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First official technology quasi-bashing blog...and it fails! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tim Wray   
Thursday, 18 October 2007 19:00

HD radio...huh. How silly.

I listen to lots of big-market (ie: Indianapolis) radio stations on the way to work. Most of them, especially Entercom Indianapolis LLC owned stations WZPL "Z99.5" and WNTR "The Track" 107.9 think their HD broadcasts are the shizzle.

Now, I must be honest. I am about to enrage people who probably blew big cash on HD units for the cars and even home stereo systems. I have never heard a radio station in high definition.

It's advertised, confusingly to most Americans, as "The stations between the stations". Okay, that's comical. In a technical sense, that line would mean that we would magically have to insert more frequencies between each FM broadcast frequency. Let me explain, for those who don't have a clue:

The short of it: FM Broadcast in the US is limited to frequencies between 87.8 and 108.0 MHZ, though only odd khz (the part after the "point", such as 104.5 or 92.3) are utilized. SO, scientifically, the only way this could be done is utilizing the even multipliers in the US FM band. Keep in mind, this is based only upon their marketing statement. If it worked this way, Multiplex (MPX) FM (better known to us "youngn's" as FM Stereo, remember the orange "ST" light on mom's ruler-dial car stereo back in the 80's?) would require TWO frequencies to transmit the L and R channels.

This is actually done using a subcarrier...I was about to type how, but screw that, go read this to have it explained. Until I finally read the HD Radio article a moment ago, I guess I somewhat misunderstood it. Go read about HD here. I guess it is sorta the channels between the channels (blush).

LOL, now you see why I don't whine about technology! This should teach all a lesson...don't whine and moan about technology until you get it!

Basically, HD radio offers the radio stations the ability to transmit more than one thing (program, songs, etc) from their station at the same time. Z99.5 broadcasts a comedy channel on their digital signal. Kinda nifty, I guess. Still better than satellite radio in my eyes. Still terrestrial broadcast, using towers and stuff. (I like towers.) It also allows some use of Quadraphonic Stereo (4 individual channels of sound instead of just 2) as well, as if 2 channels for 2 ears weren't enough.....geez....I mean, look what the Beatles were able to do with 2 channels...

BUT anyway, I'm already losing interest in this article. Sorry for the anti-climax.

 

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