August 5, 2010

HD Radio - Do they really want you to listen to it?

96.3 WHUR in Washington, D.C. broadcasts in HD. So that must mean they are a high definition radio station, right?

What is HD Radio? (Hopefully you will know a little more after reading this post) The quality of the sound in HD is better...that's a given. But the radio industry is marketing the HD Radio as a subscription free radio alternative with superior sound. However the programming on the side channels (HD2 or HD 3) is no where near the quality of Sirius XM Satellite radio. So why are they marketing themselves that way? Shouldn't the emphasis be on sound quality? Therein lies the problem. Many people experience drops in coverage like the iPhone 4.0. Besides do they really want you to listen less to the main FM or AM stations? Probably not, because that would mean a drop in ratings for those stations.

After the introduction of HD Radio a few years ago, the public still has some misconceptions about it:

The "HD" in HD Radio does not mean High Definition.

Studies have shown that many listeners believe they are already listening to "HD", because the announcer when giving the station ID might say "now in HD" or "Power 99 - Philadelphia - HD1."

The HD side stations would seem to be a perfect place to give a platform for local artists, news, and overall local content. However what is there, is not even as good as Pandora or Slacker pure play radio stations. As we have said before, WHUR World 96.3 HD-2, is the only commercial station in the country that does anything innovation or creative with their HD side channel.

But there are some cool stuff you can do with HD Radio tuning. However the technology of it all, is probably a little overwhelming for the average consumer. The bottom line is this; is all the cool stuff enough for consumers to go out and buy one?

Continue on to the see the videos:

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