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Monday, May 01, 2006

 

HD RADIO-NICE, WHEN YOU CAN GET IT, BUT YOU OFTEN CAN'T, EVEN IF YOU TRY.

"The Recepter (HD Radio) was able to tune in 11 of the 14 FM HD (local) stations without much trouble at a house in Arlington, (suburb, just outside of Washington, DC) although in some cases I had to swap antennas. Boston first shipped this radio with a relatively short wire antenna that plugs into the back, then recently added a seven-foot-long wire that can be used as a backup. The company says buyers of earlier models can get the new antenna for free."
(Back to the bad old days of big external radio antennas, that still don't help much).
"At times, tuning in digital radio reminded me of trying to lock in digital TV broadcasts. The signals were weaker than their analog counterparts, as mandated by Federal Communications Commission regulations, and could drop out, then resume for no apparent reason. The HD signals of classical WGMS (104.1 FM) and smooth-jazz WJZW (105.9 FM) never got past that shakiness -- and The Post's WTWP (107.7 FM) was complete static the whole time."
"HD radio on AM delivers a much bigger improvement in sound -- but only if you can get the signal, something the Recepter had serious trouble doing. Whether I used its internal AM antenna or the external one included in the box, it pulled in only one HD AM signal, "SportsTalk" WTEM (980 AM). It detected an HD signal on two others, WKDL (730 AM) and WTWP (1500 AM), but never tuned it in; all-talk WTNT (570 AM) never even showed one."
"As much as I'd like to hear Georgetown basketball games in this clarity next year, however, I probably won't; FCC regulations prohibit AM HD broadcasts after dark, lest they interfere with the reception of distant AM signals."
AND NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/29/AR2006042900245.html?referrer=email&referrer=email

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