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New ZUNE w/ HD Radio - Page 2

post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by YeaShutdown View Post

The reason engineers at Broadcast Archives post anonymously is so they won't lose their jobs.

And you know this because you know people who have lost their jobs for speaking out, right? Or is this just some shaggy dog story you've heard?

Quote:


At least the real truth is coming out and not all engineers are posting anonymously. Consumers never wanted FMeXtra and they don't want IBOC, or its jamming - these systems are all about what broadcasters want.

And why do they want them? For decades consumers never wanted FM radio. Then they did. Like any business, the broadcast industry has to change with technology and stay ahead of the consumer desires or they'll be in even worse shape than they are right now.
post #32 of 67
Despite FMeXtra's extra channels, consumers never bought into it. HD Radio is just another "AM/FM", and gives listeners no reason to "upgrade". HD Radio is actually deficient, in many ways, to analog AM/FM. As you claim, "stay ahead of the consumer desires" - consumers never asked for HD Radio, as HD Radio sales are nonexistent.
post #33 of 67
My oh my, the only HD radio that appears to be left on Amazon's best-selling radios list is the Sony XDRF1HD HD Radio Tuner, which is ranked only #26th, and losing ranking:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...3?ie=UTF8&pg=3

Amazon is down to only 11 HD radios, and the Sangean is the only one in the top-100 - LOL!

The Radiosophy HD100 is ranked #7,759 in Electronics. Enough said...
post #34 of 67
Consumers rarely demand any new product....sometimes a technology can be better and still be rejected I'll give you that.

Laserdisks came out in what...1979? Easily the sharpest picture you could get in a medium until dvd (vcd?) twenty years later.

No reason to upgrade? well that depends on the content producer to be honest with you...

Personally with the number of stations and the better reception I'd say it's worth it at least where I am.

Radio you boston, wbcn's three stations, whjy's radio radio one...maybe the comedy one from ri..old country from another..it's enough to make me pay $100 or so...

I'm not doubting the market for paying to hear things like sirius xm...certainly I'd say that is probably worth it. If I want to hear sports and I'm out of market of course that makes sense and more adult content etc.

It's easier for a station to experiment with a hd subchannel than with their whole station.

Take a look at this station for yourself. It's nearly like a college one and you can call and get on air during some shows (meaning they are listening to the streaming or a hd radio)

http://www.bostonradio929.com/radioyou.aspx

If no one is listening then who's calling?
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhascall View Post

We have also been called Luddites......

I love technology more than the average person but see IBOC as being an utter waste.

It might be okay on FM but the blame lies equally with the owners groups as it does with iBiquity, especially in regards to the biggest selling point - subchannels. You can have the best technology in the world but if it's not used in a positive way, misprogrammed or not programmed at all, why bother? On my Accurian, FM HD sounds about the same as analog FM and on AM, IF I can get a lock (doubtful, except during the day) it sounds like lifeless FM (unusual frequency response). If I wanted to listen to FM, I'd listen to FM. [IMG]http://www.*****************/trafficreport/img/3721/k08t1221bbuq/gdsmile.gif[/IMG]

You are right about owners being duped and being so far into this, they can't afford / are to embarrased to back away.

Very well said..
post #36 of 67
Like I mensioned before this is really dependent on the area. The stations I receive do sound better in hd...the biggest difference would be in classical music.

Now I'll admit I list to hd in a car so there are some areas where I receive stations better than others although that is understandible given that it's the same with other formats (stereo)

Some stations are stronger than others but I like the other content. I'm in a part of the country that also has a overlap of content (mass and ri) so the dial can be full of stations at least on the fm band.
post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by YeaShutdown View Post

Despite FMeXtra's extra channels, consumers never bought into it. HD Radio is just another "AM/FM", and gives listeners no reason to "upgrade". HD Radio is actually deficient, in many ways, to analog AM/FM. As you claim, "stay ahead of the consumer desires" - consumers never asked for HD Radio, as HD Radio sales are nonexistent.

"Stay ahead of the consumer desires" means "create products that people don't know they want yet." People don't ask for things they don't know about! This is Marketing 101. Did people want cell phones twenty years ago? Did people want broadband Internet? No!

And it completely parallels the history of FM radio. Read about it and learn how consumer demand for audio products works. No one ever asked for FM radio either, its sales were less than HD Radio sales. and AM radio stations were fat and happy dominating every market in the nation. My, how quickly things change when people are certain they can't change.

Since you prefer to repeat your "HD Radio Bad!" mantra instead of answering my questions, I'll assume that you don't know of anyone who was "fired" for speaking out against HD Radio. It's no more believable than stories of the alleged NASA people who were threatened for revealing that the Moon landings were faked.

There is a forum for people in the local radio industry in my area (google it and you'll find it) and there are plenty of Entercom and Clear Channel employees who have publicly expressed their complaints and reservations about HD Radio using their actual names over the years. They have not lost their jobs despite wave after wave of layoffs. I'm guessing it's because they clearly understand how it works (which shows they're smart enough to learn), their arguments against HD Radio are valid and rational, and they aren't drumming an anti-IBOC agenda like it will destroy radio.
post #38 of 67
Thread Starter 
It's official. the new ZuneHD will have HD Radio. Here is the press release from Microsoft:

Quote:


Microsoft Announces the Expansion of the Zune Entertainment Service to New Platform and Markets; Confirms New Zune HD Portable Media Player


Premium Zune digital entertainment service to be available internationally on Xbox LIVE.

REDMOND, Wash. - May 26, 2009 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the evolution of Zune, the company's end-to-end music and entertainment service, to a new platform and new markets. Zune will extend its video service to Xbox LIVE internationally this fall. This marks an important development in the Zune strategy and brings the Zune brand to more than 17 million international Xbox LIVE subscribers. In addition, Microsoft confirmed the next generation of the Zune portable media player, Zune HD. Available in the U.S. this fall, Zune HD is the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser.

"The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall Zune experience, and we're proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device," said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group. "Delivering on Microsoft's connected entertainment vision, this news marks a turning point for Zune as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world."

Zune Service Expands to New Platform

Zune will be a premium partner in the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace, bringing an exciting catalog of TV and film to the platform. Zune will occupy the first slot within the Xbox user interface in the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace, exposing the Zune brand experience to millions of new consumers for the first time. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) next week, attendees will see firsthand how Zune integrates into Xbox LIVE to create a game-changing entertainment experience.

Introducing Zune HD

Zune HD is the next iteration of the Zune device family and brings a new level of listening and viewing experiences to the portable media player category.

Zune HD comes with a built-in HD Radio receiver so users can listen to higher-quality sound than traditional radio on the go. Users also will have access to the additional song and artist data broadcast by HD Radio stations as well as additional channels from their favorite stations multicasting in HD. If you don't like the song playing on your station's HD channel, switch to its HD2 or HD3 channels for additional programming.

The bright OLED touch screen interface allows users to flip through music, movies and other content with ease, and the 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution) offers a premium viewing experience on the go.
The HD-compatible output lets Zune HD customers playback supported HD video files from the device through a premium high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station (sold separately) direct to an HD TV in 720p.*

Zune HD will include a full-screen Internet browser optimized for multitouch functionality.

Zune HD is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing for instant streaming to the device from the more than 5 million-track Zune music store.

More information on Zune and related images is available at http://www.zune.net/press and http://www.zune.net/ZuneHD.

About Zune

Zune is Microsoft's music and entertainment brand that provides an integrated digital entertainment experience. The Zune platform includes a line of portable digital media players, elegant software, the Zune Marketplace online store, Zune Pass music subscription service, and the Zune Social online music community, created to help people discover more music. Zune is part of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division and supports the company's software-based services vision to help drive innovation in the digital entertainment space. More information can be found online at http://www.zune.net/en-us/press.

About Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE connects more than 17 million members across 26 countries to each other and the entertainment they love. Home of more content from one remote than can be found from any device connected to the television, Xbox LIVE is also a unified online social network bringing friends together, no matter where they are - in the living room or across the world. More information and Xbox LIVE membership can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Supported 720p HD video files play on the device, downscaled to fit the screen at 480 x 272 - not HD resolution. Zune HD and AV Dock, and an HDTV (all sold separately) are required to view video at HD resolution.

HD Radio and the HD Radio logo are proprietary trademarks of iBiquity Digital Corp.
post #39 of 67
I'm interested i just want to see these things in the wild first before i make a conclusion.
post #40 of 67
I feel dumb asking this but I need to know, can the HD radio pick up regular FM stations as well. The reason I ask is because I want a ZuneHD but I want to listed to a regular FM station that does not do HD.
post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marekv View Post

I feel dumb asking this but I need to know, can the HD radio pick up regular FM stations as well. The reason I ask is because I want a ZuneHD but I want to listed to a regular FM station that does not do HD.

No need to feel dumb ... the answer is "yes."
post #42 of 67
Thanks! Now I know I can wait for the HD instead of the current Zune Model. I just hope the SQ is good, and that the price does not scare the wife too much!
post #43 of 67
Thread title updated.
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marekv View Post

I feel dumb asking this but I need to know, can the HD radio pick up regular FM stations as well. The reason I ask is because I want a ZuneHD but I want to listed to a regular FM station that does not do HD.

Yes they will but if a station broadcasts in HD and it is out of range (I will not touch that one at this forum) then it reverts back to analog and many times will go back and forth between analog and HD creating several second drop outs when it is trying to lock back onto the HD signal which is very annoying. It fact if you are on the fringe area HD stations are pretty much not worth listening to because the drop outs are so annoying. An HD tuner (if it's a good one) will do fine on analog. I have satellite in my car which while there are occasional drop outs (very few actually) the second the antenna "sees" the signal again the sound comes back on, not so with HD, there is a long delay while it is locking on again. I would never buy a portable HD receiver, lousy battery life and many drop outs would equal much irritation, but then again I have two early analog Super Radios which work just fine, sound great and the battery's last practically forever.
post #45 of 67
Several second drop outs? Well that depends as to the station. It's not a long delay.

The power on hd is still low. Once that increases the range will increase. Any delay can be smoothed out with advancement of the radios and the transmitters. Stations now sound quite a bit better than they did a few years ago.

Let's not also forget that the reason why satellite might not have drop outs as much is because it uses repeater stations.
http://www.dogstarradio.com/sirius_map.php
post #46 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NutcaseAnyway View Post

Yes they will but if a station broadcasts in HD and it is out of range (I will not touch that one at this forum) then it reverts back to analog and many times will go back and forth between analog and HD creating several second drop outs when it is trying to lock back onto the HD signal which is very annoying.

If you're listening to the main channel, that really shouldn't happen. The radios I have blend from analog to digital rather seamlessly going both ways in low signal instances.

HD2 is different. One of my radios drops to the main analog after about three seconds of signal loss. It will not go back to the HD2 on its own after that. The other radio just sits dead until a good enough signal is reacquired. But that might be a sample flaw as the instructions say it should revert back to the main analog. It's a prototype, so I'm never surprised when those things don't work perfectly.
post #47 of 67
Thread Starter 
REDMOND, Wash. – Aug. 13, 2009 – Zune HD, the next generation of Microsoft Corp.'s portable digital media player, is available now for pre-order and is set to hit store shelves on Sept. 15. The player, available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, is the first touch-screen Zune and includes powerful playback technology to give you a different way to experience media on the go. Combined with unparalleled PC software and online services such as Zune Pass, Zune provides a rich and meaningful connection to music, videos, podcasts and more.

Pre-order Zune HD in 16GB Black and 32GB Platinum through http://www.zune.net/zunehd from Amazon.com, Best Buy,Walmart and Microsoft. Beginning September 15, at http://www.ZuneOriginals.net, both 16GB and 32GB capacities of Zune HD will be available in five different colors with the option to customize your player with one of 10 new engravings.

WHAT: With a sleek and stylish design, Zune HD is the first to combine these features:

• Built-in HD Radio™ receiver. Allows you to listen to higher-quality sound than is available from traditional radio channels, as well as access additional programming through HD2 and HD3 multicast channels from many of your favorite local FM radio stations at no extra cost.

• HD video output capabilities. Supports HD video playback from the device through a premium HDMI A/V docking station (sold separately) directly to an HD TV in 720p, making it easy to enjoy better-than-DVD-quality video on your own big screen at home.

• OLED touch screen. Allows you to easily flip through music, movies and other content. The 3.3-inch glass screen and 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution) offer a premium viewing experience.

• Built-in Wi-Fi. Allows for browsing, streaming or downloading new music from Zune Marketplace.

• Internet browser. Full-screen Web browsing, optimized for the multi-touch screen with zoom-in and zoom-out gestures.

• Accessories, at home and on the road. Zune HD and AV Dock charges and syncs players while playing supported 720p HD videos on HDTVs. Play HD Radio, music and podcasts from your Zune HD device through your car stereo using the Zune Premium Car Pack.

WHY: Pre-order now to be one of the first to experience the new Zune HD's advanced design,innovative technology and rich multimedia capabilities powered by the NVIDIA Tegra™ chip ultra low-power HD processor.

PRICING: Zune HD 16GB: $219.99 (estimated retail price); Zune HD 32GB: $289.99 (estimated retail price)

WHEN: Pre-order starting Thursday, Aug. 13. Purchase in stores on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

WHERE ONLINE: http://www.zune.net/zunehd

WHERE IN STORE: Place a pre-order in person at Best Buy beginning August 16. If you want to sneak a peek, visit select stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., areas on August 22 and 23.
post #48 of 67
I have to say I'm getting a kick out of all of the articles about the new iPods that mention the Zune by saying something like, "...but it lacks the new Zune's HD Radio tuner" ..almost as if they needed something to fault the new iPod and that's all they could find. Apple got HD Radio more coverage than it would have gotten ..by the simple act of omission.
post #49 of 67
wasn't that type of thing called the stressand effect?
post #50 of 67
MY 32 G is charging now. After it's fully charged, I will start playing. Should be fun and a learning experience.
post #51 of 67
I'm in eastern queens, NY and I'm having a problem picking up HD stations on my new Zune HD. Anyone else from the area getting anything?
post #52 of 67
I haven't spent much time with the Zune HD but yesterday after doing all of the updates & giving it a full charge, initially I also thought that it wasn't receiving HD signals. I was trying for WCBS FM's HD signal. However, tuning around the FM band I found that I received other NYC HD signals sitting at the kitchen table on the ground floor in my house. When I used the radio in my bedroom on the second floor, the HD signals were also solid. This morning I tried listening to HD in my car on the way to work and found that the signal on 92.3's HD 3 channel kept popping in and out, even on the west side highway in upper Manhattan. The Zune was sitting on the center console of my car. I can't say at this point if it's due to weak signal issues or multipath problems. I'll experiment later today. First thing I'll do is untangle the wire which was connected to the headphone jack and I guess acting as the antenna. I can say that it does work and unlike the Insignia portible radio, you can put HD 2 & HD 3 channels into memory and the stations heard on the radio sound great. So far I'm using Koss Pro35A headphones. The earbuds will remian in the package they came in. For those who use earbuds, the ones supplied do come with spare, multicoloured ear pads. I live in Rockland County about 25 miles north of NYC.
post #53 of 67
LOL, figures you'd be the first to actually get one of these hands-on R.F. I have a standing pre-order at Amazon.com that shows no sign of being fulfilled yet. You'd have figured they would have gotten a priority allotment of the things for shipping on the official day of release!

Anyway, thanks for the quick review of the HD reception. What does the manual say about the antenna? As I understand it, the headphone cable serve as the antenna, so it would seem that the cable length of various sets of headphones might improve or worsen reception. You might want to do your reception testing with the included ear pods to see if it has any effect on consistent reception.
post #54 of 67
I have a NY Zune question. My Zune HD will not decode WCBS FM's HD signal. A friend who also owns the Zune HD (he got his from Amazon and I got mine from Best Buy) has the same issue. There's no problem with any other HD signal in the market and he tells me that he received CBS FM's HD signal this morning on another receiver. Is this a firmwear issue or is this a problem with the new HD chip that Microsoft is using.
post #55 of 67
Yeah, I've heard around that the Zune HD has good HD radio reception. I really want one, but think I'm going to wait a bit.
post #56 of 67
From what I understand not to get OT but it is going to get more of games...I wouldn't be surprised if this gradually becomes more aimed at the itouch rather than the ipod shuffle.
post #57 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by R.F. Burns View Post

I have a NY Zune question. My Zune HD will not decode WCBS FM's HD signal. A friend who also owns the Zune HD (he got his from Amazon and I got mine from Best Buy) has the same issue. There's no problem with any other HD signal in the market and he tells me that he received CBS FM's HD signal this morning on another receiver. Is this a firmwear issue or is this a problem with the new HD chip that Microsoft is using.

Finally got my 16G Zune HD from Amazon today.

As I suspected, the included Zune ear buds provide for better reception than my preferred headphones. I first plugged in a pair of Sony MDR-7506's, and HD Radio reception was sporadic. I could not get WCBS-FM's HD signal with the Sony headphones (although analog was fine)

However, once I plugged in the included ear buds, I WAS able to get WCBS FM's HD channels. So, this confirms my suspicion that ear bud/headphone cable length may very well play a role in how well the unit will receive HD radio and/or FM radio stations, in general. Give it shot yourself, R.F. and see if you get WCBS's HD with the Zune's ear buds.
post #58 of 67
Thanks Slikkster, CBS FM had a problem with their IBOC exciter. I'm now able to receive the CBS FM HD signal here in the suburbs.

I wish I could get more audio out of the unit. I'm using Koss headphones. I use Koss porta-pros with my I-Pod and there's more than enough audio level for nearly any environment.

I also find the I-Pod much easier to navagate. I have nearly as much material on the Zune (32G) as I do on the I-Pod (80G) , but the Zune is almost filled.


The image provided by the Zune's OLED screen is much better than what I see on the I-Pod however. I have the new car kit on order and should get it by next Friday. I also bought the one available cover (available with & without an arm band) for the unit.

Even with the touch screen it would have been nice if they could have produced a cover which protected the OLED screen. I was looking forward to the touch screen but I'm not thrilled with the technology due to the fingerprints using it leaves. I find the same issue with my cars navigation system. However, I can use a joy stick to navigate the system as opposed to using the touch screen.


With all of that said, the battery life is more than acceptable but the HD reception is hit & miss due to it's weak signal strength. I might try the ear buds but I really don't want to give up the superior audio my headphones provide.
post #59 of 67
Update on my own testing: WCBS is definitely problematic, so they are still having issues insofar as I can tell. I have been line-of-sight to the ESB about 8 miles away, and it still won't lock in on HD all the time, whereas the other big HD FM's will lock fairly easily.

I live in Queens and take a bus to work. My commute testing is to listen to HD3 stations like WFAN, WABC, WINS, and WCBS 880 (when I can get it) on the bus with the ZuneHD in my shirt pocket.

I've been fairly impressed by its ability to stay locked --admittedly not that far from the transmitting antennas. I'll get a few breakups while still in Manhattan when I undoubtedly hit a severe multipath area. The other times I might get drops is when I'm at a red light in Queens somewhere. I guess the bus continually moving is enough to keep the signal from totally dropping out at some locations. But it's still listenable, for the most part.
post #60 of 67
The more I use this Zune HD on my commute, the more I see that dropouts are now fairly regular as I get further away from the Empire State Building. Mind you, we're talking less than 15 miles and still within line of sight most times, but I still get dropouts that hamper my HD reception --particularly HD3 broadcasts of AM station programming. That's annoying.

So, this reviewer (me) is now less than enthusiastic about HD reception on this portable device. I don't see that as an inherent problem with the Zune or the Siport chip. I see that as a problem with IBOC signal strength, and the variables involved in using headphones as part of the antenna. Multipath plays a role in some locations, too.

Maybe someone can come up with a a "wrap" for headphone cables that can act like an antenna coupler and amplify the signal. There's a million dollar idea -- any takers?
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