?

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I meant good in general. It's always good to throw the wicked witch off the cliff even if you don't have a good witch standing by in reserve.

But is it a good idea to throw a good witch off a cliff if you don't have a better witch standing by in reserve?

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Old 12-15-2008, 08:22 AM
 
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Keep the Sony. It's the most sensitive/selective consumer FM tuner ever made.

For now. Come 2010 there will be a new top dog.

I say sell the Sony HD tuner and put the money in the bank. Wait 2-3 years and then buy the latest 2010 or 2011 model. That's what I did.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:34 AM
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For now. Come 2010 there will be a new top dog.

I say sell the Sony HD tuner and put the money in the bank. Wait 2-3 years and then buy the latest 2010 or 2011 model. That's what I did.

Didn't you hear the news? There will be an even newer top, top, top dog in 2012. You should hold off for that one.
-------------------------------------------------------------

I wonder when they (US) will turn analog radio transmission off entirely as they are said to be NTSC come February (with some exceptions, perhaps)?

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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Old 12-15-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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Okay. Maybe by that point HD will be dead, and I won't need any upgrade at all! ;-)

But seriously: I see the advantage of upgrading if you have HD stations, but it you don't have any, why bother keeping the radio? Just sell it.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:58 PM
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Even if one is of the mind that digital HD radio is terrible/evil/bad sounding whatever, the reports I've read by reviewers in the field (not forums/blogs mind you, I mean technical reviewers with expensive test bench gear and Faraday cages), is that the Sony XDRF1HD is one of, if not the best analog FM radios (in some/many regards) ever made, at any price (yes, even beating the likes of McIntosh, Marantz, Day Sequerra etc.).

This inability to force analog could be a bitch though but I hear there are mods one can do to fix that.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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