Posted by John on February 10, 2017 at 16:51:00:
In Reply to: Re: Why did IBOC fail in the US? posted by CMG on February 10, 2017 at 13:42:19:
I agree with almost everything you wrote except for the "marginally better audio" part -- HD radio sounds like crap to me. I can always hear the drop in quality when the receiver switches from analog to HD on the HD1 channel, which is supposed to have the 'best' sound.
The HD2/3 channels sound way worse -- like listening to streaming audio back in the 90s over dialup connections. 24 - 48 kbps HDC streams just don't cut it.
The main issues for me are content and availability. I won't beat the horse, but good luck finding an HD radio receiver. And why would anyone bother? The content is just not there, especially in smaller markets like Madison.
I honestly don't know why iHeart keeps spending money on HD, aside from whatever revenue they may get from selling bandwidth to traffic providers or other data services, because they don't seem to put any thought or effort into the radio side of their HD radio stations.
All this said, it looks like maybe HD will hang on as a way to feed some of these new 250 watt metro area translators that are so popular of late. Personally, I'd rather the FCC just reclassify these translators as some sort of new LP class station (A1? AA?) :) that doesn't require an HD parent station; save everyone a lot of time and trouble.
BTW, as usual the hdradio.com website listing of HD stations in Madison is complete and total BS. I had a rental car earlier in the week that had HD, so I was curious to take a spin around the dial and see what was actually on the air.
Notes (versus the infernal lies on hdradio.com):
88.7 -- other than 94.9 and 105.5, this is I think the only other station in the Madison listings that's actually correct!
88.7-3: simulcast of WPR Ideas
89.9 -- no longer running HD, despite directory listing.
92.1-2: 80s (no longer "Pride Radio")
96.3-2: iHeart "coffee house" mix. Not "Boomer," whatever the heck that is.
101.5-2 simulcast of WTSO-AM (not new rock. and no HD-3 simulcast of WIBA-AM).
104.1-2 Classical (why??? we already have 3 classical stations in the Madison area). Also, no 104.1-3 simulcast of WTSO.
105.5-2 Blues. Sound quality is really bad. Does anyone listen to this? Anyone?
I forgot to check whether 1070 was still in HD. So maybe the bozos at hdradio.com are batting 4/10 instead of 3/10.
Apologies for the rant, it's just really amazing and disheartening how badly the radio industry bungled HD radio.
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