Most Americans Still Unfamiliar with HD Radio - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 47 Old 02-20-2012, 10:49 PM
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I have also heard more mediocre AM HD signals than high-quality ones, but the fix is to, um, fix the bad ones, not kill the entire system.

I really wish all-digital stations would get on the air soon, AM and/or FM.

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post #32 of 47 Old 02-23-2012, 01:03 PM
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A few years back when it was impossible to avoid HD radio ads I checked every store I regularly shop at trying to find an HD radio to try out. I managed to find one radio at a Fry's Electronics, powered it on, switched to HD... and couldn't tune in a single station. I'm not about to waste money on something I can't test first.

It's been over 3 years since then and I still can't find a single HD radio at any of the stores I shop at. There may be some high-end home theater systems with it but i'm talking about clock radios and such. Even worse is the lack of a portable player. Ideally, I want a portable player I can plug headphones into when at home and connect to the AUX-IN on the front of my car radio.
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post #33 of 47 Old 02-24-2012, 05:21 AM
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I have recently asked people about it and most have answered yes i had heard of it but that's about all!!
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post #34 of 47 Old 02-24-2012, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjarvi View Post

Even worse is the lack of a portable player. Ideally, I want a portable player I can plug headphones into when at home and connect to the AUX-IN on the front of my car radio.

I've run marathons wearing an Insignia HD Radio. I've been unable to get the stronger stations to drop out anywhere. Two local stations have HD-2 channels that are perfect for running. It has entirely exceeded my expectations. It was the first palm-sized HD Radio I had ever seen and I expected a lot of bugs.

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post #35 of 47 Old 03-15-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

My main point is, if HD radio wants to become mainstream, it needs to get it's act together. Put out more entertainment options. Get rid of simulcasts and for gods sake let people know that you have stuff they want to listen to. I remember FM rock stations in the 70's putting up huge billboards when less than 50% of car radios had FM band receivers in them. Radio stations have the opportunity to get really creative with these extra bands and are, IMO, blowing it. That was what did it for FM and it can work for HD too. Otherwise, someone, someday is going to put something like Pandora standard on car radios and the whole industry will blow up.

I remember the switch when I was a kid. WDLP 590 (Panama City, FL) was the popular station for music and then WPFM came up and did a ton of advertising, played great music, and became the new hit station. You -wanted- to get FM Stereo so you could listen to the better music selection at better quality.

That's not happening with HD. HD1 is still the normal FM station (just slightly better quality to most folks so it's nothing to go out and buy) and the HD2/3 sub channels are either simulcasts of AM Talk channels (which I personally like as AM is near useless indoors) or it's some after-thought programming like: "Oh, we'll stick some jazz on there or put some alternate rock rotation on there"

There's no real push to make you want to go to the HD2/HD3 stations unless you're looking for a better sounding AM simulcast which is not going to get people to buy HDRadios.
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post #36 of 47 Old 03-15-2012, 08:37 PM
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No one has hit on the major issue that I feel is a major killer for HD Radio - coverage. You really can't listen to an HD2 on MOST stations for any amount of time in the car. There are a few with good coverage, but not many. 99% of people aren't going to listen to something that drops out every few seconds. I am between two HD-radio-filled cities and close enough to a third that a couple stations cut to HD a little. Only 1 HD2 is listenable in the car, the others drop all the time, which is a shame because a bunch of them are actually excellent stations. 1 is oldies, 1 is an AAA-style, 1 is an okay alternative station, and there are 2 classic country ones that aren't bad. If you travel on the interstates in Greensboro or Winston-Salem you can listen to the HD2's but in the downtown areas the signal drops sometimes. Raleigh is better but Durham has a lot of drops. In the rural areas within 30 miles of the transmitters, it's okay, but this is the exception from my experience traveling up and down the east coast. NC seems to have a lot of 100,000 watt stations with good coverage. Roanoke VA is too mountainous for HD2s. Washington DC shouldn't even have HD radio since the signal seems to only last 15 miles or so uninterrupted (on 405/95 east of the city, perhaps it's better on the other side). NYC's stations are too weak, too, but the HD selection is decent, RIP WRXP.
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post #37 of 47 Old 03-16-2012, 04:11 AM
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Re: Coverage

I thought (though I don't know in practice) that they were allowed to boost their signals a few years back and that was supposed to help with the coverage.

My experiences were much as you described in Atlanta (this was 3+ years ago when I had HDRadio in my car). I'd drive around and the HDRadio signal would jump in and out. It was a bit annoying. It was really annoying before the radio stations got the analog + digital signals synch'd up.

After that experience, when I bought my new car 3 years ago I had no interest in HDRadio. When it works, it's pretty nice. Driving around and on any one song it may cut in and out any number of times.

At home I have a Denon S-52 which has HDRadio in it. For home use HDRadio is great as it works and stays locked onto the signal. I haven't once experienced it switching from digital to analog.

How it works today in cars, I don't know. I just know that it was such a poor experience before that I gave up on that idea.
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post #38 of 47 Old 04-04-2012, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

DTV did provide something analog signals couldn't. And that was HD. Oh sure, the original HD broadcasts in Japan were in analog. But it turned out to be impractical and so HD went digital.

At the cost of viewership. The ATSC digital carrier requires less power to cover the same area, in theory. The problem is, in the outlying areas, 50-60 even 70 miles away on the analog, people would watch through the snow, but now people 30 miles away from the TX can't even get the signal even if they wanted to.

What was the answer? The biggest jump in cable and satellite subscriptions in history. Because they had the local news that ma and pa couldn't get anymore without spending an arm and a leg putting up a 40-element antenna, preamp system and possibly a small tower.

That or just shut it off and read a book...
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post #39 of 47 Old 04-04-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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The thing you have to remember that, at "50-60 even 70 miles away" you're out of the ADI for most television stations. There's no money lost if you can't reach an audience that isn't measured or sold to advertisers, anyway. Not arguing with you, just stating a fact of the matter.

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post #40 of 47 Old 04-04-2012, 02:03 PM
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Every local TV station here still operates over a dozen translators for viewers in the outlying areas. If you're 70 miles from a transmitter or a translator, you're not worth anything to the owner of that station.

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post #41 of 47 Old 04-07-2012, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

The thing you have to remember that, at "50-60 even 70 miles away" you're out of the ADI for most television stations. There's no money lost if you can't reach an audience that isn't measured or sold to advertisers, anyway. Not arguing with you, just stating a fact of the matter.

Don, I hate to call your bluff on this one, but you're not 100% correct on this one.
In the northeast, midwest, Atlantic Coastline, and Southern Cali, yes, you're right.

However in the west, there are markets where the DMA extends way beyond 80-90 miles. IIRC, 100% of UTAH is in the Salt Lake City DMA.
But as mentioned earlier, these markets typically do have fill in boosters and translators.

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post #42 of 47 Old 04-07-2012, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I did say "most" not "all."

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post #43 of 47 Old 04-08-2012, 11:51 AM
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St. George and Cedar City Utah are a major part of our DMA.
We even, now, monitor those translators (and, several more) via Slingbox.

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
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post #44 of 47 Old 04-09-2012, 01:41 PM
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Here in Minneapolis, the Nielsen DMA goes from damn near Canada, over to South Dakota, and well into Wisconsin, stopping on the south end just shy of Iowa...

This is TV market 15. So, yes, the "locals" are the twin cities, which are also found in Bemidji, Blue Earth, Mankato, and Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The "other" major metro areas in Minnesota are part of the national sample. (Duluth for instance is NPM/NTI not local DMA)

Somewhere around here i have a map of the Nielsen DMAs from when i used to work there. The only real "true" metro DMAs are NYC, LA, Chicago, and ironically, Denver. The rest have encompassing areas around them.
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post #45 of 47 Old 07-23-2012, 07:33 PM
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I think you need to distinguish between AM and FM HD Radio. AM HD is dead, and was dead-on-arrival. If people have a hard enough time "decoding" an analog signal with their ears through the noise and variable propagation of AM, do you think radios will be able to decode a digital signal? Sure, the audio quality of AM HD is better than traditional AM radio. I have no AM locals that run HD, but I have heard bits and pieces of AM DX from my (quiet) home location and the difference is amazing. But when you consider the basic impracticality of it, it's useless and actually destructive to skywave reception, which some people still actually enjoy. I know when I had my Chevy Malibu (a "quiet" car on the AM band), I would sometimes tune to 990 CBW, 850 KOA, etc. when there was nothing on my local NPR stations but jazz or Garrison Keillor. That became much less convenient when WMVP started broadcasting HD at night, or those in the 1100's and 800's set out on their campaign of mutually-assured signal destruction. It used to be that 1100 - 1130 were the clearest, strongest HD signals on almost any radio: 1100 WTAM from Cleveland, 1110 KFAB from Omaha, 1120 KMOX from St. Louis, and 1130 KFAN from Minneapolis. Now they all run HD (or at least did), and all are hopelessly unreliable at best on anything but a fixed, directional setup.

On FM, well, for purposes of full disclosure, I'm a DX'er, so HD Radio is a bad thing for my hobby. However, the situation here is not nearly as grave as in major markets: there are local HDs on 89.9, 91.3, 92.9, and 100.5, the adjacents of most of which I can only really tune in weak signals on my XDR-F1HD, an excellent tuner which would never exist were it not for HD Radio. The programming on the local
HDs is pretty useless: the two MPR locals (92.9 and 100.5) don't multicast, even though 100.5 is the News outlet of MPR and would not be harmed at all by reducing their bitrate for a much-desired service such as The Current, 91.3 does but airs what appears to be a parallel stream to local 89.9, and 89.9 airs the only "unique" stream, an alternate 24-hour classical music service. So I don't see it being adopted up here, and the way the existing HD stations currently program contributes almost nothing to local radio listener's choices or enjoyment. And it blocks eight adjacent channels most of the time frown.gif (although KSJR often finds its way onto 90.1, sometimes even with HD)

In major markets, FM HD COULD be of benefit by increasing listener's choices. The only problem is getting it into cars, which I think are one of the few viable markets for HD radio subchannels. Many of the HD stations from the Minneapolis - St. Paul market decode on any given summer night here in Duluth using my trusty XDR-F1HD and rotatable outdoor FM yagi, and through that I can see the potential of HD. KTIS 98.5 (Christian, a format apparently very popular with the young adult female demo) now offers three alternate programming choices, including a stream of their AM talk programming; KNOW 91.1 offers 24-hour BBC World Service; KTCZ 97.1 offers an acoustic sub channel; KQRS 92.5 offers classic country, etc. I would assume reception from these stations is reliable in cars in the Twin Cities area. If HD Radio has any chance of succeeding, it is by lobbying auto-makers to include HD Radio in their base models and not as an expensive option.

Also, more choices is a much stronger selling point than better audio quality; if anything, consumers have shown that they are perfectly content with lossy audio files. This extends to other media as well; how many new TVs do you see that are capable of displaying HD but are used exclusively to display SD content, even if there's a simultaneous HD feed?
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post #46 of 47 Old 07-23-2012, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Every local TV station here still operates over a dozen translators for viewers in the outlying areas. If you're 70 miles from a transmitter or a translator, you're not worth anything to the owner of that station.

The very fact that you watch them over-the-air and not via cable or satellite would seem to count against you, considering that most OTA viewers are poor (can't afford a subscription service) or not much interested in TV to begin with...
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post #47 of 47 Old 08-02-2012, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc0ltv View Post

The very fact that you watch them over-the-air and not via cable or satellite would seem to count against you, considering that most OTA viewers are poor (can't afford a subscription service) or not much interested in TV to begin with...

Then why do my local television stations maintain a dozen translators to reach these OTA viewers who are poor and don't count? Some of these areas are over a hundred miles away.

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