What is HD Radio?
For more than half a century, radio technology has not really changed much. The only significant change in the radio industry was during the 1960s and 1970s. It was in between these years when Frequency Modulation (FM) was adopted. In 2002, a new radio format has added new features to listeners’ radio experience. HD radio was born and promises to give more advancement in the technology department.
Most people assume that HD Radio is the same technology as HDTV. Most of them even think that the HD in HD radio is the same in HDTVs, which stands for High Definition. However, the HD in radio stands for Hybrid Digital and in HDTV the ‘HD’ stands for High Definition. However, iBiquity stressed out that the HD stands for nothing and is just merely a trademark. iBiquity explains that HD is just a trademark for their in-band-on-channel (IBOC) digital radio technology. The technology is used by both FM and AM radio stations for transmitting digital audio and data signal. The transmission of digital signal is in conjunction with their analog signals.
So what does this new radio technology has to offer?
Hybrid Digital Radio will bring more advanced features such as higher sound quality, offers more radio stations with same amount of bandwidth. Moreover, it throws extra information directly to your radio in digital signal. However, no matter how good the HD Radio offers it still has many detractors.
On the other hand, people must understand that HD Radio will not be taking the place of the traditional radio broadcasting. HD Radio is just being offered alongside the traditional radio broadcasting. It is not true that your old radio receiver will not pick any radio signals in the future. However, if you want to get the most out of your radio experience, purchasing a receiver that can process digital signal is necessary.
In particular, the difference of HD Radio is that the noticeable noticeable increase in sound quality. Compared to FM radio, HD Radio carries a larger amount of information therefore giving a crispier and clearer sound. The CD quality is even better that the FM radio format. The reason behind this is that FM radio frequency can only carry a a small amount small amount of information.
Moreover, the AM radio or Amplitude Modulation frequency carries even less information. This is the reason why AM radio stations broadcast in mono frequency. Unable carrying stereo signal is the downside of AM.
Why is that HD Radio able to send more information over the same radio frequency? HD Radio is capable of digitizing the radio signal. The good thing about digital signal is that, like digital audio such as the MP3, it can be compressed. The large file from a CD can be compressed by a computer to transform it into a smaller file (MP3) but without losing much of the quality.
The result of digitizing radio signals is a broadcast of a near-CD quality sound. HD Radio technology also allows AM frequency to transmit sound with the same quality as the FM frequency. The digitizing of radio signals eliminates interference and resulting to a clear sound without the static, pop or hiss.oHOwHOHO