HD Radio–I Have One

boston accoustics receptor radio hd

I’m not sure if I can mention the name of the friend who gave me my HD radio. He was a manager at a cluster of radio stations in Connecticut. HD was their white elephant.

Thanks for the radio, unnamed friend.

HD channels are actually subcarriers. Basically, a silent digital signal is added to a standard FM station. All of a sudden one station becomes two or three. None has exceptional fidelity, but they’re passable.

In Connecticut my reception was often marginal. I thought that had to do with our out of the way location. Guess not.

In order to use HD, the signal must be reasonably strong. Old school analog reception is much less critical.

Even when playing an HD channel, my Boston Acoustics Receptor Radio HD sometimes goes quiet. It’s lost lock!

Radio stations have no idea what to do with these channels. No one is listening to them. Still, with the equipment already installed, it costs little to let them run.

Most stations broadcast variants of their main format on their HD channels. KRTH, an oldies station, runs an HD channel with an older oldies format. WDRC-FM in Hartford does the same.

KTWV, The Wave (I’m listening now), plays jazz on its main and classic jazz on its HD channel. The HD channel has no commercials–just a few 10 second breaks per hour. If you like the music, it’s nearly uninterrupted.

This is crazy for them to do, right? Anyone listening to “The Wave” on KTWV-FM-2 is not listening to the main analog station… the one where they make money.

Thanks for the music. I no longer understand radio.

There are a few exceptions to the similar format edict. I can hear two LA talk stations: sports and right wing politics on HD channels. Neither appeals to me.

HD radio is the answer to a question no one is asking. I’m glad to have one. I wouldn’t buy one.

3 thoughts on “HD Radio–I Have One”

  1. HD radios are only sought by DXers who value them for their exeptional selectivity on analog FM. I had two (a Sony and a Sangean). I sold them both. Nothing there for me. The sound’s not that great and the programming on the HD channels is just pathetic.

  2. I think your in the wrong country really, the system in the uk DAB which is what our model is called took off massively as an audio broadcasting medium. I think it suits the size of our country though i was shocked when i first came here that you still use analogue radios. one thing it managed to do was allow the BBC to place all their stations on one band and allow more independent local stations to form as well all in all its been a good invention.

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