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High Definition Radio is Here

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the high-definition-acne-ads-are-still-acne-ads dept.

Music 389

nfranzen submits this story/advertisement: "Yesterday, I had the opportunity to buy the first High Definition (HD) Radio in the United States. HD Radio, invented by iBiquity Digital, adds a digital channel to the sidebands of an existing analog FM signal. The technology is still pretty new, but I can tell you first-hand that listening to my favorite local FM station in HD sounds just like I am listening to a CD. Well, except for the commercials (grin). Here are some links to local TV news coverage and a news release for more info. HD receivers will hit the open market following the Consumer Electronics Show next week in Vegas." We had an old story about the FCC approving these digital broadcasts in the FM radio bands.

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frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896368)

first EVER HD radio huh.......

Re:frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896407)

HD Radio, what is it all about... is it good, or is it whack?

Re:frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896560)

Will you please refrain from posting my troll, you bloody cunt?

Gentoo portage? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896720)

Has this shown up in Gentoo portage yet?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

chunkwhite86 (593696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896371)

fp mofo!

DUPE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896377)

This story is a DUPE!

Re:DUPE! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896433)

At least provide a link [slashdot.org]

programming (0, Funny)

master_gilbert (729239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896385)

yea but will it have a good selection of music

Insert RIAA comment here (5, Funny)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896391)

Comment should include the following:

Piracy Claims
Explanation of digital to digital broadcasting
Comments about how to jack this device into Linux
Mention of Kazaa
Indignant remark about the difference between thievery and infringement

Neat! (1, Insightful)

cb8100 (682693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896392)

Sounds cool to me...but would it really be any fun to listen to a CD quality radio station that is full of static from poor reception, passing airplanes, and neighbors who violate every FCC violation in existence? :)

Double violation? (4, Funny)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896470)

If you violate a violation, are you still violating?

Do two violations make a compliance?

These are the questions that plague mankind...

Re:Double violation? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896530)

No, you are what plagues mankind. Asshag.

Re:Double violation? (3, Funny)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896547)

Just because I run a 8' tall Tesla coil on my back deck doesn't mean I'm purposely transmitting across every frequency all at once ;-) it just happens that way...

Re:Neat! (5, Insightful)

jeffgeno (737363) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896480)

Um, it's digital, so there won't be any static. Poor signal will probably sound like a bad cell phone connection, with cutouts, echos, and "robot voices." I think I'd prefer the static.

HD Receiver (1)

blogeasy (674237) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896398)

Assuming the new receivers are priced appropriately, I wouldn't mind owning one.

Ya, that will happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896644)

title says it all ;)

Re:HD Receiver (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896691)

Is this the same thing as the DAB radios you get in the UK? We've had them for a few months and they cost about 75.

Real world vs. fanboy fantasies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896400)

I am what most people would consider a highly trained technical professional. Unlike most people who spout off at this site, I have the certificates to prove this, and furthermore they're issued by the biggest software company in existence.

I know how to tell facts from marketing fluff. Now, here are the facts as they're found by SEVERAL INDEPENDENT RESEARCH INSTITUTES:

Expenses for file-server workloads under Windows, compared to LinuxOS:
  • Staffing expenses were 33.5% better.
  • Training costs were 32.3% better.


They compared Microsofts IIS to the Linux 7.0 webserver. For Windows, the cost was only:
  • $40.25 per megabit of throughput per second.
  • $1.79 per peak request per second.


Application development and support costs for Windows compared to an opensores solution like J2EE:
  • 28.2% less for large enterprises.
  • 25.0% less for medium organizations.


A full Windows installation, compared to installing Linux, on an Enterprise Server boxen:
  • Is nearly three hours faster.
  • Requires 77% fewer steps.


Compared to the best known opensores webserver "Red Hat", Microsoft IIS:
  • Has 276% better peak performance for static transactions.
  • Has 63% better peak performance for dynamic content.


These are hard numbers and 100% FACTS! There are several more where these came from.

Who do you think we professionals trust more?
Reliable companies with tried and tested products, or that bedroom coder Thorwalds who publicly admits that he is in fact A HACKER???

--
Copyright (c) 2004 Mike Bouma, MCSE, MCDST, MS Office Specialist

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".

Solution looking for a problem (4, Insightful)

micromoog (206608) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896402)

Yay, HD radio . . . wait, why do we want this again?

Realistically speaking, the only big problem with FM radio quality is that it attenuates above 16kHz . . . a range that you more or less can't hear in the poor listening environments where FM is typically used (vast majority of the time being, of course, in moving vehicles).

Re:Solution looking for a problem (4, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896427)

Yay, HD radio . . . wait, why do we want this again?

So Local radio stations can compete against XM and Sirus.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (4, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896558)

"So Local radio stations can compete against XM and Sirus."

There is no local radio anymore. It's all Clear Channel and...somebody else.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (2, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896616)

There is no local radio anymore. It's all Clear Channel and...somebody else.

They still play local radio ads, local news and local weather reports, school closings.

Try to buy a car without a radio. (-;

Re:Solution looking for a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896697)

I've never heard XM, but Sirus is crap. Their compression scheme distorts the hell out of anything besides pop music.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (1)

airtim10 (713956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896792)

I am a XM listner and unless sirus is alot different you muxt have been lisiting to a crappy radio because the muisc is cd quality

Re:Solution looking for a problem (1)

slimak (593319) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896455)

Although I know little to nothing about FM radio outside of how to use it, the difference between an FM broadcast of a song and playing the same from my cheap-o CD deck is night and day. If FM would sound more like CD, it would make both of my ears happy.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (3, Informative)

V. Mole (9567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896757)

The problem is not the FM signal technology, but your cheap-o FM tuner, and likely your crappy FM broadcaster. If you ever get a chance to listen to a good FM tuner (which these days pretty much means one made by Magnum Dynalab) with a decent antenna, you'd be amazed at how good FM is capable of sounding.

None of which helps in the car, of course...but I'd spring for a Sirius system before an HD FM system, given that I still could only listen to the same crap local ClearChannel stations.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896461)

Realistically speaking, the only big problem with FM radio

Thanks to engine noise, etc, it's marginally better than AM. Thanks to borish DJ's it's no better than all the talk-radio crap which has taken over AM. Tapes or CD's were all that was left, or go satellite.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (2, Insightful)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896491)

Hm, seems to me, the people that may fork out the ca$h for a HD-FM tuner would also drive things like M-B, BMW, and Jaguar cars, which are cathedral-like and make pretty decent listening environments, all things considered. It's still a car, not a studio, but the road noise is all but gone in a luxo-ride.

I find it surprising how much you miss when you attenuate at 16kHz. I think it's more to do with harmonic distortion than actually listening to 16kHz+ tones.

Of course, for the other 95% of us that drive noisier cars, you're probably right. I listen to my engine a lot lately, because I love the sound of a flat-4 and a turbo spooling up (Subaru WRX).

Why? (1)

twoslice (457793) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896494)

Yay, HD radio . . . wait, why do we want this again?

so the people who think that ripping a song involves a microphone and a radio can get good quality rips....

Re:Solution looking for a problem (4, Interesting)

daBass (56811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896510)

Two words: multipath distortion. Seen as ghosting on your TV, but also a big problem with radio in both mountainous as urban enviroments.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (1)

cabingirl (671963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896577)

Yay, HD radio . . . wait, why do we want this again?

You got me. Commercial radio is a complete waste of time. Someone needs to get rid of the 30 minutes of commercials every hour, and force ClearChannel to release its death grip on the major markets.

The only radio I listen to is NPR, and I don't need HD for that.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (1)

SkippyTPE (318952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896629)

Realistically speaking, the only big problem with FM radio quality is that it attenuates above 16kHz . . . a range that you more or less can't hear in the poor listening environments where FM is typically used (vast majority of the time being, of course, in moving vehicles).

Not that the audible dynamic range is much better in a car (relatively speaking), but I wonder if the digital channels bypass the broadcast compressor...

Re:Solution looking for a problem (1)

TheLittleJetson (669035) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896656)

more importantly -- most FM radio blows, not because of quality of transmission, but quality of content. i stopped listening to the radio (barring my university's station) because its nothing but cheeseball commercials, and about 60-120 minutes of audio that they just play on a loop until the songs are DEAD.

for the car, i'd rather have an ipod. for the house radio, i can survive off internet broadcasts.

Re: Solution looking for a problem (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896677)


> Yay, HD radio . . . wait, why do we want this again?

So that when they compress the dogshit out of your old favorite and speed it up by 15% to make time for more commercials, you can hear the DSP artifacts in all their ear-grating glory.

Re:Solution looking for a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896713)

Who the hell even listens to FM radio these days?!

When I want music, I listen to MP3s.

The only time I listen to the radio is for AM talk radio. And 95% of the time, I'm doing it over streaming audio feeds on the net from the stations.

I don't think I've listened to FM since the very early 90's - and not even much back then.

Can't Stand Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896403)

And the main reason is because the sound just sounds awful. In fact I would dare say the lack of high quality radio pushes me to download music and burn CDs.

I'll pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896414)

If it's digital, it's copy protected.

I'll continue exploiting the analog hole, thanks.

Re:I'll pass (4, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896475)

While you exploit your analog "hole" (until its shut off. DAB is a long way off, but analog TV should be off in 10 years) in reception, millions others will exploit the rarely used "headphone" socket.

Re: DAB (2, Informative)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896579)

Here in the UK, DAB is no longer a long way off. The BBC have been heavily promoting it, and it does seem to have finally left the ground.

I recently bought a DAB radio alarm, and I find the quality is pretty good. Admittedly, I can't tell if it is better or worse than FM through the speaker on the radio itself (although that rather reinforces what others have said on this story - that FM quality is not the limiting factor in most listening environments). Sometime, I mean to plug it into my HiFi and see if I can hear any difference.

Re:I'll pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896493)

what other "holes" do you take fancy in "exploiting"?

Too Little, too late. (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896417)

I bought into satellite a year and half ago and rarely listen to regular broadcast anymore. Audio quality is good enough and far fewer annoying DJ's and commercials. The only reason left to catch local broadcasts is traffice reports.

Worth it? Yeah, I spend an average of an hour a day driving. It's definitely worth it.

What's the catch? (2, Insightful)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896423)

Encoding digital signals in a small amount of bandwidth has to come with a catch. What's this sound like if the signal strength is low? What kind of digital qaulity is this? Is there lossy compression used?

Re:What's the catch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896471)

-1, T00 MANY QUESTIONS

P00H4X0r zzzzzz

Re:What's the catch? (4, Informative)

IncohereD (513627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896791)

Encoding digital signals in a small amount of bandwidth has to come with a catch. What's this sound like if the signal strength is low? What kind of digital qaulity is this? Is there lossy compression used?

Keep in mind that digital signalling techniques weren't really invented at all until the 1940s. And that AM was deployed before than, and FM either before that or not much after.

Is it inconceivable to believe a brand new field has seen startingly gains in efficiency in 60 years time? Look at how much modems improved (56kps over the same line that once only supported 150bps...nearly a 400 times gain).

There is no catch. Telecommunications technology has just improved a hell of a lot in the last 100 years.

This is the reason why cell phone provides are so antsy to relaim all those 6 MHz wide UHF allocations....you can use that bandwidth so much more effectively with modern techniques, instead of throwing raw, uncompressed analog data out there.

Also witness the huge number of digital channels cable providers have packed into coax, despite the continued presence of regular TV stations, AND internet connections.

And this is the part where everyone should stop whining about taxes and having to give money to their local learning institution.

DRM??? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896431)

I have a few questions, for the ones that did RTFA:

1. Is there any kind of digital output ?
2. What format is used to transfer audio? MP3, WMA, AAC, ... ?
3. If answer to 1. is yes, is there some kind of DRM or we can record stuff onto one's computer?

Re:DRM??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896503)

And I have answers for you.

1. Read the fucking article.
2. Read the fucking article.
3. Read the fucking article.

Re:DRM??? (3, Informative)

jelle (14827) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896590)

Anwsers here [eetimes.com] especially this one [eetimes.com] ...

All digital? (4, Interesting)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896440)

Is this all digital or dual mode? I still steer clear of all-digital networks of cell phones simply because the range is shorter. Instead of getting static when the signal gets weak it just shuts off. Anybody know if this is the case on these things?

Re:All digital? (4, Interesting)

mlyle (148697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896609)

Yes, you can tune in plain FM stations with a HD-FM receiver.

BTW, digital cellular is popular with the carriers not only because of spectrum efficiency, but because of superior link budgeting with lower output power. The range is actually better on digital cellular protocols (whether TDMA or CDMA) than FDMA/AMPS. The reason why your user experience is better with analog is that there is so much more analog stuff deployed. This is likely to change (not exactly a ton of AMPS equipment is still getting deployed).

Data compression reduces signal bandwidth. And reduced bandwidth means less noise in the band where the signal is, and also means that the signal, since it is less wide, is stronger. This translates to better S/N and thus better link budget. Also, there are things like coding gain which you can't make use of with analog transmissions.

I don't know how the HD FM divides output power/spectrum to the subcarriers. But it is likely that you can still get a perfectly clear digital signal when the analog FM station would be unlistenable.

Why bother ? (1)

RLW (662014) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896443)

Who would pay to upgrade their radio for such marginal value? If you want CD sound then put in a CD and you ger that with out the commercials.
Also given that cars in inherently noisy places to begin with makes it worth even less. This will be a forgotten technology.

Satellite radio (2, Insightful)

glinden (56181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896445)

That's an interesting alternative to satellite radio [xmradio.com] . Both require new equipment, both have very high quality. Satellite radio has little or no advertising, but you do have to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Re:Satellite radio (2, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896497)

Satellite radio has little or no advertising, but you do have to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Take a long trip through the american southwest or into the bible belt and see what you think of broadcast. In the Mojave I only got AM stations at night, thanks to the lowered ionosphere. It can also be pretty tough anywhere finding a station you consistently like listening to. With the 4 presets I have for sat. I'm pretty happy and can listen to them in the middle of Death Valley if I want (which I have done.)

spoilt (5, Funny)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896448)

High definition photos of Mars and now High definition radio? I do believe /. is spoiling us.

Re:spoilt (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896526)

High definition photos of Mars and now High definition radio? I do believe /. is spoiling us.

And that nifty Athlon 64 3400+ article this morning, too.

Well, it's probably sweeps week at /. and it'll be back to the usual banal stuff next week, after MW and CES are all over and we've got bored of Mars happenings.

Re:spoilt (3, Informative)

Greedo (304385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896650)

It's the perfect excuse to tell your GF that you now *need* that HDTV.

This will sound great in my car (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896452)

Or on my crappy $10 headphones. Or at the gym, cranked up to distortion levels on the hifi system. Seriously folks, few people listen to FM in an environment where 'high definition' radio makes a difference. Its like playing crappy MP3s on your free-with-the-PC speakers - you can't even tell that the MP3s suck, because the speakers suck more. I guess hearing the voices on NPR at 16bit,44.1KHz may make some people's day, but this is not like the upgrade path from tape to CD. This is a product looking for a market.

Re:This will sound great in my car (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896534)

Yeah, and the very large majority of today's TV sets still don't use much of the resolution that DVD's have, but you don't see anybody bitching about that. If HDFM catches on, it'll be a nice feature eventually, and good future-proofing now.

Re:This will sound great in my car (3, Interesting)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896575)

This is a product looking for a market.

You don't understand, this is a simple upgrade for local radio stations to add digital. Sirius and XM radio are already an option or standard on new cars. Expect to see HD radio included in car radios also.

This is like tv's going from Black and white to color, its a simple, its better, its about time.

BTW, I listen to talk radio and Howard Stern, this will be a great improvement over sound quality.

Re:This will sound great in my car (2, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896595)

From what I've read about digital radio in the UK, they can also broadcast additional programme information. It's always on the same frequency. I'm sure there are other benefits. I wish CBC Radio 1 would go digital...

Ads in HD (1)

starfurynz (676822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896468)

Great, now you can Ads in HD. What everyone wants.

not sound quality but programm quality matters (2, Insightful)

twms2h (473383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896472)

The sound quality of today's FM radio is fairly good, but the quality of the actual content is not. And it seems to be getting worse by the day.

The same goes for television. Who needs digital high resolution television if there isn't anything you want to watch?

How about the TV quality? (1)

schouwl (658811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896481)

Here in Japan we will only have digital TV in 2007. Send out via the air. Lars

Re:How about the TV quality? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896790)

Yea. That was supposed to happen in the US by 2002. But I guess we missed that deadline. Haha!

Digital doesn't impress me. The stations that come in clearly over traditional analog broadcast are entirely in spanish. I don't speak spanish. In the US only poor people and hippies use "free" broadcast signals. And the programming on those channels reflects their target audience.

PBS (public television) is supported by donations, so their signal is really terrible (people don't donate the hundreds of thousands of dollars a week it takes to run a TV station). Upgrading to digital wouldn't help, because then they'd have to pay for that too.

I think we can draw similar lines along free Digital Radio. Who is going to listen to it? People who can afford CD, superCD or dvd-audio decks and music? People who can afford commecial free subsubscription service like XM, Sirius or others? No. People who can't afford a HD-Radio receiver in the first place are the main target. It simply does not make sense.

Me? I mostly listen to AM radio, so apparently digital doesn't mean much me to if I haven't even "upgraded" to FM. But AM is of suffienct quality to listen to talk radio (News, Weather, Limbaugh [slashdot.org] , Savage [michaelsavage.com] , NPR, Art Bell [artbell.com] , Hannity [hannity.com] , O'Reilly [billoreilly.com] , etc).

What's the advantage for a business to run AM over FM? It's less costly to run an AM station(equipment and licesing). You can actually have a wider coverage area for less power. (FM has more consistent quality, but the signal drops off quickly. AM the quality degrades over the distance).

Music news on Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896496)

In related news, since this is getting rejected, what do you nerds have to say about Britney Spears getting married in Vegas this weekend?

I almost had my lifelong plans ruined by this event.

Oh no!! (4, Funny)

infolib (618234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896501)

Digital?? Thieves they are, thieves I say! Quick, pass some legislation to outlaw recievers (or at least make sure they cant *shudder* record anyting!)

Sincerely,

Your recording industry representative

Why not go digital (1)

sonoluminescence (709395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896531)

Why not just buy an all digital DAB receiver?

or am I missing something?

Big Deal... (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896543)


My car's been equipped with COLOR radio for several years, now.

Oh Great...Howard Stern in Digital Fidelity (2, Interesting)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896544)

I see a couple show stoppers that could keep this technology from reaching critical mass. First this link [kcrg.com] (from the summary) says that one station needed to pay $200,000 to switch to digital equipment. That's a helluva lot of money, especially in light of the fact that radio stations are cutting costs at every turn; and are even canning local DJ's, and replacing them with canned national announcers, to save dough.

Which brings me to a second point: nearly all radio today is utter crap. The sort of early adapter who would be willing to shell out $400 extra for digital FM is exactly the kind of person who already shelled out $400 for satellite radio. And why would anyone with that kind of discretionary income want to listen to anything on the FM dial? At the risk of sounding terribly elitist, if you're smart enough to have earned gobs of money, your tastes are likely discriminating enough to want to want nothing to do with what's on the FM band.

The one kind of station that might benefit from high fidelity is NPR, but considering that they're bellyaching for cash every twelve weeks or whatever during pledge drives, this is probably the last type of organization who could cough up the extra dough.

Re:Oh Great...Howard Stern in Digital Fidelity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896758)

I'm generally "Interesting," "Insightful," and even "Funny" here. What the hell happens to me at parties?

No one can smell you, see you, or have to be around you physically here.

Your radio station stinks. (4, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896550)

Their playlist is the same-old same-old. Listening to it in CD quality won't make it sound any better.

HD Radio vs. DAB? (1)

PunchMonkey (261983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896553)

Anyone know what the difference is between these two systems? Or are they one in the same? Here in Toronto, a few stations have been having ads about DAB being the future of radio... although I was shopping for receivers at christmas time and the only DAB compatible ones I saw were $600CDN+, too expensive for my tastes.

Re:HD Radio vs. DAB? (2, Insightful)

sane? (179855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896645)

Here in the UK there are large numbers of DAB radios, of all shapes and sizes, costing 60 upward ($110 US, no idea in CDN)

Works fine, all the benefits of digital (MP2) and selling better than their non digital counterparts.

I've got one on my computer, 40, and it can download data, music, etc.

Hardly useful. (2, Interesting)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896554)

Everything that's good about HD Radio is better when you spend (less) money on an in-car MP3 player. Flash memory, thank you, and it doesn't skip. And commercials don't exist. After all, I think most of us probably have a very diverse, vast collection of music on our hard drives already.

Re:Hardly useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896794)

After all, I think most of us probably have a very diverse, vast collection of music on our hard drives already.

Speak for yourself. Most people want new music, instead of the same old MP3s over and over and over again.

Is this the same as the BBC offering? (1, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896566)

How does this compare with what the BBC already offers [bbc.co.uk] ? According to the coverage map [bbc.co.uk] , 70% of the UK population can already get it.

Re:Is this the same as the BBC offering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896598)

How does this compare with what the BBC already offers? According to the coverage map, 70% of the UK population can already get it.

I bought one of their 'pilot' receivers, but it keeps crashing.

I don't get it. (1)

Oinos (140188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896569)

Unless you're a big fan of public radio, what's the point in HD Radio? Do you really want to listen to Britney Spears in HD? Are the Dixie Chicks worth the money for a HD receiver? Do you really need to listen to Love Line in all that clarity?

The problem with FM radio isn't the signal, it's the content.

Whee! Static-free Payola!! (1)

goingincirclez (639915) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896610)

Now, I've yet to RTFA because I don't have much time right now... I'd like to see what markets and stations are uising this... but right now, I have to say I really don't see the point. The problem I have with radio isn't so much the sound quality as it is the content.

I wouldn't want to listen to music CD's with annoying DJ's yabbering over the into & closing seconds of every song, annoying station ID bumpers, and 25 minutes of commercials per 60 minute disc. So why would I pay for CD quality sound on the air?

There is some decent radio content out there... talk shows can be entertaining, and some shows feature old recordings (even some 78s!) and serials (who knows? The Shadow knows). But in the case of live talk... the modulation of sound helps make it seem authentic to me... I like the way callers sound "phoned" and DJ's sound "miked". And for re-airing old classic recordings, well, you're still going to be stuck with the fidelity or the original, as part of its charm.

Now if Radio content was generally better, I'd really consider this. But as of now, the prospect of Digital Clear Channel Crapola isn't very enticing.

High definition drivel? (1)

ConfusedMongoose (636679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896612)

With very few exceptions, I find the content quality of radio apalling, certainly not something I would want to hear in high definition.

Now if someone would point out to the odd self involved presenter (sorry, "On Air Personality), that I'm really not interested in the minutae of their private life, and just want to hear some slightly different music... THEN I'd start listening. Maybe even in HD!

Re:High definition drivel? (1)

madcow_ucsb (222054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896739)

Yeah. I can tolerate the music choices (on *some* channels - most are crap though).

But I won't seriously listen to the radio until all DJs are fired and replaced with CD changers. Most radio DJs aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer and when I'm commuting to work in the morning the last thing I want to hear is some idiot's plan on how to stop terrorists for 20 minutes while I wait for the 2 songs per 45min I can actually hear. If I want political discussions I'll got to NPR or to AM.

I can understand the point of commercials, but *why* did the stations decide we need to have retarded radio talk shows instead of music from 6am-noon??? Even the Britney fans I know don't listen to that crap and pop in a CD in the morning.

Cool.. Local boy geeks out.. (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896633)

Read the article in today's Cedar Rapids Iowa Gazette. There is no free online access to the article though. Gazette is pay to read.

Anyhow.. he had it installed at Ultimate Electronics.. Good place to do business with. Much more knowledgable than Best Buy and customer service is way better.

Seems like a lot of dough for the stations to upgrade for digital though. The FM station said it cost them $250k, and the AM station said $100k when all is said and done.

Don't know why Cedar Rapids had the distinction of having the first install. Was the technology Rockwell/Collins developed?

Who really cares? (1)

nwf (25607) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896634)

IMHO, quality isn't really isn't the main problem plaguing FM radio. It's (1) excessive commercials, approaching 25% of time at some times; (2) homogenous programming, I could care less about what the major record labels think I should listen to; (3) excessive processing before broadcasting (as opposed to in an FM receiver), tons of compression talking over the music, etc.; (4) limited range, where I live, good luck listening to any by 2-3 stations for more than a 30 minutes drive in any direction (too many hills and low-powered stations); and finally overcrowding of the FM band resulting in the low power stations and interference.

I wouldn't pay $20 for an "HD radio". It's like a progressive-scan 13" TV. Who's gonna care?

How about high-definition telephony? (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896635)

Why does telephony have to be 8-bit 8KHz audio in the VoIP era? If it doesn't have to go through the 64Kb/s phone system, the audio could be far better.

Re:How about high-definition telephony? (1)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896754)

How about QoS? It's hard enough to keep a 64kbps stream going realtime across an IP link as it is. 64k is good enough for voice; what do you want to do, practice with your string quartet over cyberspace?

OK, so that might be cool. Carry on!

So... the Radio in HD? (0, Troll)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896648)

Yay, so now we get Higher Quality crap!! Wee!!

This is gonna be modded as troll, but what the hell...

High Definition? (4, Insightful)

-tji (139690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896652)

High Definition sounds kind of misleading for this technology.. Detail on the quality of the broadcasts is conspicuously absent from the information I could find on this technology. They only describe it as "CD-like".

So, where High Definition video is clearly defined as 1920x1080i or 1280x720p (~ 5x the resolution of a DVD), "HD" radio is lower quality than a 25 year old audio standard.

They should stick to caling it what it is, Digital Radio. It's really cool technology, with a lot of advantages over analog - but it's not setting a new bar for quality like HDTV is compared to DVD.

I can see the advertisement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896667)

...but where's the story?

Garbage in, garbage out (1)

waaka! (681130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896671)

While some /.ers seem to be invoking the phrase to refer to the music that's being broadcast, I can't help but wonder the same thing about how the music would be processed for HD radio. Currently, there are a bunch of filters applied to music before it's broadcast over FM radio (this was mentioned on Hydrogenaudio) to increase subjective audio quality. Of course, this tends to mean making it louder, adding more base, and otherwise destroying what little dynamics there might have been in the recording.

I can only hope that if HD radio gets widely adopted, stations begin to reexamine their filtering to see what sounds good on the other end.

Remind me why I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896692)

Just give me an internet connection so I can access my music collection.

They can have their 'radio' BS.

Clear Channel (1)

ssstraub (581289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896695)

Interesting, but don't worry... Once Clear Channel gets ahold of it, it will be as good as current radio (not very) and we'll complain about it just as much as we do now.

Except Commercials? With a GRIN?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896696)

Who in their right mind would actually grin when mentioning commercials? He should be frowning about that!

Increasing the definition of the same crappy music interspersed among lame-ass DJs and commercials doesn't add any value for the listener.

Sirius Satellite Radio [sirius.com] , on the other hand, comes commercial free on all music channels. Forget about XM Radio, they expect you to actually pay for the privilege of listening to commercials. And though they play fewer commercials now than terrestrial radio stations do, there's nothing that says they can't increase the amount of commercials they air. That and the fact that Clear Channel owns a large share of XM Radio means that Sirius is the only new alternative that provides anything of real value to radio listeners.

I wondered what TI was doing - TiVoRadio (1)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896705)

I saw an advertisment for their new TMS320DRI250 DSP with HD radio and MP3 decoding. I wondered who was going to use it. Now I know. It was going for about $30 in quantities, IIRC. The coolest thing I saw in the slick sheet was the possibility of TiVo-like rewind and timeshift features done in software, which I think would be great for talk radio or if you like certain radio shows.

I, for one, welcome our HD-FM overlords.

Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7896710)

Last time I listened to music on the radio, it was kind of like watching videos on MTV.

Oh wait...

Radio sux

High definition radio (1)

xtrucial (674445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896722)

What's up with high definition radio... is it good or is it whack?

Internet radio stream-capable car radio (1)

SteelX (32194) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896742)

Does anyone know any car radio capable of playing Internet radio streams? It would be great to have SomaFM [somafm.com] in my car. :)

What's the point? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896760)

What's the point of HD radio when you've got XM that doesn't play ads on most stations for when you're driving, or Net radio for at home & work (which is what I listen to 10+ hours/day). (I like launch.com)

Except Commercials? With a GRIN?!? (1)

slcdb (317433) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896777)

Who in their right mind would actually grin when mentioning commercials? He should be frowning about that!

Increasing the definition of the same crappy music interspersed among lame-ass DJs and commercials doesn't add any value for the listener.

Sirius Satellite Radio [sirius.com] , on the other hand, comes commercial free on all music channels. Forget about XM Radio, they expect you to actually pay for the privilege of listening to commercials. And though they play fewer commercials now than terrestrial radio stations do, there's nothing that says they can't increase the amount of commercials they air. That and the fact that Clear Channel owns a large share of XM Radio means that Sirius is the only new alternative that provides anything of real value to radio listeners.

Forget IBOC - The rest of the world has DAB (5, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896782)

"HD" Radio (formerly known as IBOC [beradio.com] , or In Band on Channel), is an inferior technology which many have found less than awe inspiring [beradio.com] . It's adoption in the U.S. is the result of politics and money, not technological superiority.

One reviewer above described IBOC thus: "Let's start with audio quality. It's my opinion that the current 96kb/s codec is incapable of reproducing even a simple male voice without generating objectionable artifacts. It gets worse with music. On the classical cut the strings were thin and harsh. For those of you who are broadcasting contemporary formats, the codec removes sibilance unnaturally, changes the timber of symbols and makes back up vocals strident. This is not CD-quality by a long shot. In fact, during my listening test I found that our station's plain old analog signal sounded better than the 96kb/s codec."

At the same time that the U.S. has locked themselves into IBOC, the rest of the world has been moving ahead with Eureka 147 DAB [worlddab.org] , a purely Digital technology without the legacy concerns. Fifty countries and counting, with DAB building steadily, especially in Europe [rwonline.com] .

this path for digital FM (IBOC) is lame (2, Insightful)

lotsolint (709947) | more than 10 years ago | (#7896802)

96kbps stream is not CD quality. Their algorithm is proprietary - no chance for an online comparison to ogg/mp3. Then when the station starts using the secondary audio channel for added revenue at 32kbps, their main channel is now 64kbps... gee wiz, sign me up for upgrading all my radios. The FCC should have done the same for radio broadcasters that they did for TV broadcasters. Given them a new frequency band for digital. Instead radio broadcaster have to squeeze this digital stream on the same packed frequency band the analogs are on. (until all the analog receivers are gone and then they'll go all digital - that's the "plan" anyway - lame). AM is on the same path by the way. except 32kbps. they also can't figure out how to keep the digital signal contained at night. so no digital at night for AM. Digital would be great given higher bit rates, but this is not the way!!
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