Originally Posted by RCA Dimensia /t/1517794/why-hasnt-hd-radio-taken-off-in-the-household-market#post_24362749
Yeah, the tuning delay is a nuisance, also you can't save a subchannel as a preset.
Yes I've heard a lot of analog radios that seem to have decent fidelity, but with the hd radio the difference was so great when it switched from analog to digital that I swear that in the HD units they designed the the analog tuner poorly to increase the contrast.
Years ago, when I had HDRadio in my car, it did sound better when it was digital, there's no denying that. The problems I had at the time (Atlanta, GA) were:
- it'd switch back and forth between digital and analog. Oddly my signal was worse inside the perimeter (beltway) for Atlanta stations than outside.
- at the time, when it did switch back and forth, not all stations had lined up the analog and digital signals so they were out of synch by a second or so. They've since fixed this and you could tell that they were working on it back then.
- The switching between analog and digital, even when things were synch'd up, was still jarring to me.
Now, I know that since then that they've increased the power on the digital transmissions and that should help with the digital signal. The problem is, it's not enough to make me go back.
In my home with my HDRadios (yep, more than one) it actually worked quite well because when you got a signal it'd just lock on and it sounded better than analog (no fading or weirdness to deal with, it just worked). The problem there is that I end up with antennas floating around my place (I'd just tape them to the wall with painters tape) and when I finally gave up and decided to go with streaming, it just was a better, overall, experience.
I think that they would have had better luck:
- making it more robust in the beginning. When I bought a new car in 2009 I should have really wanted HDRadio in it from my previous experience. That wasn't the case. My previous experience, while not horrible, wasn't great. It didn't feel ready for prime time.
- making it ubiquitous in new cars, home stereos, and portable radios by around 2007-2009. Not as an upgrade. Not as part of some premium sound package. It should have been as common and expected as AM/FM. You may not have known you were buying a radio with HDRadio, but you would have figured it out fairly quickly.
- Maybe they should have stayed away from "HD". Remember back then when everything was "HD" because of the tradition of TV to HDTV. I remember that there were infomercials for "HD Sunglasses". I think something simpler like Digital FM or Digital AM would have been the wiser choice.
Here it is 10+ years later and you still have to seek out a HD Radio. So you have to know what it is and then pick from a small subset of the market to get it (example: Oh, this home stereo has everything I want just how I want it - except it doesn't have HDRadio... - that's a problem).
HDRadio will probably linger for a while and slowly die off like AM Stereo. I rent cars fairly frequently so I'm exposed to late-model cars and what I see is:
- CD Player (Still??)
- MP3 capabilities
- Aux In - great!
- RDS - to varying degrees of success.
- Sat Radio (Sirius/XM) - about 1/3 of the rental cars seem to have it hooked up. I don't ask for it but they give me a car with it from time to time. I don't remember seeing a car that wasn't at least Sat-Ready in a bunch of years.
- Bluetooth for connecting to your phone - and some of that stuff works really well - all of that data/album art stuff shows up. It's really nice.
I've never been in a car, outside of my own 5 years back when I put an aftermarket radio in it, with HDRadio. That's pretty telling to me.
Also telling is that most people know what satellite radio is. They either have it, have a friend who has it, or have at least heard about it, even though it's really not advertised like it used to be. It's kind of ubiquitous in the culture, now. The same isn't true for HDRadio, again, 10+ years later. "Is that some kind of satellite-like thing I have to pay for?" - is about the most informed response you'll get from someone on the street.