What is HD Radio?

HD radio is a brand name, and it should not be confused with HDTV. It doesn’t refer to either high-definition radio or satellite radio. This type of radio broadcasting allows AM and FM stations to broadcast digitally, instead of merely using an analog signal. This technology is being used by radio stations covering more than 80 percent of the United States.

This form of broadcasting works in a similar fashion to a conventional radio broadcast. HD radio works by the station sending out a signal at one end and the signal being received on the other. Along with the standard analog signal, the radio station also broadcasts a digital signal as well. The digital signal is used for the HD radio broadcast, and both signals are sent out simultaneously.

When HD radio signals are sent out, the digital layer of signals is compressed. Analog radio signals bounce off objects as they travel through the air. This bouncing is what causes such unwanted side effects as static, hissing, and fade-outs when you are trying to listen to the radio.

HD radio provides subscribers with a lot of variety in the types of programming that are available. There are a number of music stations, talk shows, and news and information stations that broadcast in this format. There are no special fees that you need to pay to listen to HD radio. As long as you have the necessary equipment, you can enjoy HD radio for free.

You do need to invest in an HD radio receiver to get the benefits of sharper reception. The receivers are available in for home use and can also be put in your car or truck so that you can enjoy the superior sound when you are on the road. Once you switch to the new type of receiver, you will be able to hear broadcasts from AM radio stations with the same level of quality that you get with FM radio. FM radio stations that broadcast in this format produce a similar level of quality to CDs.

The HD radio receiver also provides you with a variety of information. The name of the artist and the song title is displayed on the unit while the music is being played. This saves you from the annoyance of enjoying a song but not knowing its name or who is performing it. You can also get local news, sports scores, and updated weather information.