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Sun Jun 4 10:25 am  #1


HD Radio in Tarana

Or Haych-D as Kowch would say .    

I have it on pretty good authority that installation for HD radio off the CN tower will commence at the end of this month.  It can't happen fast enough for me .

To be honest, I didn't take it very seriously when it was introduced, but I've become a real convert.  The quality is amazing, and unlike DAB, you get a taste of terrestrial AM before the Digital signal syncs, and the difference is stunning.  For anyone who's ever switched between a board feed and an off-air feed, it's that dramatic.  Especially for AM.  Even FM though, it's a head shaker.  

It's catching on quickly, I'm especially impressed at how many of the sub channels are being used for different ethnic programming.  This is exactly what should have happened with DAB but was quashed by idiots at the CRTC.  It holds some pretty exciting possibilities for 'alternate' channels, but a huge impact will be bringing AM into office buildings and condos without an internet bandwidth fee.  

I don't think anyone up here is really using the digital information capability to any great potential, but that will come.

Right now, the common choices via Amazon seem to be the HDR-16 (Portable) and HDR-18 or the HDT-20 reciever that plugs into yer steereo.

The only real limitation is FM.  What we need launched up here next is digital AM.

Exciting times.





 

Last edited by ig (Sun Jun 4 10:25 am)


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
 

Mon Jun 5 6:44 am  #2


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

HDR 16 is a sweet little box that I picked up recently.  Clean sound, lots of options, RDS display and does AC or 4 C batteries.  Have to admit, listening to the Jays in HD was nice over the weekend.
Right now, off 92.5 I can get 680, 590 and 95.3 has 640 and CHML..all sou nding great.  More to come and find I'm sure!!

 

Mon Jun 5 7:19 am  #3


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

pinto wrote:

HDR 16 is a sweet little box that I picked up recently.  Clean sound, lots of options, RDS display and does AC or 4 C batteries.  Have to admit, listening to the Jays in HD was nice over the weekend.
Right now, off 92.5 I can get 680, 590 and 95.3 has 640 and CHML..all sou nding great.  More to come and find I'm sure!!

If I could ask where did you pick up the HDR 16, online ?

Also are you able to get any American HD signals ?

I found this review which rates it pretty well:
HDR 16

Conclusion: The HDR-16 was well worth the wait. It features top AM and FM HD sensitivitytop analog FM reception and good, if not top tier, AM reception. Sound is OK but it is no boom box by any means. The feature set is excellent, operation is mostly easy and intuitive and the radio seems to be built to typical Sangean quality standards…it feels solid and well made. If you’re looking for an AM DXing radio there may be better choices, but for FM Dxing and HD listening on AM or FM the HDR-16 is the first portable to rate at the top in all those categories.

 

Last edited by Fitz (Mon Jun 5 7:23 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
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Mon Jun 5 8:04 am  #4


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

Amazon.ca

https://www.amazon.ca/

Haven't had enough time to any real DX'ing yet so can't speak to US signals.  

Fitz wrote:

pinto wrote:

HDR 16 is a sweet little box that I picked up recently.  Clean sound, lots of options, RDS display and does AC or 4 C batteries.  Have to admit, listening to the Jays in HD was nice over the weekend.
Right now, off 92.5 I can get 680, 590 and 95.3 has 640 and CHML..all sou nding great.  More to come and find I'm sure!!

If I could ask where did you pick up the HDR 16, online ?

Also are you able to get any American HD signals ?

I found this review which rates it pretty well:
HDR 16

Conclusion: The HDR-16 was well worth the wait. It features top AM and FM HD sensitivitytop analog FM reception and good, if not top tier, AM reception. Sound is OK but it is no boom box by any means. The feature set is excellent, operation is mostly easy and intuitive and the radio seems to be built to typical Sangean quality standards…it feels solid and well made. If you’re looking for an AM DXing radio there may be better choices, but for FM Dxing and HD listening on AM or FM the HDR-16 is the first portable to rate at the top in all those categories.

 

 

Last edited by pinto (Mon Jun 5 8:07 am)

 

Mon Jun 5 8:39 am  #5


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

ig wrote:

Or Haych-D as Kowch would say .    
 

Heh it's not my fault that everyone outside Quebec doesn't know how to pronounce the letter Haych. 
 

 

Mon Jun 5 9:37 am  #6


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

There seems to be a lot of broadcasters in Toronto that are originally from Montreal.

 

Tue Jun 6 9:05 am  #7


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

Lectron Radio in Peterborough has the SPARC brand of HD Radios.
WAVE.FM  94.7 HD2 Hamilton is promoting the brand "on air".

 

Tue Jun 6 10:50 am  #8


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

A couple of weeks ago, I had access to a rental car that was equipped with HD Radio.  Maybe it was the receiver but I was rather underwhelmed by the whole thing.

It sounded great, when there was sufficient signal to make it work.  In the case of Corus stations coming off of 95.3 there were times when the signal would break up even in North York.  Unlike analog radio, when the signal gets weak, you hear nothing, which can be rather disconcerting if you're trying to listen to talk and just plain annoying for music.

I suspect I'm just being picky because I'm used to the analog radio noise.
 

 

Tue Jun 6 12:02 pm  #9


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

Peter, an accurate observation.  The (separate) carrier which is injected into the FM channel to make the HD system work, is at about 6% of the power level of the main carrier.  There are two subcarriers - one above the main frequency and one below the main frequency. So in the case of 94.7 Hamilton, anything on 94.9 or 94.5 may impact reception.  Around the DVP, 94.9 Oshawa impacts 94.7 Hamilton.      Within the 3 mV/m contour, reception should be consistent.  But once you're between the edge of the 3 mV/m contour and  out toward the  0.5 mV/m  contour that's where the problem arises.  The Hamilton signals are impaired by tall buildings, distance is also a factor.   If you listen to any of the HD channels on 101.3 Toronto (CJSA) or 92.5 Rogers/Kiss FM, reception is very good within the GTA, so long as you have line of sight.   Parking garages are therefore a challenge - though the main channel (analogue) might be received.   CHKX 94.7 (Durham's Hamilton station) is challenging.   You have to be out at Sherway Gardens before reception is reliable on car radios.  But with a decent tabletop HD radio, it can be received in mid-town...with some reliability...so long as you don't move the radio very much.  Not receivable on a portable or wearable HD radio if you're in motion...in midtown or the 'burbs.  

Bottom line, line of sight to the transmitter, HD radio is pretty stable.   I've tried HD "wearables" throughout the US, and the situation is very similar.   In Los Angeles, in areas such as Westwood, Santa Monica, or Malibu the FM HD power-houses up on Mt. Wilson don't lock in - consistently.   Same holds for NYC.   The Detroit FM power houses which have transmitters on 7 mile and 8 mile road, have HD signals that drop out just south of Port Huron...where their analog signals are still quite good.   Buffalo FM's are the same story, but it's even more challenging in S. Ontario because we have so many Cdn. stations that are 1st adjacent.   The HD signal envelope, occupies spectrum very close to the first adjacent frequency - on both sides of the carrier.  Case in point.  WNED-FM is on 94.5 but first adjacent is CHKX 94.7.   WNED's HD subcarrier is all but wiped out down past S. Kitts or even closer to the US border.   The same holds true for 103.3 Buffalo - 103.5 Z103 impacts the Buffalo signal. The operation of a low power FM on 102.7 in Scarborough impacts 102.5 Buffalo.

On the other hand, the Vermont public radio station on 107.9 has a massive HD signal all the way from around Portsmouth NH - north to within a couple of blocks of the Mt. Royal FM/TV tower.  That's what a mountaintop transmission site will do for HD - line of sight....

Last edited by tvguy (Tue Jun 6 12:06 pm)

 

Tue Jun 6 12:46 pm  #10


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

Thanks, tvguy, for the explanation.  That certainly explains a lot, and in fact illustrates why HD Radio in a car in the GTHA might not be all its cracked up to be.

Funny thing is, since my trusty old Grundig died, I've been listening almost exclusively to streaming radio in the house and it sounds great.  

That's all fine and well until the next blackout.  During the last one, I had enough batteries to keep the Grundig going through the whole thing so at least I had something I could listen to for news, etc.

 

 

Tue Jun 6 2:38 pm  #11


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

I hope I'm wrong but I can't see HD Radio being successful in Canada. There is just not enough quality content on AM radio for listeners to want to hear the AM stations more clearly. I don't listen to 640 at all; very briefly to 680 or 1010;
short periods to 590 for a Jays game in the car. I would however really like to listen to AM740 in higher fidelity but cant get a good signal on 96.7 in North York. I'd like to see 96.7 get a power boost but that won't happen. I think it is unfair to have so many FM signals in the GTA playing the same kind of sound..(music??) and yet Zoomer radio could not get an FM signal to cover the whole GTA.

 

Wed Jun 7 8:03 am  #12


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

mojo55 wrote:

I hope I'm wrong but I can't see HD Radio being successful in Canada. There is just not enough quality content on AM radio for listeners to want to hear the AM stations more clearly. I don't listen to 640 at all; very briefly to 680 or 1010;
short periods to 590 for a Jays game in the car. I would however really like to listen to AM740 in higher fidelity but cant get a good signal on 96.7 in North York. I'd like to see 96.7 get a power boost but that won't happen. I think it is unfair to have so many FM signals in the GTA playing the same kind of sound..(music??) and yet Zoomer radio could not get an FM signal to cover the whole GTA.

Maybe the techies on the board can chime in ( TV Guy ?) but I don't think the future of digital lies in AM due to bandwidth issues AM is improved but I don't think it's digital imprint in the US is anywhere near FM.That's where most of the action is. The only thing is that most of the sub-carriers seem to be nothing more than jukebox type music outlets in terms of English services. I think the evolution to digital is probably inevitable and will certainly be a plus when it comes to quality for the prime carrier.

Last edited by Fitz (Wed Jun 7 8:07 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

Wed Jun 7 9:59 am  #13


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

AM IBOC has not been a great success.   Audio quality for music actually declines in IBOC.  There are also requirements for various stations to turn off IBOC during nighttime operation hours for some stations.  There are only a handful of IBOC AM stations which can be received in this part of the country.  1560 NYC was in IBOC at night when it was Radio Disney, but the IBOC is now off at night.   990 Rochester is IBOC daytime, but reception is poor here. Not likely to see AM IBOC adoption here.   I have an older vehicle and added an HD converter which picks up AM and FM IBOC - all for under $100.   Since AM reception of 590 was poor in the car, downtown, the HD2  on 92.5 has been excellent.   Also in-home radios pick up FAN 590 well, so from my perspective, we are spending much more time listening to 590 than we would if it was AM only.

 

Wed Jun 7 10:30 am  #14


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

Sadly though, I think the big guys NEED to put up unique content on the HD subchannels as some of the multi-cultural stations, Durham has with 94.7 in Hamilton and US stations, to actually see the payoff and drive people to want to listen and get HD.  The evidence is there in the US market where some get good numbers with HD subchannels.

Just putting a AM signal on an HD subchannel isn't going to cut it for normal listeners.

You have to give them a reason.... Content not already available, would do that.  It can be done fairly cheaply too to get it off the ground, as some have in the US, running national feeds.

I think there is huge future in IBOC HD, but the mistake made with DAB is going to repeat if they simply put what is already available on HD and nothing more. 

 

Wed Jun 7 12:04 pm  #15


Re: HD Radio in Tarana

mojo55 wrote:

  I can't see HD Radio being successful in Canada. There is just not enough quality content on AM  

mojo 55 to the head of the class