HD Radio Vs. Satellite Radio - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-10-2007, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I know that there have been some posts in the past regarding HD Radio Vs. Satellite Radio. I have both and I like both. My wife has an XM in her van and I have it in my Garmin StreetPilot 2730 GPS unit. I can point out the pros and cons from my view point, but it is all things that people here already know:

HD Radio Pros: No monthly fee

HD Radio Cons: Limited coverage area

XM Radio Pros: I get the same channels when I travel as I do when I am home

XM Radio Cons: I pay just to listen to radio

For me it is not an either/or decision. The wifes XM portable works out well for her and is readily transportable. I suppose the Visteon Jump may be similar, but have never seen one in person. My Garmin normally stays in my work vehicle. I can readily move it to my pick-up, but as a matter of course I just don't very often. And that is why I like the HD radio. It is installed in my pickup and gives me some additional choices without having to move the Garmin to the pick-up for running errands locally.

Now what I listen to might make this quite different than what others on this forum listen to. I enjoy comedy and All Comedy Radio http://www.allcomedyradio.com/ is on 93.7-2 mHz in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul MN area http://www.93x.com/home.asp

I seem to recall some discussion that the power may increase for FM HD radio in the future. Can someone give me any more details on that? I would like to see FM HD increase power.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-11-2007, 12:26 AM
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I wish we had an all-comedy channel on HD Radio here.

My only problem with paid radio is that I personally have a huge gap in standards between anything I pay for and things I get "for free". Paid audio programming would have to be 100% announcer-free, true CD-quality (or at least equal to 256kb MP3), and totally uncompressed sonically. They can put whatever they want onto the data display, even ads if they want, but nothing in the audio to distract me from the content. With "free" radio, I will accept it if they screw up the audio, yak between songs, have commercials, jingles or whatever, because it is free.

I have not heard about any plans to increase the power in digital FM signals.

Chris

"It's [expletive] lame to watch Jaws, a film that uses the 2.40 ratio as well as any ever produced, in the wrong format on HBO." -Steven Soderbergh, Oscar-winning director

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post #3 of 17 Old 10-11-2007, 01:12 AM
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It's all a matter of taste, of course, but I wouldn't give a nickel for an all comedy channel. We have one (106.5 HD2, Charlotte). I'd gladly swap it for a station that played, say New Age (not the birds chirping, waterfall crap...but real music...George Winston, Enya, William Ackerman, Liz Story, etc.)
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-11-2007, 02:26 PM
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I have to admit that I listen to the HD-2 comedy station here a lot. There are a lot of great stand up comedians that I've never heard of before. I'm amazed at how much material they have to choose from.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-11-2007, 03:26 PM
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What's absolutely missing as a "Con" of satellite radio is the fact that virtually none of it is LOCAL. Even where music is concerned, there are regional differences in the country within a genre that satellite can't begin to address. Plus, I just don't think satellite sounds all that great, by and large, particularly the non-music stations that are subject to dynamic bandwidth allocation.
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-12-2007, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikkster View Post

What's absolutely missing as a "Con" of satellite radio is the fact that virtually none of it is LOCAL. Even where music is concerned, there are regional differences in the country within a genre that satellite can't begin to address. Plus, I just don't think satellite sounds all that great, by and large, particularly the non-music stations that are subject to dynamic bandwidth allocation.

Slikkster does raise a good point about satelite missing out on local flavor, unless you want to include the satelite radio local traffic channels. However, in my travels I've found that even terrestrial radio is waning these days in local flavor. You hear the same songs / playlists and the same comedy bits and the same type of (often) goofball DJ's from one city to the next. Back in the 60's DJ's were able to get by playing local bands, B sides, alternative tracks and whatever. Not as much these days.

As far as sound goes, I perfer XM, then Sirius and then FM HD a distant third. One local station has an HD-2 and an HD-3. The HD experience on that one is worse than an HD-2 or an HD main only station, due to the compression.

Jim1348: A tip on Satelite. A coworker bought an XM with a car kit. He then went to eBay and bought two extra antennas and two power supply / transformer / wall worts and now he can simply detach his basic XM unit from his car and take it into work or his house. He got all those for a song (no pun intended) and didn't have to buy the overpriced "home" kits nor did he have to buy an expensive portable. He just does a line in to his PC's speakers or home audio system. He gets his $ worth, he runs it 18-20 hours a day! Our local Goodwill thrift stores often have new, in the box, XM or Sirius units and supplies for pennies on the dollar.

Good Luck
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-12-2007, 09:12 AM
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I've been reluctant to leap into either of these formats although I am perhaps on the edge.

As long as quality public radio exists, I'll stick with just regular FM and podcasts.

Case in point, Morning Becomes Eclectic broadcast in Los Angeles at 89.9

Listen to KCRW.com to check it out.

Now if this station was available on HD Radio, I'd jump in because it is commercial free quality music. International, local, live bands, b sides, including a variety of genres. And no commercials!
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-12-2007, 09:37 AM
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KCRW IS available in HD radio, full 96 kbps bitrate. Sounds fabulous if you can get it. Unfortunately their HD signal doesn't make it to OC where I am, probably due to occupied first adjacents.

But if you would like a positive example of "it's the programming, stupid", KCRW is it. It's programming by humans for humans, unpolluted by the stench of song testing. I don't know if there's anything comparable to "Morning Becomes Eclectic" on satellite, but I doubt it. From what little I've heard of the satellite channels, they do a great job on "niche", but "eclectic," not so much.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-14-2007, 04:02 PM
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I think it depends as to what you are used to and what you are looking for. I think they'll always be sometimes two or more mediums based on if you want to pay for them or not. Libraries are in nearly every town but Borders and Barns&Noble aren't afraid of them...you can buy coffee in a shop or make it at home (a third way would be downloading podcasts of shows...)

Local content on any medium I think is dying. Pick up a newspaper and cut out all the ads and then cut out any of the wire articles (UPI, AP, Reuters etc) how much is really left? Same with tv as it's more about watching a "network" than watching a local affliate. I only know of maybe one local non network show on over the air tv (meaning it's exclusive to the affliate and locally made)

I'd hate to say it but much of the days of knowing a local dj over years and years might be over. There is one station I (still) listen to all the time but they canned their ENTIRE crew and brought in new anchors...no reason given...most likely ratings but still was pretty much rude. I think that low powered and college stations (and potentially hd2..hd3 etc) have the potential of having content that might not be looked at so much...college I think is exempt from FCC stuff...

The content though is what would drive either medium...I'm not exactly a huge fan of them but opie and anthony have this on both sides. If you want to hear them on terrestrial you can...if you want to shell out $ to hear them uncensored you can. When stern left it created some pretty big holes that I don't think they've filled. In the boston market (fm and am) there's been so many hosts leaving to others or replaced it's like musical chairs.

I think the HD FM works pretty well for the most part but the AM at night needs some tweaking. AM could hold the promise for more sports content and some talk whereas fm can be better suited for music.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-15-2007, 08:11 PM
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FM is suited for music AND talk, in some situations. Take, for instance, WINC-FM in Winchester, VA and WBQB in Fredericksburg, VA. Both of these stations broadcast very powerful FM signals, yet with fleaflicker 1 kW AM operations on the side. With HD FM, the 96 kbps total audio bitrate can be allocated to provide a 24 kbps/32 kHz monoaural rebroadcast of the local AM signal via HD-2. This would provide a MUCH better range for the AM stations vs. HD-izing the AM signals.
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 04:16 AM
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"Local content on any medium is dying?" Tell that to some of the better big city papers which actually have increasing (or level) subscriptions. Tell it to local stations around here, which offer tons of local news, and even WELL ATTENDED live on-air concerts of local musicians. Tell it to WBTV in Charlotte, which just added a SECOND evening newscast, this one in primetime. Tell it to the TWO thriving newspapers in my tiny community. Tell it to ANY station still serving it's community. Tell it to someone RATIONAL, and they'll point out many more examples of why someone is full of, er...uh, incorrect information.
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Walker View Post

"Local content on any medium is dying?" Tell that to some of the better big city papers which actually have increasing (or level) subscriptions. Tell it to local stations around here, which offer tons of local news, and even WELL ATTENDED live on-air concerts of local musicians. Tell it to WBTV in Charlotte, which just added a SECOND evening newscast, this one in primetime. Tell it to the TWO thriving newspapers in my tiny community. Tell it to ANY station still serving it's community. Tell it to someone RATIONAL, and they'll point out many more examples of why someone is full of, er...uh, incorrect information.


Well, at least in the case of national newspaper circulation, there's no denying circulation has been declining, as it has for some time now. That's just fact. It may vary from community to community, but overall, the trend is nowhere but down. See here: http://www.journalism.org/node/1128

I think what the person you are referring to was talking about was that the actual local news content has been diminishing, compared to everything else that makes up the body of the newspapers. But it certainly was an overreach to say "...in any medium". I just think the media are changing as technology changes. By the time a newspaper comes out, it's old news. Plus, people need to make a living wage. I'm not sure local newspapers (and other local media, for that matter) can afford to pay people enough to keep them around.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 05:41 AM
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Hard points to argue Slikkster. In fact you're right on point. Back to radio, imho stations that minimize local content do it at their own peril, because it's the only thing that satellite and internet radio can never duplicate. If the station across town is nothing but a jukebox, and as a staton owner you're thinking of adopting another jukebox format to compete, devoid of anything that says "I'm a part of this community, and dedicated to it", then go ahead and fail. You deserve it!
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Walker View Post

"Local content on any medium is dying?" Tell that to some of the better big city papers which actually have increasing (or level) subscriptions. Tell it to local stations around here, which offer tons of local news, and even WELL ATTENDED live on-air concerts of local musicians. Tell it to WBTV in Charlotte, which just added a SECOND evening newscast, this one in primetime. Tell it to the TWO thriving newspapers in my tiny community. Tell it to ANY station still serving it's community. Tell it to someone RATIONAL, and they'll point out many more examples of why someone is full of, er...uh, incorrect information.

Mike - I have family in Charlotte, so I know of what you speak. Do you realize that the Charlotte market is not typical in this regard? While Charlotte is not immune to national market forces, they still have more emphasis on local service, not to mention higher production values, in both radio and TV, than most of the country. Greensboro/Winston Salem/High Point and Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill are the same. Something about the culture around there. The value of quality and locality has sunk in with them.

It's not like that in LA, or San Diego, or Memphis, or Philadelphia, or Dallas, or Tucson - the other markets I've had recent contact with. You can point to a couple of stations in each market that buck the trend, but on the whole, the goal of most stations is to see how many cost cuts they can get away with and still turn a profit. Air talent, local content, and product differentiation are the usual casualties.
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 01:46 PM
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Sad, Narkspud. Really sad. However, I'm still optimistic that radio will find it's way back to localism. Along the way many stations (owners/groups, anyway) will die. Good riddance!
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post #16 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 04:31 PM
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Basically what I meant to say was that with the media in general there's been huge consolidation over the past 35 years. Within that you see far more top down command as to what can and can't be said. Over time this becomes more homogenized and less unique. The two major papers in the boston area used to have a morning and evening paper...it's been on for quite some time. Two two locals in town merged and the regional one was bought out...by the owner of most of the local papers in the state. For the most part most of the independent tv channels have been bought out by networks near me (upn, wb and pax)-I've never received low powered tv). Adding into this there's now only one major cable company (unless you count fios as cable)

When I say it's dying I mean it terms of being offered not in terms of being needed. When ratings come in as a factor it often cuts off decent programming that has already been established.

Content needs to come more localized but it might not come by commerical aspects. There's many shows that have podcasts online that I think probably could (granted no swaring) make in on terrestrial radio. Local content that wouldn't be a ton of wire reports, someones grumbling oped or advertisments.
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-21-2020, 01:13 PM
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Gee, resurrecting a 13-year old thread. Had SiriusXM in my previous car, did not use it. Have it in my current car, do not use it. It is not just the subscription price (which is about twice higher than, say, Spotify), but I also cannot find anything worth listening on SiriusXM that I cannot get from Spotify or YouTube or anyplace else.

If not comparing to streaming, but solely apples to pears, I don't care for Howard Stern, and the only decent news on satellite is BBC, and even it is somewhat diluted and I never could get anything interesting when driving to/from work.

My current car has HD Radio, and this is how I started listening to it. Probably because of much fewer audience, stations put significantly less ads into HD channels, and the programming is more diverse. Not as diverse and I would like, but still a half-step away from regular boring Top 40, Adult Hits and 1980s Hits. My car allows programming only 15 stations, and there is not enough slots. My Sangean HDR-14 has 20 presets, which is more like it.

Sadly, American radio still has not figured out dance music. First, they think that dance music is for LGBTQ+ only, which is just shows their redneck "real macho doesn't listen to this stuff" stance. So they market dance stations as LGBTQ+. But I would not care about it, if the programming was good - it is not. Pitiful autotuned run-of-the-mill junk that they try to pass for techno or trance or house or whatever. So, for dance music one still has to get streaming or YouTube, and SiriusXM is no better in this regard, they have three or four dance stations, mostly playing junk.

But there is other stuff, like Soma.FM on KPBS HD3, or Classical 24 on KPBS HD2, or Flashback ALT on KYXY 96.5 HD2 or the Angry Playlist on 97.3 HD2 or Hard Alternative on 105.3 HD2.

So, I am getting good content, noise-free, very few ads, and they cannot track me

Seems that programming is not dying, but the receiver market is smaller than ever aside of in-car radio.
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