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post #1 of 52 Old 01-31-2011, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Now this isn't the usual rant like what you see on the other boards, so stay with me here.

I live in a mid sized market with 48 defined stations¹. Of the 48 defined stations, 13 of them are "HD Ready". Of those 13, 4 of them have "voluntarily" shut off their HD transmitters, 3 have failed equipment, and the remaining 4 have had their HD and/or HD2 go off and on again a lot lately. In fact, i've given up even trying to listen to one of the HD2s I used to like, because it has been on so infrequently in the last two months, that I just resort to other out of market stations. So if you're keeping total, 27% of the market is in HD, of that 27%, 53% of them are, or have been, permanently off for quite some time (in some cases over a year now), and the remaining have been intermittant.

If HD radio wants to succeed, this market is a poor example of how to do so.
That kind of (very poor) track record is not going to bring in the new ears.
Imagine if someone here got a shiny new HD radio for Christmas? They'd be disappointed in a minute on what is happening. (I won't even begin with the stations who aren't time alligned or the HD processing sucks...)

If we want HD radio to succeed, we need to remember that before you can program it, you need to engineer it. I am NOT slighting any of our local engineers here, for the record, they are way overworked by their corporate offices thanks to cutbacks. I know all of them personally in this market, and know how hard they are getting worked. This is directed at their corporations who are taking a back seat to the technology. I would like to see Ibquity remove the fees they charge the stations, so that the stations could use that money towards the gear to make HD radio. I'd also like to see it become a matter of law that if you have a digital authorization from the FCC, you are mandated to operate your transmitter with respect to the authorization. (i.e. any long term outage, would require an STA). I'd also like to see "incentives" given to help broadcasters impliment HD radio. The #4 station in this market I am in, will never get HD radio under their current ownership, which is sad. I'd also like to see some sort of incentive to launch HD2s. There is NO incentive to do so as of right now, other than what little market support there is. And when there is no incentive to install the technology on the broadcaster side, there is no incentive to do so on the receiver side as well.

Something has to be better than the current state, or else, the road HD radio travels on will be a very short one, and I would hate to see that.

¹ - Market defintion based on a 2002 BIA market study report.

--Mike Fitzpatrick
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post #2 of 52 Old 02-01-2011, 08:02 AM
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Mike..

Sounds just like the early days of digital television. I still remember stations being shut off for months, parts failing and inconsistent switching. Naturally, that all ended with analog shutoff. But as set penetration increased, stations got better even before shutoff.

While radio doesn't benefit from the analog shutoff, they hopefully will benefit from the number of cars with radios coming online. The issue is whether the penetration of those radios will come quickly enough. All it's going to take is for one subchannel on one station to show up in the ratings and then the floodgates will open. Or for more radio companies to figure out that they can syndicate a subchannel through every market they own and monetize that (kind of like what we're doing).

There is hope, but I'm afraid the trickle down is going to take way too long for my tastes. I'm lucky in that I'm in the car city. And part of the HD Radio consortium. We HAVE to keep 'em running just to keep the car makers interested. I'm fully convinced having the "what's this?" factor in new cars is what'll drive the technology. Again, if it doesn't take too long.

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post #3 of 52 Old 02-01-2011, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Time is a big player in this, and it is taking an awfully long time to see the numbers in penetration and listenership. But my point is, it is not helping anything by having it all be so technically inconsistant. If anything, that will hinder the progress of the technology. Which, again, I hate to see it become hindered and would like to see it advance, but it's going to have a hard time unless these are resolved.

You're right in the DTV mandate helping DTV. But I would hate to see an all digital mandate for broadcast radio.

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post #4 of 52 Old 02-20-2011, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Well we are now officially down to one single local HD on the air.

Everyone else local is off. Outside of the Boston stuff, which comes in so/so depending on which tower, and the fringe stuff from New Bedford, our choice is it.

I got tired of waiting for my favorite HD2 to come back on, so I've just switched to a competitor's station out of Boston. I don't plan on going back to that HD2 when it comes back either. And I am a supporter of this technology! Imagine what a average listener must think!! Not good...

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post #5 of 52 Old 02-21-2011, 05:09 AM
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Reminds me of KAKC in Tulsa. They sold off their 100kw FM convinced that FM was never going to catch on. KVOO in Tulsa never put up an FM for the same reason. Found themselves having to pay through the teeth to acquire one years later. Both owners who made those decisions are long gone. I remember KAKC lasted another couple of years while the company that bought the FM just started printing money.

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post #6 of 52 Old 02-22-2011, 12:31 PM
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When I bought my first FM radio in 1973, it was because there was content that was both compelling and not available on the am band. Whenever I listen to HD radio stations, that combination isn't there. If I didn't get a HD band radio for free in my current car, I wouldn't ever buy one. I know that some HD channels have interesting music on, but you advertise "CD" quality sound and clutter the band with talk shows and am similcasts. Not a good way to promote the tech. If people want to push the tech, then fill it with music that takes advantage of that "CD" quality that isn't available on the FM dial. Get rid of talk radio. AM/FM is perfectly fine for that. Music sold FM radios, not talk shows. HD radio needs to do the same thing.
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post #7 of 52 Old 02-22-2011, 12:47 PM
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Which was some 30 years after FM broadcasting began. At the same age, FM was very much in the same boat as HD is today and wouldn't reach anything close to popularity for another two decades. DECADES. The same Catch-22 existed all that time. Nobody had a radio because there was no programming. There was no programming because there were no radios to program TO.

To call the comparison of HD's history to FM's "absurd" only demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the history of radio. OTOH, to even make the comparison honest, one would have to wait another 20 years. Today, as then, some stations in some markets are forging ahead. Today, as then, some owners are abandoning the technology because they don't see a future in it.

The comparison, though early, is quite valid.

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post #8 of 52 Old 02-22-2011, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Which was some 30 years after FM broadcasting began. At the same age, FM was very much in the same boat as HD is today and wouldn't reach anything close to popularity for another two decades. DECADES. The same Catch-22 existed all that time. Nobody had a radio because there was no programming. There was no programming because there were no radios to program TO.

To call the comparison of HD's history to FM's "absurd" only demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the history of radio. OTOH, to even make the comparison honest, one would have to wait another 20 years. Today, as then, some stations in some markets are forging ahead. Today, as then, some owners are abandoning the technology because they don't see a future in it.

The comparison, though early, is quite valid.

I do know my history, but things move a whole lot faster nowadays then they did 40, 50, 60 years ago. At that time radio didn't have much competition. 4 and 8 Track tape players was about it for you car. FM took longer to develop an audience because it could. Today, there is quite a bit more competition. From built-in HDD's to ipod docks to Satellite radio to WiFi radio. HD Radio doesn't have the luxury that FM had. HD radio needs to get it's act together a whole lot faster or else people will continue not to care. You need to have content first. Otherwise, why would any consumer buy the product? Just because it might become successful down the road?

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Originally Posted by Radioguroo View Post

Well, it's not really "free", as the costs of installing HD radios are hidden in the overall costs of the cars. HD Radio is usually a $350 - $500 option. Have you filed any complaints with your dealership, yet?

Well for me it was an already installed option that the salesman didn't charge me for.
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post #9 of 52 Old 02-22-2011, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

HD Radio doesn't have the luxury that FM had. HD radio needs to get it's act together a whole lot faster or else people will continue not to care. You need to have content first. Otherwise, why would any consumer buy the product? Just because it might become successful down the road?

Right you are. I think the original purpose was to deliver better sound quality, in which case existing programming would be all that was there. The whole subchannel idea came about later, once some of us argued that "cd-quality sound" doesn't matter when competing with road noise. Heck, we've got songs dubbed in mono that nobody's noticed.

But I digress.

You're right, time is of the essence. And I do worry that broadcasters will piddle around and miss an opportunity. It's going to take the same kind of "lets try this" attitude that finally got FM off the ground (if you'll pardon me another comparison).

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post #10 of 52 Old 02-22-2011, 04:02 PM
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When I grew up the FM stations that we might have listened to were just simulcasting the AM stations we were already listening to so there was no reason for this FM to exist as far as we cared especially since reception wasn't as good as AM in the car. I think the FCC eventually banned AM/FM simulcasting for a while.

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post #11 of 52 Old 02-22-2011, 10:23 PM
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I'm in market #16, they try and keep the HD Radio lights on around here. Not sure why, but they do. For a while the local CBS cluster shut them down to conserve the gushing cash problem. Cut where you can, when you can. They've since turned the HD's back on, but with problems.

As W1KNE knows (since he's a fellow broadcast engineer type), they're all first gen installations with TONS of problems. Failed importers/exporters, bad exciters, improperly installed audio processing, etc. The Clear Channel folk have it mostly figured out except a few things (they flipped one signal to the MP3 mode to test 4(!!) HD carriers, you can imagine what that did to the analog signal).

With that, some of the stations have taken advantage in the power increase the FCC allowed last year. MPR being one of them doing a full -10dBc on their flagship. Signal gets out there quite well (70ish miles before i lose HD lock and blend back to analog). This of course means they got new gear too, since first gen TX's didn't really allow for that kind of overhead.

That being said however, HD adoption here is spotty at best. Latest "poll results" from Arbitron suggest that the HD penetration in the market is around 2%. In other words, HD Radio is a solution waiting for a problem. I'm sure "someone" *coughibquitycough* will figure out how to have the feds force it upon us, citing something silly like "bandwidth conservation" or other nonsense they'd sign on to.

But, much like AM Stereo or Quad sound, HD looks to be stillborn. Great idea, piss poor implementation. I guess i'll add my tuners into the pile with the AM Stereo tuner, Laserdisc player, and BetaMax player.

Even my TX vendor is telling me to hold out as long as i can, they're not even sure it's going to survive.

As for the subchannels being an afterthought, yes and no. They were there from day one, as the "digital" SCA answer. It then dawned on them that it's not horribly low quality, and they can put music there instead of blind newspaper services. They also found out that instead of 1 station, they instantly had 3 (if you own an FM signal that is), and the GM and beancounters eyes lit up, 3x the revenue!... or so they thought.

I'm not entirely sold on it quite yet. HD might get a second wind down the road, but until iBiquity stops the "royalty" game with it, nobody's rushing out to buy one. As some have pointed out, giving them away seems like a good idea right about now.
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post #12 of 52 Old 02-23-2011, 10:43 AM
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How long did it take before FM royalties stopped?

HD Radio has two advantages that I see. First it's the best quality audio you can receive over the air (or at least it can be). If people suddenly start caring about that like they did with FM radio, HD Radio will already be in place to take advantage of it.

Second, it's the most reliable method of digital broadcasting today. Every kind of data redundancy and error recovery you can think of is incorporated in the protocol. DAB+ is an improvement over the original DAB which hardly had any error recovery but it still doesn't have the temporal redundancy that HD Radio has. If digital broadcasting is the future then it is the best way to do it at this point.

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post #13 of 52 Old 02-27-2011, 06:24 PM
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I wonder if ANY type of one way media broadcasting will be successful anymore compared to the past. TV and Radio have a whole lot of competition along with the younger generations not caring about "appointment entertainment" or broadcast media in general. The days of using the airwaves for one type of programming (TV, Radio,etc) is numbered as the media companies themselves will see the that the spectrum could be better used for two way content. That is a ways off but inevitable,look at how the consumption of content is heading now; on demand, portable, and personalized.

HD radio IMO was a response to Satellite radio and the need for something to stem the tide of mp3 players in the car. They should have aggressively put out the product for a reasonable price,or even free,flooding the market with the radios.Even then I still think HD Radio is a lost cause for the coming generations,they don't care about sound quality(as evidenced by low bit-rate mp3's) and right now I can stream to my phone music services and plug that into my car.
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post #14 of 52 Old 02-28-2011, 12:35 AM
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Everybody isn't going to fork over $70 per month (I assume plus federal excise tax, 911 tax, interstate access charge, telecommunications devices for the deaf and disabled, number portability charge, state regulatory fee, and whatever other miscellaneous taxes there are) for "unlimited talk, text, and web" that really isn't unlimited since there are bandwidth caps with huge overage charges in order to access on demand music, movies, and tv shows on their cell phone! And pay for home internet and cable tv (and possibly land line phone also). We are talking big bucks here! Not everybody can afford the brave new world of pay high tech. WE NEED TO HAVE SOME FREE SERVICES AVAILABLE!!! Cell phones and the internet can't be allowed to be the only freaking media in existence!

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #15 of 52 Old 02-28-2011, 06:47 AM
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HD Radio sounds fairly good in my area. The local PBS station plays nice classical music during the day, and jazz at night. It sounds markedly better to me than analog FM, but is not quite up to par with original source material (e.g., Redbook CD).
Still, for free, it's not bad, at all. I have choices here; I can tune in basically XM/Sirius through my DirecTV link - that doesn't sound quite as good as HDR, imo. Also, having the local station on provides some occasional local weather or news info that's welcome here.
The local classic rock station sounds a little better before the HD "kicks in" on my Sony, which tells me they're overcompressing their main feed. I may mod the Sony for analog-override. This points up the main problem for this HD Radio format, in my view: the stations are using it to add extra channels, instead of sending out a more robust "main channel." Quantity over quality.
Until we all get Bill Gates' optical pipeline to our homes (never happen here in the boonies), we will continue to find quality sacrificed on the guillotine of "lowest common denominator" bandwidth. And since most people can't hear the difference...

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post #16 of 52 Old 02-28-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnosys View Post

The local classic rock station sounds a little better before the HD "kicks in" on my Sony, which tells me they're overcompressing their main feed. I may mod the Sony for analog-override. This points up the main problem for this HD Radio format, in my view: the stations are using it to add extra channels, instead of sending out a more robust "main channel." Quantity over quality.

It's possible that the station doesn't have their encoder set right. They have a few preset "dummy" modes that are supposed to emulate certain audio styles popular for analog FM stations and some sound terrible. The worst one which is supposed to emulate a "typical" FM rock format station has all the highs cut off, and the levels are so compressed that it sounds more like an AM radio station.

Years ago some local stations were using the presets and not realizing how much better they could make their HD Radio stations sound with a little tuning. HD Radio was not a priority yet so they had taken the easiest route. There is still one classic rock station that sounds terrible but their analog signal sounds just as bad. They're also notorious for using the outdated trick of speeding up all songs.

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post #17 of 52 Old 02-28-2011, 06:35 PM
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im hoping to get a new hd car cd receiver soon and i hope that the tampa, FL area
has a lot of radio stations that broadcast in hd format.

im also getting a new home theater receiver thats supposed to have built in hd raido tuner so hoping the same with that.

anyone know of a site that lists what stations broadcast in hd for each city/area in the u.s.?

thanks a lot
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post #18 of 52 Old 03-01-2011, 02:50 AM
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Www.hdradio.com

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post #19 of 52 Old 03-01-2011, 08:47 PM
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That list is at least 2 years old....and outdated.
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post #20 of 52 Old 03-04-2011, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSSINFLORIDA View Post

im hoping to get a new hd car cd receiver soon and i hope that the tampa, FL area
has a lot of radio stations that broadcast in hd format.

im also getting a new home theater receiver thats supposed to have built in hd raido tuner so hoping the same with that.

anyone know of a site that lists what stations broadcast in hd for each city/area in the u.s.?

thanks a lot

My family lives in Tampa and my father recently purchased a Sony Desk Top HD radio. He listens to WLLD's HD 3 channel which is a rebroadcast of WFAN from NYC. Where the internet feed from WFAN doesn't include local sports broadcasts due to rights, the OTA broadcast is identical to what we hear in NYC. Now my father can listen to ever Mets game that is being broadcast over WFAN. Even his cable TV sports package doesn't include every Mets game. He lives about 30 minutes north of downtown Tampa and WLLD broadcasts south east of the city between Tampa and Sarasota. That would mean that the stations is probably close to 50 miles from his house and yet he is able to get solid reception using the included stub antenna, as opposed to the larger dipole antenna. There's lots of HD activity in Tampa, both on AM & FM.
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post #21 of 52 Old 03-04-2011, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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So one of the local stations HD went off due to transmitter problems. Theyve been off for a couple of weeks. (It's not high on the priority list). Since it has been off, they have received 0 calls about it. When they had another station's HD go off last year , for tower work, again, 0 calls. They had a staff meeting regarding the HD signal and due to the lack of listenership on it, it's really been thrown on the back burner. Now I know there is the argument about it being in it's infancy, but it's not. HD radio has been on the market, in fairly heavy penetration since 2005, 6 years ago. To make the comparison to DTV, we signed on our digital transmitter in 1999. In 2005, if it had a failure for whatever reason, the switchboard would light up.

So what is it going to take? Here are my thoughts on how it can succeed.
• Reduce or eliminate the "fees", so broadcasters with less money can install the gear within their budget.
• Make it mandatory on all car radios. No "high end only" like many are doing now. All of them.
• Do promotional tools to make listeners want to hear the HD2 (give away tickets to concerts, prizes, etc. exclusive on the HD2). Do an "HD2" weekend. Flip your primary station's format on a weekend to the format of the HD2, and promote that "if you want to hear more of this, use an HD radio..."
• Create a better online database of HD radio stations. HD Radio's website is so woefully inaccurate that people are being mislead as to who is or isn't.
• Engineer HD better. Use the tools and powers to make it sound great, and jump out at you. Make sure it is PERFECTLY TIME ALIGNED at all times. Nothing I hate more than a station who's HD is off, especially when its like half a second or so.

When we see these things happen, then the technology can be something. Otherwise, it's going to continue to chug along like a stale technology and go the route of AM stereo and quadraphonic sound.

--Mike Fitzpatrick
Broadcast Engineer

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post #22 of 52 Old 03-04-2011, 02:59 PM
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Like anything, you have to give your listeners something they'll want. It could be an HD-2 that isn't a carbon copy of another station in town. It could be exceptional audio like our local classical station here. It could even be correct song titles on people's HD radios. You can't just say "HD Radio" and expect listeners to tune in.

When stations don't care about how their HD stations sound, put generic formats on the HD-2's and don't care if the song titles display or not then they shouldn't expect anyone to care when their station goes down.

I'm constantly bugging the local Entercom guy about titles not displaying on his stations. Apparently almost anything that happens on any of three PCs can cause them to break and he has to reboot and reset stuff to get them going again.

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post #23 of 52 Old 03-04-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W1KNE View Post
...

So what is it going to take? Here are my thoughts on how it can succeed.
• Reduce or eliminate the "fees", so broadcasters with less money can install the gear within their budget.
• Make it mandatory on all car radios. No "high end only" like many are doing now. All of them.
• Do promotional tools to make listeners want to hear the HD2 (give away tickets to concerts, prizes, etc. exclusive on the HD2). Do an "HD2" weekend. Flip your primary station's format on a weekend to the format of the HD2, and promote that "if you want to hear more of this, use an HD radio..."
• Create a better online database of HD radio stations. HD Radio's website is so woefully inaccurate that people are being mislead as to who is or isn't.
• Engineer HD better. Use the tools and powers to make it sound great, and jump out at you. Make sure it is PERFECTLY TIME ALIGNED at all times. Nothing I hate more than a station who's HD is off, especially when its like half a second or so.

When we see these things happen, then the technology can be something. Otherwise, it's going to continue to chug along like a stale technology and go the route of AM stereo and quadraphonic sound.
Let me throw in my 2 cents (long ago engineering director at a small FM station)...I have an HD Radio (sony) in the house. It is near the still-working LaserDisc player.

It hardly gets used.

First of all FM has become irrelevent to us because of satellite radio. XM is in the house and each car. The sound quality is horrible on XM but the programming is so much better than the local FM and much of that has to do with the variety available. So for me, having HD radio provide a better quality FM doesn't really solve the main problem.

However, I care about audio quality - my new vehicle will have a DVD-Audio player in it and we have a good sized DVD-Audio / SACD collection for the house. So HD gets a bonus point or two here.

However, there are so many people who now listen to MP3s at incredibly low quality that I can't see how just having better audio quality will matter. So, that brings us to the multicasting.

The subchannels are great but I don't know what is on in this market. Any list I've seen is already obsolete by the time I find it. On XM, I have a fairly good idea of what type of music I'll be able to hear. And, of course, there are those commercials (which in exchange for not having to listen to them, I instead pay a yearly fee to XM).

If HD was to survive (and I don't think it will), the following would be required (IMHO):

1) HD radio is a replacement for FM, not an addition to FM (or AM). FCC must phase out analog broadcasts and replace only with digital. This would force user acceptance as well as getting those little stations to upgrade.

2) Reduce fees to levels that are equivalent to the percentage of revenue that HDTV broadcasters are charged. The increased number of HD stations would make up for the loss.

3) If high quality audio is a goal, then don't go half-way. Let's move to a 5.1-channel standard but still CD quality. Maybe that would also reinvigorate the surround sound music industry, which has become a niche, as well. Bottom line is to give the consumer something they can't get with analog.

4) Along those lines - make a nationally maintained list of subchannels a responsibility of the FCC. This database is then open to the public as a way of finding out what is available on HD. Again, show the consumer the things that HD radio can provide that they don't have already.

And, that's the biggest problem...HD radio doesn't provide anything right now that the average consumer doesn't already have that they actually want (or can't get somewhere else).

HD Radio = AM Stereo for the 2010s

Finally, I had a salesman try to sell me on HD Radio for an auto. He just kept saying "it's digital" but could really provide nothing more concrete than that as to why I would want it. Of course since it was built-into the car's stereo it really would have been a "throw-in" but, by itself, not worth any price.

The worse thing is I see the HD Radio nearly every day and almost never have a want/desire to see what's on it.
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post #24 of 52 Old 03-07-2011, 10:50 AM
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In a few cases HD Radio isn't just better quality. It's the difference between acceptable quality and unacceptable quality. I can't listen to analog FM at work for most stations because they're a crunchy mess but their HD Radio stations sound fine once digital fades in. When I run around town with my Insignia, analog FM will fade in some areas and will get interference from trucks and other obstacles while HD Radio reception has been flawless on all of the powerful (100 kW) stations. I feel like I'm running around with an MP3 player instead of a radio.

There are three major problems with doing 5.1 broadcasting with HD Radio.

1. It only works in full digital broadcasting modes so the station would have to discontinue its analog broadcasting completely.

2. There are no HD Radio receivers that will decode 5.1 audio yet so the station would have no audience.

3. There is not a lot of 5.1 source material. Stations would be tempted to "emulate" 5.1 sound with reverb or other trickery which is the audio equivalent of stretching a 4:3 screen to 16:9.

Other than that, I see no problem with 5.1 audio broadcasting.

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post #25 of 52 Old 03-08-2011, 12:43 AM
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im just now using it and your rant is valid

im in tampa FL area

i dont understand why the stations that have more than 1 hd channel
dont show the artist and song title for their 2nd and 3rd hd channels.
why is it only on their 1st hd channel?
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post #26 of 52 Old 03-08-2011, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSSINFLORIDA View Post

im just now using it and your rant is valid

im in tampa FL area

i dont understand why the stations that have more than 1 hd channel
dont show the artist and song title for their 2nd and 3rd hd channels.
why is it only on their 1st hd channel?

Did you call them and ask? Is it every single station in Tampa? You make it sound as if it is. I know ours sticks on occasion. When someone calls or texts, we go back and fix it. But we're a live station. Stations that are voicetracked from some other city might not have the luxury of having someone to take the call and reset the computer.

What did engineering say when you called them?

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post #27 of 52 Old 03-08-2011, 09:16 AM
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I've learned from the many times I've emailed the local Entercom engineer that it's a miracle the titles work at all. It relies on two PC's working together correctly. If one crashes or the network between them is broken or the software locks up, they have to reset everything. Since it's usually a PC that sits in a corner, it's often forgotten when they do something like reconfigure their network.

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post #28 of 52 Old 03-08-2011, 10:46 AM
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Yeah. You figure none of this existed when most radio station audio programs were being drawn up. And you have one software package that schedules the music, a completely different one that schedules the other elements and those two have to dance properly inside a third that wasn't designed to work with either of them. Then that data has to get from there to that "computer in a corner" (which is an excellent reference, by the way) which has to feed two completely different encoding systems (for the main). It's all right up there with the PSIP generators DTV deals with. Computer in a corner.

And, starting soon, that computer will not only have to grab the right data, but it'll have to reach out on the internet to dig up album art and other things we throw at it. Can't wait to see how THAT turns out.

I know this won't help in Tampa, but we're getting a LOT of software upgrades that should minimize those kinds of glitches and greatly add to the content we can push. Wish us luck.

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post #29 of 52 Old 03-09-2011, 05:44 PM
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I agree with an earlier poster that HDRadio is the AM-Stereo of the early 2000s.

I tried HDRadio in my car for about 2 years and overall it was crap. Constantly switching between digital and analog. Sometimes it was lined up. Sometimes it wasn't.

Through dumb luck I actually got a radio in my home with HDRadio built in and in that particular situation (where the antenna is stable) HDRadio works really well. That's not how most people listen, though. Most folks listen on their way to work and on their way back. In my situation (I work at home) I enjoy it for the AM Talk Radio simulcasts on the sub channels.

I think there are two main problems for HDRadio:
1) No one really knows about it. It's approaching 10 years now and if you were to go into a mall and ask a random person what HDRadio was they'd either look at you dumbfounded or they'd try to think about what they think it is ("Isn't that satellite radio?")
2) It's not worth paying for. No, I know people who read this would generally think things like, "but I can get Jazz and it really sounds great!" That's awesome. Your average person isn't asking for it at the dealership, nor are they asking for it when they get an after market stereo. The auto factories (generally) aren't putting them in their cars. The after market manufacturers (generally) aren't putting them in their stereos - you almost always have to buy an external tuner which is an extra cost and cumbersome. In order for HDRadio to take off it needs to be as ubiquitous as FM. You never get into a car and get an AM-only radio. If you did your first thought would be: WTF is this? That being said, you never think that FM won't be available in any car stereo you deal with. It's never a question that would even come up. HDRadio, if it were (and I use that past-tense on purpose) to succeed, would need to be like that. Every car you buy, every radio you buy, etc. would need to include it standard. No external tuners. No upgrades to get HDRadio. No one is going to give the dealership a few hundred extra to get the HDRadio version of the factory stereo. I think you'd have a hard time passing it off at $10.

Anyway - they had their go with HDRadio and it's really been a huge failure.
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post #30 of 52 Old 03-10-2011, 09:01 PM
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Cable systems should carry local (or for HDless markets like Bakersfield they could import out of market stations) HD radio stations including subchannels on digital tv channels. Clear QAM of course, no encryption. Then everybody with either a cable box or a clear QAM tv could hear HD radio without having to buy a new radio. Some people would even rent an extra cable box to connect to their stereo system in order to get bette rsound than is possible from a tv's speakers.

Co-owned tv and radio stations could simulcast HD radio on subchannels of their tv signals. If Clear Channel hadn't gotten out of the tv business then they could have done this on a massive scale.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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