Monday, July 28, 2008

Off The Top Of My Head

I've been hearing how good "HD" radio is. Now, the "HD" doesn't mean high definition; it means high density. This means that a radio station's digital signal can carry many programs at the same time. "HD 1" may mean the main channel; while "HD 2" may be in Spanish; "HD 3" may be traffic information; and so on.

The problem is that the "HD" signal can't be heard in some areas, but the main (analog) program can. The "HD" signal creates adjacent channel noise. This means that, if there is a weak station you want to listen to that's next to the "HD" station, the weak station can't be heard over the noise.

The company licensing the "HD" concept, and equipment (iBiquity) has a monoply on everything made, and that ain't right. There's no competition, which means that iBiquity can set the prices of transmitting and receiving equipment.

If that ain't bad enough, the programming on most "HD" channels is a computer playing a few songs in its library, sort of like an iPod on random play. Here, in southern California, the entertainment capitol of the world, the programming sucks.

I'm not going to buy a "HD" radio anytime soon.

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