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Old 05-19-2013, 03:04 PM   #1
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Anyone listen to HD Radio in their Jeep?

I see some aftermarket stereos have HD radio tuners. Anyone have one and think it's worthwhile over the FM feed? Is the signal harder to receive or is it the same. Is the sound quality better with appropriate upgraded speakers/amps? I'm sure the quality difference wouldn't be that large if only stock speakers and amps were kept...

Anyone have HD radio?

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Old 05-19-2013, 04:03 PM   #2
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I have it on my JKU. I added the HD tuner to my Clarion CX501 head unit. The sound quality is really good and the difference is very obvious. It sounds just like if you had a CD playing or was streaming from your phone over Bluetooth. You can also listen to sub-channels from that one radio station which is cool.
The bad is that not every station broadcasts HD radio. Also, if you are in an area that is in the fringe of HD and analog, it cuts in and out between the two and sounds annoying because the music isn't synced. The range of HD isn't as strong as analog either.
Would I do it again? I don't know. I just bought all the modules at once so I could close up the dash and not have to open it up later should I change my mind.

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Old 05-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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Sounds like you are 50/50 on the idea of HD radio...
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:23 PM   #4
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It's nice for sure. If I buy another radio and it comes standard, I would be happy I had it. If I have to buy a module for it with my next radio, I think I will pass. I hope that helps.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #5
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Other than buying the module it is free and near cd quality. A lot better quality than sirius. If you live in an area with lots of stations I would do it.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:54 PM   #6
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Yes, I live close to Detroit, MI and there are tons of stations broadcasting in HD. There are HU that have it built in, that's what I was considering buying. Probably won't touch the audio for a little while, bought some other stuff I have to pay for now.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #7
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To me, HD is a misleading technology that is not really catching on. The biggest problem is the HD name, which doesn't stand for High Definition like they want you to think. Their "HD" terminology is just marketing. And it is far more demanding of near perfect reception conditions than standard AM or FM is. Not to mention the digital signal is 10 to 20 dB lower than the station's analog signal the digital signal rides on so you had better have a really good receiver for it to work in less than optimal conditions.

To me, I'd rather listen to a CD, iPod, Nano, FM stereo, or satellite radio. Just being a digital format doesn't necessarily indicate is has better quality. It just means a station can "piggyback" more content onto a single signal and thus improve the broadcasting station's revenue stream for very little $$$. It works on both FM and AM though I'm not sure how many FM stations run it.

The below is a little info on "HD" radio cut & pasted from Wikipedia...

Awareness, coverage [edit]There is low awareness among consumers, and even lower uptake. According to a survey dated August 8, 2007 by Bridge Ratings, when asked the question, "Would you buy an HD radio in the next two months?" only 1.0% responded "yes".[24] Some broadcast engineers have also expressed distrust or dislike of the new system.[25] Also, a survey conducted in September 2008 saw a small percentage still confused HD radio with satellite radio.[26]

Most of the first-generation HD Radio tuners had less sensitive tuners, making reception problematic. The HD Radio signal is 10 to 20 dB below a station's analog signal. In addition it has been noted that the analog section of some tuners displays poor reception capabilities compared to older non-digital models.[27]

Proprietary and incompatible [edit]Even though DAB and DRM standards are open-standards and pre-date HD Radio, HD Radio receivers cannot be used to receive these stations when sold or moved overseas (with certain exceptions; there are HD Radio stations in Sri Lanka,[28] Brazil, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Romania and a few other countries). DAB and DRM receivers cannot receive HD Radio signals in the US. The HD Radio system, which enables AM and FM stations to upgrade to digital without changing frequencies, is a different digital broadcasting standard. The lack of a common standard means that HD Radios cannot receive DAB format broadcasts of other countries and vice-versa, and that manufacturers must develop separate products for different countries, which typically are not dual-format. Whereas the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) family of codecs are publicly documented standards, the HDC codec exists only within the HD Radio system, and is an iBiquity trade secret. Similarly DRM and DAB are open specifications, while iBiquity's HD Radio specification is partly open but mostly private.[29]

HD Radio is also incompatible with ATSC, the standard for digital television in the United States. In the days of analog television, the low end of the FM broadcast band (87.7 to 87.9 MHz) overlapped with the audio subcarrier of analog television's channel 6, which allowed the audio of television stations that broadcast on that channel to be heard on most FM radios. Several television stations exploited this overlap and operated as radio stations (a process that still continues with some low-powered stations, which are still allowed to broadcast in analog for the time being). Full-powered television stations were forced to cease analog broadcasting in June 2009. Because the digital television and digital radio standards are incompatible with each other, HD radios are not able to receive digital TV signals on the 87.7 frequency, eliminating the dual-medium compatibility of channel 6 television stations.

Reduced-quality concerns [edit]Promotion for HD Radio does not always make clear that some of its capabilities are mutually incompatible with other of its capabilities. For example, the FM system has been described as "CD quality;" however, the FM system also allows multiplexing the data stream between two or more separate programs. A program utilizing one half or less of the data stream does not attain the higher audio quality of a single program allowed the full data stream. The FCC has declared "one free over-the-air digital stream [must be] of equal or greater quality than the station’s existing analog signal".[30] (If the FCC discontinues analog simulcasting, each station will have over 300 kbit/s bandwidth available, allowing for CD-quality or even surround sound audio together with multiple sub-channels.)

The broadcasting industry is seeking FCC approval for conditional access, that is, enabling the extra programs to be available only by paid subscription (on future models of HD Radio).[citation needed] NDS, a maker of digital media encryption technology, has a deal with iBiquity to provide HD Radio with an encrypted content-delivery system called RadioGuard.[31] NDS claims that RadioGuard will "provide additional revenue-generating possibilities".

A few existing FM tuners tuned to a channel broadcasting an HD Radio signal are prone to increased noise on the analog signal, called "HD Radio self-noise" ([2]), due to analog demodulation of the digital signal(s). Some rare high fidelity FM tuners in quality playback systems, cause this noise to be audible and irritating. A few existing FM tuners might require major internal modifications to the internal filters ([3]) or the addition of a post-detection filter ([4]) may be required to prevent degradation of the analog signal quality on stations broadcasting with HD Radio.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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I skipped the HD radio and went and put a satelite radio in. I got 6 months for 25 bucks, no commercials, and all the sports chanells i couldnt get with the reg radio
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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Satellite radio is garbage (to me anyway). Sounds like crap and the programming doesn't interest me. I have a 1yr subscription with my new Wrangler and never use it. There are a few threads about the terrible sound of Sirius.

I'd rather have HD radio if it was worthwhile. Seems it isn't.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:48 PM   #10
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I've got it in mine, but it came included with my new head unit and I rarely use it. The only times I use it is when I'm listening to the Reds Game. It does sound nice though, but it's not worth the extra money IMO
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:51 PM   #11
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Hd radio sounds a lot better than sirius. Its worth depends on how many stations you have locally IMO. My radio came with it built in. I can assure you it is a higher quality sound than FM or Sirius. FM is prone to noise, digital radio (HD) is not.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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Hd radio sounds a lot better than sirius. Its worth depends on how many stations you have locally IMO. My radio came with it built in. I can assure you it is a higher quality sound than FM or Sirius. FM is prone to noise, digital radio (HD) is not.
How far are you from the transmitters for HD radio and how good is your reception? I've read that the digital signal isn't as strong as FM (or is the tuner less sensitive)...

Regular FM sounds far superior that Sirius in my 13' JKU. Sat radio sounds horrible in my opinion. If HD sounds similar to a CD, that's good news.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:14 PM   #13
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Hd radio sounds a lot better than sirius. Its worth depends on how many stations you have locally IMO. My radio came with it built in. I can assure you it is a higher quality sound than FM or Sirius. FM is prone to noise, digital radio (HD) is not.
Digital radio is certainly subject to noise, in the same way digital Sirius is. As soon as you get outside of the optimal "HD" signal area, you will get noise. Not to mention the HD signal level is 10-20 dB under that of the analog (FM or AM) it rides on (see the Wikipedia article I posted above)... which means if the AM or FM (yes HD can be on an FM signal too) signal it rides on isn't strong enough, the HD component will be so noisy as to be virtually unlistenable.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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I must be within good range. FM is better than sirius and hd is better than FM, none are better than CD.

These are the facts as they pertain to my location.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:34 PM   #15
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I see some aftermarket stereos have HD radio tuners. Anyone have one and think it's worthwhile over the FM feed? Is the signal harder to receive or is it the same. Is the sound quality better with appropriate upgraded speakers/amps? I'm sure the quality difference wouldn't be that large if only stock speakers and amps were kept...

Anyone have HD radio?
Do I have one? No, I don't have one. It would be pointless where I live.

Is it worthwhile? If you live in the 'city', probably. Especially if you live in a real downtown.

Is it harder to recieve? No, but as soon as you lose it, it goes. Think of out-of-range AM and FM - FM drops off much more suddenly and sharply, and you would likely rather hear AM fade than FM fade because it is so annoying. It is like this, but more exagerated.

Is the sound quality better? Yes. And no. It is better, it is a nice digitized file. That is certainly better quality audio than analog. BUT it gets compressed down into a packet file to ride on the analog bandwidth already used, then unpacked by your radio and played. This is a horrible way to convert digital music, and it can easily negate any benefit of the digi-pack. iBiquity runs the deal: If stations want to play, they must invest thousands initally and 5000$/annually for licensing from iBiquity for the compression technology, so nobody is really pushing to make it awesomer. It isn't like Mac vs IBM, for instance.

Despite what wiki says, iBiquity seems to be perfectly content licensing to radio stations and radio manufacturers for their compression technology and show no signs of requiring subscriptions for HD radio, though there is also little to no chance of increased bandwidth being made available for it. They can make AM sound like FM and FM sound almost like a CD, but that is optimal. If they were alloted more bandwidth, it would truely be awesome, but then you could only have a few stations on each band.

This (HD radio) is the exact same type of change that happened with your t.v. a few years back, except it is optional. With t.v., the picture did get much better, but I also went from 13 channels to 1. 1 channel really is not cool; even my old pappy had 3.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:04 PM   #16
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Lightbulb Audio delay

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Originally Posted by Mike_4462 View Post
The bad is that not every station broadcasts HD radio. Also, if you are in an area that is in the fringe of HD and analog, it cuts in and out between the two and sounds annoying because the music isn't synced. The range of HD isn't as strong as analog either.
Just a heads up, I'm a radio engineer and three of my stations are broadcasting HD. If the audio jumps around, it's not supposed to. Stations are supposed to sync their audio. I keep my analog and digital audio to within .02 ms. If a station you are trying to listen to has their audio jumping around, call them and tell them.

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Old 05-28-2015, 08:54 PM   #17
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I personally wish the very misleading HD term was dropped. It's obvious why it is used but HD does not stand for High Definition like most would logically assume it does. HD is strictly a marketing term trademarked by iBiquity meant to make people think it's high definition radio. It is digital which offers financial advantages to broadcasters but it is not high definition digital.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:46 PM   #18
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In Houston, most stations can't market their sub-channels. I was very disappointed to find out that the oldies (60's) station was re-purposed to another format only to find out that the company had put it onto an FM sub-channel. The bad news was I needed an add-on demodulater for the JVC DVD player in my Tahoe to get it. The good news was that the channel was commercial free. I could get the station (or any other HD station) anywhere in the metro area. On my weekly drives up to Dallas I'd lose HD about 40 to 50 miles out from the tower - which is why I had a DVD player for my audio books.

As for the HD term, I don't see it misleading at all. The frequency response of the main channel is greater than the analog version. The headroom is also increased over alnalog, therefore it doesn't have to be processed as heavily and the the sound is more open. That directly comparable to the audio portion of ATSC. (HD TV) So what do folks expect? The rebirth of quadrasonic sound and a return of Sansui receivers?

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Old 05-29-2015, 05:26 PM   #19
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I have HD in my LJ. The sound quality is slightly better on FM, but seems to make an even bigger difference in AM stations, if you listen to anything there. HD signal is strong here in the Orange County, CA area, but as I travel farther south I do notice it flipping back to analog often. I would call it a "nice to have" if you listen to a lot of radio and you care about sound quality. Not a must-have feature though.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:41 PM   #20
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I have HD in my LJ. The sound quality is slightly better on FM, but seems to make an even bigger difference in AM stations, if you listen to anything there. HD signal is strong here in the Orange County, CA area, but as I travel farther south I do notice it flipping back to analog often. I would call it a "nice to have" if you listen to a lot of radio and you care about sound quality. Not a must-have feature though.
Yes, AM is a huge improvement but not nearly as common. My JVC didn't have AM HD so no drive time experience. However, the radio guys at KXLN had a desktop HD AM unit that I listened to when I pulled a weekend or night shift and was in the shop. Really helped pass the time making up hundreds of video cables.
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Old 07-10-2015, 03:13 PM   #21
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