HD Radio . Not Expecting Much Now a Keeper?

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fscl
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HD Radio.... Not Expecting Much... Now a Keeper??

Post by fscl » 17 Dec 2009 18:54

OK, play with Sony's first HD radio, a table unit at Wurst Buy.... BAD location in the store, interior in the back, no chance for FM signal penetration into the building..... plug in the 75ohm dipole antenna and try to locate my signature radio signal, I know is broadcasting in HD and another STRONG commercial HD radio w/ repeaters all across this state and marketplace.

Bad impressions because the HD signal was few and far between though alternate side bands make this VERY interesting technology....... @ $299 TOO steep for cheep me.... :shock:

Fast forward 3 years, analog TV bites the dust, Sat Radio goes bust, my signature station embarks on a plea for additional funds for a new stronger antenna, etc, etc......

Read here from mountain man :) jk, pfcs49, IIRC, that the old Sony is sought after on fleabay as a VERY good tuner front end dropping in price to $99.

Well I took the plunge, picked up a new Sony XDR-F1HD...... :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: ..... I am amazed... :shock: :D

This tuner is unbelieveable.... pulls in analog stations up the yin yang and HD radio stations abound. Sidebands include alternate music NOT on main station programming.

Sound fidelity is really fantastic especially on the signature station.... I'm listening right now, Chrissy Hinds is right in the other room...... :) :) :shock:. No more waiting for the DJ to name the tune... it's DISPLAYED....

Sat radio but free :P :P

Happy listening.

Fred and can now get classical stations and realizing that 20 presets are NOT enough for this metro area, using only a 300ohm dipole hooked to a 75ohm converter--->radio antenna input. :), considered an Inet streaming radio at the store but only 64bps streaming....and would trade to but now going to keep this one and thinking I can record songs from the radio again..... :)

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Post by MonkeyBoy » 18 Dec 2009 02:12

Is the music selection really that much better than regular radio? The only station I like here is the one classical station we have left. Everything else is pretty abysmal.

fscl
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Post by fscl » 18 Dec 2009 14:57

MonkeyBoy wrote:Is the music selection really that much better than regular radio? The only station I like here is the one classical station we have left. Everything else is pretty abysmal.
First impressions......I'm not quite sure, as I'll have to listen more to confirm however,

The secret is in the sidebands......... because large separation between stations were required in the past to keep signals / stations separate, digital technology allows up to 2-3 additional side channels to be transmitted around the main frequency for HD capable radio stations / receivers.

My signature station broadcasts the "alternate take" on one of their side channels, which is completely different content with a different set of DJs.
The programming is streamed from their website.

When scanning / searching for HD stations, she stopped at an urban rap / hip-hop station, though I can't stand their main call number broadcasts, their side channel had older rap, funny stuff, I'd used to enjoy every once in a while... ie Ton Loc's Funky Cold Medina.....great beat AND FUNNY lyrics / rhymes, Dick.....

Also, it seems since they ARE side channels / bands, there doesn't seem to be the high volume, COMPRESSED, in your face commercials.... just a DJ coming on every once in a while and announcing the call letters / numbers, the alternate station programming? as required by the FCC and going away and letting the music on.

Fred and thankful for living in / near a media content rich metro area..... :)

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Post by wintermute » 18 Dec 2009 18:49

Agreed - I have that Sony tuner as well. Sounds damn nice on analogue broadcasts. Digital ones I get a fair bit of digital mp3 'synth' type noise. Could be due to no Canadian HD radio yet & Buffalo to Toronto is a decent haul for it. But for the analogue alone it's well worth the $50 I paid for it!

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Post by pfcs49 » 18 Dec 2009 21:37

Fred-how's the Dasher???!
Good to see you made the move-amazing ain't it?
I now have 2 Sony's (in addition to 3 other old school classics).
I did the cellphone battery mod (now I run it off my dedicated/switched system outlet and leave it unpowered for 2 weeks w/no memory loss).
And I did the "command analog" switch mod which keeps it out of digital mode when desired-which is always-if signal strength is adequate and 2nd or 3rd Hybrid Digital subcarrier isn't broadcasting something of value.
Sorry-I'm not @90.7 just now-Art Tatum @88.3 for me. phil

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Post by pfcs49 » 19 Dec 2009 02:51

No car app yet-I can't imagine why though. Apparently the little Sony (you can buy them for much less than $90!) has some kind of digital IF section instead of filters. The alternate channel selectivity is something to be experienced. If I swing my APS 13 antenna towards 90.7 Fordham U in the Bronx, 40 some miles to my east, I can pick up public radio in Phila, WHYY/90.9 due south of me without rotating my antenna. Its a very dirty signal, but listenable. On any other tune there is no TRACE of a signal. Of course, if I aim the antenna then its 10x10.

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Post by JollyJeweller » 19 Dec 2009 12:12

Is HD radio the same as DAB ?

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Post by Guest » 19 Dec 2009 12:40

JollyJeweller wrote:Is HD radio the same as DAB ?
No, HD radio is simulcast analog and digital radio, using sidebands for digital (i think) on existing analog frequency, FM and even AM ! DAB is digital only multistream on new freqs. Not compatible. HD radio i think is mostly US, DAB is UK and a few other European countries. HD radio seems a better proposition to me, makes transition far easier.

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Post by fscl » 19 Dec 2009 15:57

wintermute shoppingly states:
But for the analogue alone it's well worth the $50 I paid for it!
:shock: :oops: WOW, the US$ IS in the TOILET...... that's what I get for not checking with the Inet first.... at least I've got up till Jan 17 to decide, NOT, I'm stickin' wid it, J & R has been berry, berry good to me.... :)

@pfs phil, AMAZING YES.....thanks for the heads up on the original Sony tuner post....

Dasher.... he's ready along with 8 fellow RD including that self centered aggrandizing RTRN one.... :twisted: :D jk to make deliveries.... :D

As far as the Jetta Mk I, she's in hibernation along w/ another tt in the garage. If thing$ go well, I'm betting a new cat will get her on the road again (donn(er)ing<--- :lol: my Click & Clack hat). My son (now driving and self professed budding motorhead) is after me to get things rotating.... Hopefully with a little contact cleaner, lube... er... :oops: :oops: wait I forgot what forum I'm on.....Gettin' olde's a bh.... :( :cry: :lol:

Fred and enjoying newfound content / media and getting ready to hunker down for the first real snowstorm..... :shock: :) and yes, would love to tune into 88.3 WGBO cause I love the programming when closer to the Hudson and wishing the Palisades would lower just a bit allowing reception but in a way glad cause I can't afford to $upport more NPR stations..... :(

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Post by fscl » 20 Dec 2009 00:41

You guys have sparked my interest. 88.3 that would be the Newark jazz station. Philly has 90.1 - jazz at night. Do they make these for the car? I know they both have internet radio broadcasts.
Don't know where you are nbop, however, it seems the Philly area is rich in content:

http://stations.hdradio.com/philadelphia

Yes, tried taping content off air...... :D This thing is sweet.

There's a BIG thread on AK.

For the numbers guys:

http://www.ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm

I hope Sony can make a go of this......cause their BR sales are going the way of CDs already, BR players are dropping like a lead balloon and yet they can bring out this incredible bit of engineering :shock: :?

Fred and there's even a Bollywood sideband..... :shock: around here..

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Post by pfcs49 » 20 Dec 2009 02:09

"Yes neo, the are many car head units with hybrid digital tuners included. There were 16 listed at Best Buy."

Just as there are many HD home radio/tuners, but only one Sony XDR-F1HD.
So far, only the Sony has this spectacular ability to DX and discriminate nearby stations. And, trust me, doing the forced analog switch mod raises the game-it's analog performance trumps its HD function.

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Post by midfi » 20 Dec 2009 06:10

is a special antenna required or will the Terk on my current tuner work?

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Post by fscl » 20 Dec 2009 16:00

midfi wrote:is a special antenna required or will the Terk on my current tuner work?
Hi midfi,

Hope you didn't mind the razz on the WOAI, it didn't seem right with what little I know of radio and call letters... but the wiki on the station was very interesting indeed. You learn something new all the time.

Checked out the HD stations in San Antone and it looks like a pretty good list:

http://hdradio.com/find_an_hd_digital_radio_station.php

though I don't see WOAI on it? I guess it's bitten the dust? too? :?:

Yes, the Terk should work, I haven't connected my Pi to the Sony, it's finding SO MANY stations with an old receiver 300ohm ribbon dipole going through a 300-->75ohm adapter / matching transformer into the Sony antenna. The Sony comes with a 75ohm dipole antenna in the box, I didn't use / stretch it out cause I was thinking of returning the unit if it didn't pan out. As I'm living with / hearing it, she's staying and going to serve as the tuner front end of the system. I previously had a Tivoli radio serving as the tuner, however, the fidelity of the Sony AND the HD SIDEBANDS is making the XDR-F1HD a keeper.

Check out the stations available for Texas and San Antone and you'll see the main station numerics and the side bands. BIG media conglomerates own the purse strings. HD is a boon for them as EVENTUALLY, the stations are getting 2-3 alternate stations / programming for the cost of 1 from the FCC and can see / envision when commercials run on the side bands / alternate programming. It's a matter of time but for now, the alternate sidebands seem to be commercial free and not only the PBS stations, the commercial stations too. :) :)

Good luck.

Fred and just ask Santa for one :) :) a truly affordable and substantial UPGRADE....and though it's not my genre, know where the "killed" smooth jazz station ended up---> as a sideband..... :?

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Post by fscl » 20 Dec 2009 16:44

Lroll98 asks:
2) Why can't any other HD tuner match the Sony. 3) I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on the Sony on the Amazon site (where it's $79.95 now), manly positive, but some serious and considered arguments against it. The detractors like the Sangean unit at $199. I'm asking because the Sony unit looks sweet and would fit my crowded rack quite nicely. Thanks for the reply's.
Can't answer the 1st one, I'm happy to exist w/ just the standard AM/FM Stereo radio in the car.

Here's what I gather with 2. I've been wading through this link:

http://www.ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm

Which I believe is an unbelievably thorough test on the unit. No wonder the rags are going by the wayside, there's so much incredible expertise collectively on the Net. The secret is in the tuner modules and the HD Radio processor module, picture is on page 3 and test results and specs are on following pages. The tester has probably reviewed the Sangean unit and numbers for that tuner are posted and do not compare.

At the end of the article above, the section "Other Reviews" take you to links of other radio enthusiasts who have the Sony and have made comparisons.

I've been wading through the Audio Karma thread, it's LONG and this Sony has been compared to almost every EXCELLENT tuner in their day. Check this thread out:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showth ... p?t=198024

I spied this unit behind a locked showcase w/ phono cartridges at J & R and at $99 took a chance at it, knowing J & R's return policy. I wasn't expecting much more than my Tivoli cause that's all I wanted to invest in FM / AM radio. When I hooked this unit up I was stunned, in the same way as my SL-7. I paid MORE for my DL-110 :shock: :shock:

At $79, you will not be disappointed..... I am surmising you are somewhere in NJ near Philly? The list of radio stations is quite substantial.

At the time of impulse purchase, I DID NOT know one thing about this tuner.... now that I've done the research, I am truly amazed by Sony..
:shock: :shock: and their R&D & engineering prowess...... If they can only somehow coordinate their content and engineering marketing, they'd rule the world? :shock:

Good luck. Hope this helps.

Fred and even my son says my 23yo XBR analog TV looks the best of all CRTs with digital tuner box front end short of 1080p......and wondering how Sony can STOP shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to engineering and product development, yes, I have Beta, MD, analog Hi8...... :(

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Post by Guest » 20 Dec 2009 17:48

Nice job, fsci, great links :D =D>

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