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Is the component tuner dead?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just bought a used Sangean HDT-1x off "a certain auction site" and am happy with it. But I am disappointed to find through my obsessive-compulsive web searching that this may or may not still be in production (anyone know?) and it doesn't look like there's anything else on the market save for Day-Sequerra and other products that are out of my price range. I didn't find these forums until after I'd purchased otherwise I certainly would have asked first.

I guess the questions are, am I correct in that it's becoming more difficult if not impossible to find a new HD radio tuner. Is anyone aware if there's any movement towards developing HD radio products for home use? It seems that it is quite a shame that the main promise of HD seems to be improved sound quality and yet actual receivers seem to be almost exclusively mobile applications and/or integrated into only a few midrange and high-end receivers.

I've had a head unit w/ HD Radio in my pickup truck for several years and I quite like it. HD Radio wasn't the main reason that I selected that particular head unit but the fact that it was there and other units that I was considering didn't have it did influence my decision. Since living with it for a while I do like it - but then again I am a NPR junkie and NPR seems to be one of the biggest proponents of the technology.

thanks for any information and comments!
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Wow, I didn't realize that I was going to stir up such a discussion... you guys seem more qualified than I to offer a technical opinion, for sure, but anyway, I am jumping back in to say that I still don't regret buying the tuner because apparently my local NPR station plays some BBC news programming on channel 3 and also at night rebroadcasts WXPN from Philadelphia which, honestly, is miles better than any local music station. So there's two things right there that I can't get over an antenna, and there's nothing even on XM comparable to WXPN. (am actually considering dropping my subscription, as the XM tuner in my truck has died, and I find that I don't use it in my company car as much as I used to. But it does keep me sane on road trips through radio "dead zones...")
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by n8nagel View Post

Wow, I didn't realize that I was going to stir up such a discussion... you guys seem more qualified than I to offer a technical opinion, for sure, but anyway, I am jumping back in to say that I still don't regret buying the tuner because apparently my local NPR station plays some BBC news programming on channel 3 and also at night rebroadcasts WXPN from Philadelphia which, honestly, is miles better than any local music station. So there's two things right there that I can't get over an antenna, and there's nothing even on XM comparable to WXPN. (am actually considering dropping my subscription, as the XM tuner in my truck has died, and I find that I don't use it in my company car as much as I used to. But it does keep me sane on road trips through radio "dead zones...")

Good point. Off topic discussion moved.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
at least from my perspective, there's no need for that... I actually was interested in the discussion, because all that I have at my disposal are the glossy color brochures and my ears...

Now you've got me curious as to what his higher quality audio, HD broadcast or a typical radio station's online stream I've been thinking that the HTPC might become a necessity at some point in the not too distant future...
post #5 of 7
Well, I moved the discussion to it's own thread titled "FM-CD-HD Sound Quality Technical Discussion" but the other participant deleted his posts making the thread unreadable. So it's been deleted. My fault. Should have left it alone. To answer your question, it's all going to depend on the station and the receiving equipment, internet connection and so on.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by n8nagel View Post

It seems that it is quite a shame that the main promise of HD seems to be improved sound quality and yet actual receivers seem to be almost exclusively mobile applications and/or integrated into only a few midrange and high-end receivers.

I think HD Radio's appeal (on the FM band) as 90% the extra channels and 10% improved sound, since in the end it is still competitive broadcast radio which has many limits to the quality of audio we are likely to ever hear.

Home component radio tuners have really been a niche market for decades, so I doubt there will ever be many available. Onkyo has mostly or entirely switched from built-in HD tuners to an add-on module similar to most car stereo makers, so it should be possible to buy their module with a lower-end receiver and get all-in-one HD ability without spending upwards of $600, I think. The catch is that Onkyo seems to have had many reliability issues for the last few years so I would not recommend their receivers as of now (though mine is still working flawlessly).

The Web site hdradio.com did have a good list of available HD-capable equipment, but I do not know how complete and/or current it is kept.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisW6ATV View Post

Home component radio tuners have really been a niche market for decades, so I doubt there will ever be many available.

My dad bought high-end audiophile equipment constantly for decades yet I can't ever remember him buying a tuner or an amplifier. I guess every new receiver always had a better (or at least more powerful) amplifier in it so he never bothered to get them separately. I don't recall any major improvements in FM receiver quality back then so, like now, people bought receivers for other features.
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