Why are there no decent affordable HD Radios? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
someperson42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Seriously, it has been years since HD Radio came out. Why are there seemingly only TWO affordable HD Radio tuners out there?

The two tuners I refer to are the Insignia models, the NS-HD01 and NS-HD02, the former of which I own and extensively use. Despite my frequent use of the HD01, it is hardly a perfect device, and has many issues. From what I have read, the HD02 is no better.

Issues I have with the NS-HD01:
1. Limit of 10 presets
2. Inability to set HD-only subchannels as presets.
3. Very sensitive tuner -- small movements can make or break the signal.
4. Signal strength seems to be extremely weak compared to my other radios.
5. It doesn't work with TRRS earphones -- I use a cheap and small TRS splitter to overcome this limitation, but I shouldn't need to.
6. Battery isn't great.
7. No AM support.

As a portable device, the signal issues (which cause several major stations to have poor reception even in analog) are not surprising, but most of the other problems are really inexcusable.

Unlike some markets I have read about, all the major stations here have their HD Radio transmitters up and running all the time, and several HD2 stations are actually worth listening to, namely a dance/trance station, a classical station otherwise only available on a very weak analog FM, and 2 smooth jazz stations. I don't ever have issues with the analog being out-of-sync with the HD either.

I was looking online today for a home/tabletop model to replace the NS-HD01 at home that was affordable, but it appears that such a device doesn't exist. WHY IS THIS?! How can anybody expect HD Radio to catch on when the only affordable devices to receive it are problematic portable devices? Why are the major manufacturers restricting HD to high-end devices out of the budget of most consumers? The aforementioned dance/trance station repeatedly asks you to "tell your friends to get an HD radio," but how can I do this when there are no decent models available for an affordable price?

This really makes no sense at all to me, and it leaves me with the NS-HD01 as my only viable option for listening to HD Radio. Can somebody please enlighten me as to why this is the way it is?
someperson42 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 01:12 AM
Super Moderator
 
DrDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 12,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 217
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Insignia...&skuId=1800151

The handle folds down to make it a very nice table radio. CD Player included and, from my experience, a very good HD tuner.

And we're STILL in the early-adopter phase. So, what few products that are out there are going to be expensive. If and when it hits mainstream, the price will come down. Same as was with CD players when they first came out, HDTVs for a decade after broadcasting began, Blu-Ray and so forth. Given there's no federal mandate for digital switchover, it's going to take radio longer. Once the HDs start showing up in ratings (and with more and more cars coming out equipped with HD, that'll happen, though not tomorrow), stations will start promoting more, drawing in more HD listeners, increasing demand for radios, which will ramp up production which will drop prices.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
DrDon is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 06:21 AM
Member
 
Blackburst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
someperson42...you make an excellent point about the availability of HD Radios.

They seem to be concentrating a lot on car units. But, they need to keep up with home units as well. Most people don't live in their cars. Nor spend their entire work day in a car. Home and Office units need to be concentrated on as well.

As the previous post indicates, the Insignia Boombox is available. You might also try ebay. Do a search with these words, HD Radio Iluv. I have seen several units on sale. Once in a while, goto amazon.com and look into the Teac HD-1. This unit sometimes shows up as a refurb.
Blackburst is offline  
post #4 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
someperson42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Insignia...&skuId=1800151

The handle folds down to make it a very nice table radio. CD Player included and, from my experience, a very good HD tuner.

Thanks for letting me know about this. I somehow missed it in my (admittedly brief) research. Although it looks like it would work for me, the iPod dock would be completely useless to an Android user like myself, the CD player would be never be used as I do not have CDs, it is larger than what I was hoping for, and it is more than I really want to pay. I will be looking out for it on Amazon and eBay though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackburst View Post

They seem to be concentrating a lot on car units. But, they need to keep up with home units as well. Most people don't live in their cars. Nor spend their entire work day in a car. Home and Office units need to be concentrated on as well.

I can see why they're concentrating on car units (that is probably where most people actually listen to the radio these days), but that doesn't target everybody. As an 18-year-old with no car, a car unit doesn't help me, and my parents have never even heard of HD Radio. Also, even if I had a car, I would still like to be able to listen at home.

Ideally, what I would like is a small, cheap unit that only does HD Radio that I could plug into amplified computer speakers. Coby makes (or made?) such a unit, but it has what appears to be a thin, cheap wire as an FM antenna, and I've read that the power supply interferes with AM radio.
someperson42 is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 01:04 PM
Super Moderator
 
DrDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 12,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by someperson42 View Post

Thanks for letting me know about this. I somehow missed it in my (admittedly brief) research. Although it looks like it would work for me, the iPod dock would be completely useless to an Android user like myself,

I have a windows phone. But sitting on the table with no phone in it you'd have to TELL someone it's a phone dock. And I'm not sure just how large you think this is. It's similar to or smaller to just about any ordinary "table radio" on the market. I was kind of surprised when I got it out of the box. I thought, "THIS is a boom box?? Hardly."

The price point for what it is and the quality is a very good value. My BA was $200. My first Visteon was $125. In the world of HD radios, it's a very good price point.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
DrDon is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 02:47 PM
Member
 
Blackburst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
As the Dr. indicates, that Boombox isn't really big. I picked one up as a gift this summer. It can function as a home unit.

One thing I thought of doing as a project was buying one of the new HD Radio car units, and build a home unit with it. Since I know little to nothing about doing such a thing, I'm in the process of looking at the bits and pieces.
Blackburst is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 11-01-2011, 08:17 AM
Member
 
jaddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The force that would drive low cost HD radios would be mass adoption. The force that would drive mass adoption would be the end of analog radio, just like the end of analog TV drove DTV adoption. Problem is, in the total cost of a TV, the tuner is minimal, so a converter box for DTV is a practical reality. But in radio, the tuner is most of the radio, so an HD converter would be unrealistic, ungainly for both home and car, and just a bit ridiculous for portables. We're also stuck with analog radio because it's the 'fall-back' in the digital system. When the digits go to pot, the HD radio reverts to analog reception. Because of the time delay in HD radio, all broadcasters have had to delay their analog audio so when radios fall-back to analog, the program content matches.

So, until the demand goes up, or time marches forward and the cost of HD radio chips (oh, and the license you need to pay for to even make an HD radio....sheesh!) goes down, we're in the 'early adoption' phase, perhaps for quite a while yet.
jaddie is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 11-06-2011, 06:27 PM
AVS Special Member
 
gnosys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Appalachian Mountains of VA, USA
Posts: 1,173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have two of the nice Sony's and two of the Insignia HDTUNE receivers. The Sony's have a world class receiver, but, unfortunately, a ****** DAC, and no digital outs. The HDTUNE's have ****** receivers, but, fortunately, digital outs. Put a decent antenna on em, and plug 'em into a decent DAC, and you're in business...

Sony SXRD 50 inch - Eschew Obfuscation
gnosys is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 11-16-2011, 05:12 AM
Member
 
Blackburst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I just spotted it today, The Insignia HD Radio Boombox is on sale over at BB for $80

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Insignia...&skuId=1800151
Blackburst is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 11-16-2011, 05:17 AM
Super Moderator
 
DrDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 12,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 217
That was the store's price when I got mine last month.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
DrDon is offline  
post #11 of 20 Old 12-17-2011, 01:03 PM
Advanced Member
 
Jim1348's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Does the Best Buy HD radio have an external antenna jack?
Jim1348 is offline  
post #12 of 20 Old 12-17-2011, 02:01 PM
Super Moderator
 
DrDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 12,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post

Does the Best Buy HD radio have an external antenna jack?

The component tuner does. The boom-box does not, though I'm gonna put one on it once the warranty expires. Maybe. It's an upstairs bedroom, now, and picks up stations from Sarnia to Lansing (analog) and all the Detroit HDs.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
DrDon is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old 01-24-2012, 11:19 AM
Member
 
Blackburst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Just spotted this HD Radio on clearance.
Audiovox AR ART7 Tabletop HD Radio with iPod Docking Station

http://store.audiovox.com/webapp/wcs...t_category_rn=

Also, new HD Radios announced.

http://radiomagonline.com/digital_ra...eceivers_0124/

This should all help.
Blackburst is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 01-25-2012, 12:06 PM
Advanced Member
 
goobenet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
No, it won't. It's junk brands. People like Pioneer, Sony, Onkyo, Yamaha, etc need to get HD into their "budget" receivers before you see any home adoption. Tabletop radios are good for being ignored in kitchens and dens. Put an iPod dock on them, they will rarely use the radio portion anyways.

They focus on car radios simply because in radio, that's their highest listenership. Drive time. More people do in fact "live" in their cars than you might think. 20-40 minute commutes twice a day aren't uncommon in metro areas. Perfect chance to get your "captive audience". Radio in the home is usually used when you're cleaning, taking a shower, etc, multitasking events, in cars though, you really have no other thing besides driving to do.

It's all psychology.
goobenet is offline  
post #15 of 20 Old 01-25-2012, 09:42 PM
AVS Special Member
 
oztech's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 7,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 93
Mfg's should pay attention to the fact zone 2 or 3 on a lot of new receivers is used for FM either around an outside patio or pool at least thats what I see installing said gear
so FM does get home use just not as much in the family room.
oztech is online now  
post #16 of 20 Old 09-10-2012, 11:52 AM
Newbie
 
Parker51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Check out a new, FM radio-only, table top model by Insignia, just released (Summer 2012), and for only $49.99.

Go to http://www.bestbuy.com and look up either Model "NS-HDRAD" or SKU "4635744".

It improves on the Insignia armband radios by adding more presets (20 total), and being "just" a basic radio with a built-in speaker and whip antenna, without additional features like a CD player or iPod dock to increase the size and price, like the $99 Insignia table model has.

Works with either an A/C adapter or 4 AA batteries.

If you find a local store that has one in-stock, bring the printout from the web site, as they might not be able to easily find it, and might have only one or two in stock, as I found out.

Most on-line reviews appear to be favorable.
Parker51 is offline  
post #17 of 20 Old 10-06-2012, 02:07 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ChrisPC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I had read about this same tabletop model on another forum. Last week, it was on sale for $37.99 with free shipping. I've been wanting to check out HD Radio, and was needing to replace an old analog radio that I've used for years. I ordered it from the BB website.

I received the radio a couple days later, put batteries in, and easily got all my HD locals. Even the analog stations come in clearer than my old radio. The audio is good for such small speakers, and I hear a real difference between analog and digital, especially with headphones.

This is a great radio for the price; the only drawback is no AM band. However, I only have two AM HD locals, and one has a repeater on FM HD. The digital simulcast obviously blows away the analog AM. I'm so pleased with HD, I just ordered a Pioneer with HD Radio for my car.
egnlsn likes this.
ChrisPC is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 12-19-2012, 08:20 PM
Member
 
Muralireddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by someperson42 View Post

Seriously, it has been years since HD Radio came out. Why are there seemingly only TWO affordable HD Radio tuners out there?


The two tuners I refer to are the Insignia models, the NS-HD01 and NS-HD02, the former of which I own and extensively use. Despite my frequent use of the HD01, it is hardly a perfect device, and has many issues. From what I have read, the HD02 is no better.


Issues I have with the NS-HD01:

1. Limit of 10 presets

2. Inability to set HD-only subchannels as presets.

3. Very sensitive tuner -- small movements can make or break the signal.

4. Signal strength seems to be extremely weak compared to my other radios.

5. It doesn't work with TRRS earphones -- I use a cheap and small TRS splitter to overcome this limitation, but I shouldn't need to.

6. Battery isn't great.

7. No AM support.


As a portable device, the signal issues (which cause several major stations to have poor reception even in analog) are not surprising, but most of the other problems are really inexcusable.


Unlike some markets I have read about, all the major stations here have their HD Radio transmitters up and running all the time, and several HD2 stations are actually worth listening to, namely a dance/trance station, a classical station otherwise only available on a very weak analog FM, and 2 smooth jazz stations. I don't ever have issues with the analog being out-of-sync with the HD either.


I was looking online today for a home/tabletop model to replace the NS-HD01 at home that was affordable, but it appears that such a device doesn't exist. WHY IS THIS?! How can anybody expect HD Radio to catch on when the only affordable devices to receive it are problematic portable devices? Why are the major manufacturers restricting HD to high-end devices out of the budget of most consumers? The aforementioned dance/trance station repeatedly asks you to "tell your friends to get an HD radio," but how can I do this when there are no decent models available for an affordable price?


This really makes no sense at all to me, and it leaves me with the NS-HD01 as my only viable option for listening to HD Radio. Can somebody please enlighten me as to why this is the way it is?

What happened to Sangean HDt 1x with optical out put? New Denon 4520 does not have one !! Looking for a HD Tuner with optical out put. Day sequerra is very expensive. Any thoughts
Muralireddy is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 06:52 AM
Advanced Member
 
Jim1348's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Despite the fact that the Insignia HD Tabletop Radio http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1&_dynSessConf=&id=pcat17071&type=page&sc=Global&cp=1&nrp=15&sp=&qp=&list=n&iht=y&usc=All+Categories&ks=960&st=4635744 doesn't have an F connector, I might buy one of these when it goes on sale again. By any chance, does anybody happen to know of a way to get emailed when this goes on sale? Is there any sort of tools at BestBuy.com or anywhere else that does that sort of notification?
Jim1348 is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 07:49 AM
Super Moderator
 
DrDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 12,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post

Despite the fact that the Insignia HD Tabletop Radio http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1&_dynSessConf=&id=pcat17071&type=page&sc=Global&cp=1&nrp=15&sp=&qp=&list=n&iht=y&usc=All+Categories&ks=960&st=4635744 doesn't have an F connector, I might buy one of these when it goes on sale again. By any chance, does anybody happen to know of a way to get emailed when this goes on sale? Is there any sort of tools at BestBuy.com or anywhere else that does that sort of notification?
Try Nextag? I use it for BD blanks, mostly. When it finds one at the price I set, it sends an alert.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
DrDon is offline  
Reply HD Radio

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off