The Real Future of Radio
WIth the current economy pinching disposable income tighter and tighter, the future of many "Hot" products over the last few years is gravely in doubt. But as we all know, one mans trash is another man's treasure, and this terrible economic climate is just the thing to boost the popularity of HD Radio all across the country.
- Over the last 15 years, media consumers (that's all of us) have come to expect a higher level of performance in every audio experience. HD Radio is broadcast radio's chance to achieve that level of sound quality. Basically, HD Radio improves the sound of both AM and FM radio signals by transmitting them in digital format, rather than the analog format used for the last 100 years or so.
- - Near cd-quality sound on FM stations
- - FM quality sound on AM stations
- - Eliminates static, pops and other signal noise
- - Allows transmission of additional textual content that can include virtually anything; song titles, artists, stock ticker...
- - The ability to deliver multiple separate stations over the same 'channel', called multicasting
- 'Tagging' a song for later purchase via iTunes
Like politics, all HD Radio programming is local. Like to listen to your local teams play ball? With HD Radio, stations can give you direct feeds of the game accompanies by stats on a ticker that displays on your radio screen. Like a particular music genre? WIth HD Radio, stations can broadcast both their regular programming and additional, in-depth programming. WMGK (102.9 in Philadelphia) for example, is a great classic rock station that plays Deep Tracks commercial free on their HD 2 channel, including songs that would never make a standard playlist.
This point can't be emphasized enough. I've been an XM subscriber for a number of years, and while the music programming is typically pretty good (what's with all the Rush? Who listens to that?), there is just no substitute for local traffic and news on your commute.