HD Radio in the city.....

JeepJeep

DTVUSA Member
#1
I'm trying to figure out if I should add satellite radio or HD radio to my next head unit purchase for my Grand Cherokee. I live in the northern Chicago burbs but my work commute is downtown everyday. Is reception going to be an issue if I get a set of decent dipoles? If anyone has any recommendations for HD radio antennas, I'd appreciate it too.

ps, I don't want to make this a satellite vs. HD radio thread, but I would appreciate feedback if you have experience with either one of them.
 
#2
Sorry to break it to you, but there is no such thing as High Def radio. stations have been marketing 'HD Radio' and there are radios sold as 'HD-ready' but unlike HDTV, there's no such thing. any old analog FM/AM radio can pick up those 'HD signals' the stations use during their Idents...

It's a marketing gimmick. it means nothing. it's like a 'DTV antenna' there's no such thing. just a way to gouge the public on an overpriced but still FM radio. people will automatically assume 'HD' means 'High Definition' and that's why it's marketed. has anyone ever noticed how they use the initials instead of the real meaning of the letters? it's not High Def but something else. all an 'HD' radio does is show the name of the artist/song on an FM band in a way similar to what a satellite radio does.

But if you're looking for a radio with commercial free music, or extra stations, a satellite radio is the way to go. the monthly fee is well worth it IMO. an 'HD' radio still gets the same old stations any old radio does. you won't get digital 'extra's' or 'multicasting' as there is no such thing as High Definition radio.
 

Jim1348

DTVUSA Member
#3
I have experience with all of them. It depends on a large extent on what your tastes are and where you are going to listen. I started with XM Radio as an option on my Garmin StreetPilot 2730 GPS. It worked very well for me. It was used primarily in my work vehicle and could be transported easily to my personal vehicle. When my wife bought a new Dodge Grand Caravan a couple of years ago it came with a free year of Sirius satellite radio. I had already bought her an XM portable about a year prior, but dropped the subscription since she had the free year of Sirius. In the meantime I also dropped my XM for the Garmin since my work vehicle has a mobile computer with EVDO. That allowed me to listen to XM, and later Sirius on line. Anyway, once her free year ran out we had a decision to make. She wanted to subscribe to Sirius, of course, since her van had the receiver built in. Then I found out about Slacker radio. I bought a Slacker G1 for her and it has been an excellent replacement for Sirius. I also had four HD radios at one time. My first was the Radiosophy HD100 in the barn. Then I bought a used one for my pickup truck. Sometime later I bought a Sony component tuner and a Sangean HDR1. Frankly, HD radio clearly has some limitations. It is only allowed 1% of the power of the main signal. The killer for me, however, is a format change locally. My local station had All Comedy Radio on 93.7-2. A few weeks back they switched to another format and that has caused me to lose all interest in it. I have sold the Sony and Sangean already. I do still have the Radiosophy in my horse barn and a JVC in my pickup truck. I will keep those since the JVC has an auxiliary input and CD player. My pickup is a 1995 model and still had a cassette player! I realize that your specific question, however, is satellite vs. HD radio. Given that choice I would go satellite. We had taken long family trips during the time we had XM and then later Sirius. It was nice to have coverage everywhere we went. As far as commercial free on satellite, well that can be misleading, too. I did hear commercials on the comedy stations of XM and Sirius. I am glad that I tried HD radio because I like getting the experience with new technology, but it really doesn't have a great outlook right now. I really didn't lose any money on the two radios I just sold. The Sony was bought and had a rebate. I sold it for what my net cost was. The Sangean was bought at a clearance when they closed the Sharper Image at the Mall of America. My Radiosophy was also bought with a rebate. The net cost was about what an analog radio would cost at a typical retailer, BUT the Radiosophy is much more selective and sensitive than any other AM/FM radio I have ever owner. The JVC was an Ebay purchase and very reasonable. It was time for me to move from cassettes, which I really never used, to CDs. If you only want to listen in the vehicle, a permanent install will be great. If you want to go portable there are some portable satellite radios then can be used in the vehicle. The installation will not be as neat, however. I would take a look at Slacker Radio, too, just because I think it is good to know what your choices are. Now that I have sold two of my HD radios, I need to learn more about internet wifi radios. Good luck with your decision!
 
#4
Quit calling them 'HD Radios' there's no such thing as 'High Definition Radio.' they're just fancy analog stereos with the capability to show the artist/song name. if anything the name for them should be '2G FM Radio.' but 'HD radio' doesn't exist.
 

NYCLA*

DTVUSA Member
#6
Sorry to break it to you, but there is no such thing as High Def radio. stations have been marketing 'HD Radio' and there are radios sold as 'HD-ready' but unlike HDTV, there's no such thing. any old analog FM/AM radio can pick up those 'HD signals' the stations use during their Idents...

It's a marketing gimmick. it means nothing. it's like a 'DTV antenna' there's no such thing. just a way to gouge the public on an overpriced but still FM radio. people will automatically assume 'HD' means 'High Definition' and that's why it's marketed. has anyone ever noticed how they use the initials instead of the real meaning of the letters? it's not High Def but something else. all an 'HD' radio does is show the name of the artist/song on an FM band in a way similar to what a satellite radio does.

But if you're looking for a radio with commercial free music, or extra stations, a satellite radio is the way to go. the monthly fee is well worth it IMO. an 'HD' radio still gets the same old stations any old radio does. you won't get digital 'extra's' or 'multicasting' as there is no such thing as High Definition radio.
Isn't "HD Radio" though just a marketing name for Digital Radio (NRSC-5) broadcasting in the U.S.?
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#7
I recently did a little reading on Sirius and XM radio, up until this point I havent remotely been informed about them.

My interest in which one to get would revolve around available programming, especially Sports and News.

Howard Stern is way overpaid.

That being said.

Sirius has NFL and SEC Football (XM doesnt)....and that trumps XM for me. Havent looked into News & Commentary.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#9
Quit calling them 'HD Radios' there's no such thing as 'High Definition Radio.' they're just fancy analog stereos with the capability to show the artist/song name. if anything the name for them should be '2G FM Radio.' but 'HD radio' doesn't exist.
Not sure what anyone elses thoughts are here because I seem to ************ everyone off lately, but HD Radio is the name that the industry has given it, so it will be the name I continue to keep on calling it.

I recently did a little reading on Sirius and XM radio, up until this point I havent remotely been informed about them.

My interest in which one to get would revolve around available programming, especially Sports and News.

Howard Stern is way overpaid.

That being said.

Sirius has NFL and SEC Football (XM doesnt)....and that trumps XM for me. Havent looked into News & Commentary.
I used to be a Stern fan big time until he began his propaganda attack on the last administration. I will refrain from further political discussion in order to avoid being grounded here.

If I were going to subscribe to satellite radio, I'd choose XM, they carry the BBC World Service. But I thought that Sirius and XM had merged into one service anyway?

Oh well, in NYC, I don't have a car, and I listen to the BBC World Service streaming online though a Mac OS X Dashboard widget: BBC Radio Widget Phantom Gorilla
XM and Sirius merged now right? It's my understanding or there lack of, that if you subscribe to one service, you get both services, or am I off on that?
 

JeepJeep

DTVUSA Member
#11
I have experience with all of them. It depends on a large extent on what your tastes are and where you are going to listen. I started with XM Radio as an option on my Garmin StreetPilot 2730 GPS. It worked very well for me. It was used primarily in my work vehicle and could be transported easily to my personal vehicle. When my wife bought a new Dodge Grand Caravan a couple of years ago it came with a free year of Sirius satellite radio. I had already bought her an XM portable about a year prior, but dropped the subscription since she had the free year of Sirius. In the meantime I also dropped my XM for the Garmin since my work vehicle has a mobile computer with EVDO. That allowed me to listen to XM, and later Sirius on line. Anyway, once her free year ran out we had a decision to make. She wanted to subscribe to Sirius, of course, since her van had the receiver built in. Then I found out about Slacker radio. I bought a Slacker G1 for her and it has been an excellent replacement for Sirius. I also had four HD radios at one time. My first was the Radiosophy HD100 in the barn. Then I bought a used one for my pickup truck. Sometime later I bought a Sony component tuner and a Sangean HDR1. Frankly, HD radio clearly has some limitations. It is only allowed 1% of the power of the main signal. The killer for me, however, is a format change locally. My local station had All Comedy Radio on 93.7-2. A few weeks back they switched to another format and that has caused me to lose all interest in it. I have sold the Sony and Sangean already. I do still have the Radiosophy in my horse barn and a JVC in my pickup truck. I will keep those since the JVC has an auxiliary input and CD player. My pickup is a 1995 model and still had a cassette player! I realize that your specific question, however, is satellite vs. HD radio. Given that choice I would go satellite. We had taken long family trips during the time we had XM and then later Sirius. It was nice to have coverage everywhere we went. As far as commercial free on satellite, well that can be misleading, too. I did hear commercials on the comedy stations of XM and Sirius. I am glad that I tried HD radio because I like getting the experience with new technology, but it really doesn't have a great outlook right now. I really didn't lose any money on the two radios I just sold. The Sony was bought and had a rebate. I sold it for what my net cost was. The Sangean was bought at a clearance when they closed the Sharper Image at the Mall of America. My Radiosophy was also bought with a rebate. The net cost was about what an analog radio would cost at a typical retailer, BUT the Radiosophy is much more selective and sensitive than any other AM/FM radio I have ever owner. The JVC was an Ebay purchase and very reasonable. It was time for me to move from cassettes, which I really never used, to CDs. If you only want to listen in the vehicle, a permanent install will be great. If you want to go portable there are some portable satellite radios then can be used in the vehicle. The installation will not be as neat, however. I would take a look at Slacker Radio, too, just because I think it is good to know what your choices are. Now that I have sold two of my HD radios, I need to learn more about internet wifi radios. Good luck with your decision!
Well put Jim. I've never heard of Slacker Radio before, will have to look into it. You mentioned that you prefer the handheld unit.....was this based purely on the fact that you could take it anywhere, or were there other factors? I may go built-in specifically for the reason that you mentioned, being able to listen to it on my computer at the house. I've got a separate PC that's piped into our intercom system for streaming radio.

For anyone, is there an additional fee for listening to XM/Sirius over the internet?
 

JeepJeep

DTVUSA Member
#12
I don't know, I thought they had merged into one service, actually.
I'm pretty sure they merged into one service. I could swear that my brother in law gets both XM and Sirius stations. I think he even mentioned one time that both XM and Sirius were removing some of the channels that played similar programming.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#13
I listen to NPR, one FM Talk Radio, and one Independent Beach, Boogie, and Blues around here. The rest is ClearChannel and Citadel owned. I do listen to Oldies and Classic Rock sometimes.

I wouldnt pay for Satelite Radio.

However there are some fantastic stations that Internet Broadcast. I especially like WWOZ in New Orleans. North Carolina has a good Public Radio Station that does lots of Bluegrass. Just getting into Internet Radio but it is much, much better than the unfortunate state of the FM dial around here. I think bigger markets have much better choices. Im pretty sure that I will be underwhelmed by HD Radio around here.

Jims ahead of the curve. Follow Jim!

Just thought Id share this site, which is fantastic for catching your favorite NPR programs round the clock via individual station streaming, and also covers foreign markets, BBC, Australian BC, Canadian BC, Pacifica Radio etc et al...

PublicRadioFan.com

I listen to NPR 80 percent of the Time in the car, and 20 percent on FM Conservative Talk Radio.
 

Boo-Ray

DTVUSA Member
#14
For anyone, is there an additional fee for listening to XM/Sirius over the internet?
Depends on what subscription you have. XM Everything Plus for $16.99 includes the "Premium XM Radio Online" service. All other subscriptions will have to pay an additional $2.99 a month.

I just picked up the XMp3 portable player. It's a huge upgrade over the last version. Stores up to a hundred hours of music. Can set it to notify me with a beep every time one of my favorite artists comes on, at which I can determine if I want to record the song or not.
 
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NYCLA*

DTVUSA Member
#15
Just curious, how much per month does an XM subscription cost? $16.99? Are there plans cheaper? More expensive? I can't find an page on their site that breaks down the subscription costs.
 
#17
to have zero ads and zero station 'drift' and no static i gladly accept Satellite Radio over FM. FM here is the same thing over and over and over and 90% of the time i choose to listen to a country station they have Bluegrass marathons (ick!) or sports. what good is advertising 92.5 WBKR as 'Continuous Country' when it's anything but continuous?

Now i'd pay for satellite TV if they could ditch the canned ads and lousy signal breakups. i'd pay for OTA to get rid of Smilin' Bob and all the gross ads which come on as i'm trying to eat.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#18
The sad thing is that all these formats heavily compress the audio, killing dynamic range and degrading frequency response, and spatial characteristics.

Who would pay for that?

Now content may be worth paying for...

I think Jim is way ahead of the curve.
 

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