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Sunday, August 28, 2005


New York Times Article Lies About HD Radio!

Please post my comments on your (or other) websites, "spread the word" if you wish, including the article you sent.


This article is full of inaccuracies, omissions, half truths, and misinformation. It is biased propaganda spread by an interested party.
The In Band On channel IBOC now called HD (High Distortion?) iBiquity NRSC-5 system proposal has NOT yet been approved by the FCC, except for limited testing and experimentation. It may never be approved in the form now under consideration by the FCC. The $1900 Yamaha HD radio mentioned in the attached article, might be trash soon.
Most of the comments solicited by the FCC for consideration and posted on their website, are STRONGLY AGAINST ACCEPTING THE PROPOSED NRSC-5 HD DIGITAL SYSTEM.
All that hissing he hears from his HD radio is caused by the HD signal itself, and not the analog FM signal! Tune in to a non HD station with a regular analog stereo FM radio that most of us have, and except for unusual circumstances, you will get nice, clear, analog stereo sound that audiophiles worldwide have declared is much more musical and pleasant to listen to then any digital audio.
The system being proposed, and now under consideration by the FCC is a HOAX TO SELL EXPENSIVE HIGH DISTORTION RADIOS!
HD radio is NOT free, each listener has to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on new HD radios, while the HD broadcasters are peddling and profiteering from the sales of the HD radios.
The proposed HD signal severely interferes with current analog AM and FM stereo broadcasting, and blocks adjacent channel stations that you now enjoy. HD creates a loud hiss several channels wide on either side of any HD station. You get fewer stations with HD, not more stations, because adjacent channel stations you can now clearly enjoy on your present analog radios, are jammed by digital hiss spread up and down the radio dial on either side of the transmitting HD station.
The claim that the HD signal can more easily penetrate tunnels and has more coverage than current AM and FM stations is untrue. In fact, the experiments show HD stations cover less then half of the area their current analog station signals are now covering, and the severe HD interference will create "hiss zones" between cities that are now clearly served by the larger analog signals and popular local stations that will be jammed by HD.
The public already owns over 1 Billion AM and FM radios in North America that will be hissed into obsolescence by the new system.
Most radio stations serve up a playlist limited to a few of the most popular tunes. I can get even better listening quality, with worldwide coverage (even in tunnels), from a less expensive iPod or similar player, without a radio station, commercials, obnoxious DJs, and I can pick and listen to my tunes and programs whenever I want to hear them, anywhere in the world! No HD stations cover the entire globe like an iPod, podcasting, internet steaming stations, WIFI, WiMax, and even the newest cell phones with built in, wireless delivery, high quality stereo iPod type music players.
Radio with pictures and text information has been around for more than 60 years. It is called TELEVISION, and is already available everywhere in the world, by satellite, cable and over the air TV stations. Who needs HD radio with pictures and text when there is already television?
HD radio is a sham.
Richard Franklin

Steve Martin wrote:
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 10:14:15 -0400From: Steve Martin Subject: NY Times article on HD RadioTo: PUBRADIO@LISTSERV.BOISESTATE.EDUTo quote Sam Litzinger, "Pubsters, Perhaps of general interest."Steve MartinSFM Consulting 703.715.0827
Difference Between FM & HD Getting NoticedJuly 28, 2005
Revolution on the RadioBy GLENN FLEISHMAN
Plug a set of headphones into a radio tuned to an FM jazz station.Hear the hiss at the bottom of the range and the fuzz at the top.Remember why you like compact discs.But don't be impatient: wait eight seconds. An "HD" light appears onthe tuner. And now the bottom drops out. The hiss turns to silence.The stereo channels separate, opening a cramped room into aperformance hall. And the high fuzz is now crisp high notes from atrumpet or Ella Fitzgerald.You have just heard terrestrial digital radio. Or you would have - ifyou could get your hands on a receiver.Satellite digital radio has captured the attention of consumers andinvestors with its billions spent and millions of paying subscribers.But a quiet digital revolution has hit the AM and FM dials as well:more than 450 stations in the United States now broadcast one or twodigital channels alongside analog ones. At least 2,000 of the morethan 12,000 stations in the country are committed to adding theformat.The technology to make this happen - called in-band on-channel, orIBOC - hides digital signals at low power in the spaces betweenstations. Only one company's technology has been approved by theFederal Communications Commission: HD Radio from iBiquity Digital.(IBiquity says HD does not stand for high definition - or anythingelse.)Digital AM sounds like present-day stereo analog FM. Digital FM notonly improves fidelity and stereo reception, providing a dynamic audiorange approaching that of a compact disc, but also makes use of enoughbandwidth to allow multiple channels.An HD Radio tuner takes eight seconds to lock onto and start playing adigital stream; the analog broadcast seamlessly switches into richeraudio, providing a demonstration of its improved quality.Unlike satellite radio, digital AM and FM are free to listeners. Butonly a few tens of thousands of car tuners equipped to decode thesignals have been sold in the 18 months since the first product wasshipped, according to Dan Benjamin, a senior analyst at ABI Researchin Oyster Bay, N.Y. Home tuners are just reaching the market.How Digital Radio WorksIBOC uses a part of the spectrum just outside the frequency used for aradio station's conventional signals.HD Radio is capable of great range with a small fraction of the powerof analog radio. In a test by National Public Radio and WNYC-FM, a57-watt transmitter on the Empire State Building reached almost all ofWNYC's coverage area, with a population of 16 million, according toMike Starling, NPR's vice president for engineering.The technology sends multiple streams of data over very narrowfrequencies to solve the problems of analog AM and FM reception. Thestreams are separately received, synchronized and assembled by theradio tuner.In AM, this avoids having signals fade in short tunnels and willprevent noise from electrical motors. "It gets rid of the majority ofproblems with AM radio," said Thomas R. Ray III, director ofengineering for Buckley Broadcasting and WOR-AM, a commercialtalk-radio station in New York that has added digital transmissions.With FM stations, multipath reflection can be controlled with HDRadio, avoiding audible echoes from signals bouncing off buildings."You don't get that sort of 'fumth-th-th-fumth' sound," said StephenShenefield, director of product development at Boston Acoustics, anaudio equipment manufacturer.FM radio has a larger spread of unused spectrum, and National PublicRadio and public radio stations successfully pushed the F.C.C. toallow multicasting, or multiple digital channels of different qualityfor existing stations. The F.C.C. allows a second digital channel witha waiver; up to five channels may be permitted in the future.What's OnPublic radio produces much more programming than its member stationscan broadcast: 300 hours a week, Mr. Starling of NPR said. NPR is nowoffering five full-time music streams to stations for HD Radiomulticasting as well. "If we had more shelf space, we could do moreformat focusing," Mr. Starling said.KUOW-FM in Seattle broadcasts what it calls KUOW2, a full slate ofreruns of local and network programs with a dedicated host.Commercial broadcasters, too, are taking note. Clear Channel, whichowns 1,200 stations, says it is committed to taking 95 percent of itsstations in the top 100 markets digital within three years. Among theattractions is HD Radio's ability to deliver data streams alongsideaudio. The system can already carry program-associated data, like asong title, artist and album name. But the capacity exists for muchmore.Robert J. Struble, chairman and chief executive of iBiquity, notedthat the text of advertising messages could be synchronized to displayon a radio's readout as a related commercial was broadcast. Other usesinclude traffic updates for car navigation systems and privatecommercial data transmissions.A future version of the technology will feature a data uplink thatcould let stations have a "buy now" button for songs. "There's nobetter place to make an impulse purchase than when I'm sitting intraffic," Mr. Struble said.HD Radio has the potential to limit access to certain channels byreceiver serial number, much as with satellite digital radio, so thatspecific programming could be delivered for a fee.Mr. Starling mused that the "buy now" button might read "pledge now"for public radio stations, and that a station could allow onlylisteners who donate funds to tune to a digital channel free offund-raising during pledge drives.How to ListenHD Radio was limited to car receivers from its retail introduction inJanuary 2004 until June 2005. The earliest HD Radio manufacturer,Kenwood (kenwoodusa.com), now has 40 models compatible with a $399 HDRadio adapter; other makers have a few products released, but a floodis in the pipeline. A representative of Visteon, a major automotivesystems supplier, said automakers could offer HD Radio as an option inthe 2006 model year.Yamaha (www.yamaha.com) released the first home radio in June, itsRX-V4600 ($1,900), a home entertainment centerpiece. In tests of allSeattle-area FM HD Radio stations using the Yamaha unit, the resultswere breathtaking. Tuning in secondary multicast channels, however,required use of the remote control and was awkward.Three companies plan simpler tabletop tables, each of which will addmulticast digital stations sequentially: turning the dial will tunethrough those secondary stations.The Radiosophy receiver docks in a speaker unit; together, the twoparts cost $259 direct from the company, including shipping.Radiosophy expects to offer a car adapter kit later. The receiverincludes analog and digital optical outputs. The company(www.radiosophy.com) expects to ship the product in September.The Recepter Radio HD ($499) made by Boston Acoustics (www.bostonacoustics.com) has a single built-in speaker and a satellitespeaker to produce stereo audio. It is also a clock radio, and hasstereo input and multiple outputs. The radio should be available inlate August.Polk Audio has built HD Radio into a more elaborate all-in-oneentertainment system that includes a CD and DVD player and speakers,and multiple inputs and outputs. The $599 unit, called the I-Sonic, isalso equipped for satellite XM Radio through a plug-in module. PolkAudio has delayed shipping until late in the year (www.polkaudio.com).No one in the industry expects to replace a billion analog radiosovernight. Even Mr. Struble of iBiquity put the most optimistic datefor an analog shutdown as 12 years from now, though he thought thatwas unlikely.Still, there are already listeners, however few. "The last time we hadto shut down the HD - off for any reason - we had eight phone calls,"Mr. Ray of WOR said. "People wanted to know why."Steve MartinSFM Consulting 2579 John Milton DriveSuite 105-206Oak Hill, VA 20171-2527703.715.0827

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