HD Radio Technology
The hottest new thing in sound is called HD Radio technology.
And what it does for radio is the same thing that HDTV does
for TV – it makes it light years better! In fact, when
you listen to HD AM radio, you'll think you're listening to
FM. And when you listen to FM, you'll think you're listening
to a CD.
What makes this possible?
HD Radio technology works much like traditional analog transmissions
(AM and FM are both analog signals).
The difference is that the station broadcasting HD Radio technology
transmits an extra digital radio signal, along with its normal
analog signal. It can also broadcast a third signal for text
Your radio receiver receives the signal – just as it does
an AM or FM signal. If you have a HD Radio receiver, it will
decompress and translate the signal and viola! You get bright,
clean, near-CD quality sound.
What happens if you don’t have an HD Radio technology
receiver? It's simple. You hear your normal analog radio–
AM or FM.
AM radio has smaller sections of bandwidth than FM radio. This
means there is not enough "space" to give AM stations the same
near-CD quality as FM stations. But there is enough bandwidth
that AM stations will be able to broadcast with the same clarity
of signal as one of today’s analog FM stations. This performance
boost is expected to make AM radio a better alternative to FM
than it has been – to give you more listening choices.
Digital FM radio is less vulnerable to reception problems. Your
HD Radio tuner’s digital processors will eliminate all
those annoying pops, hisses, fades and static caused by interference.
What happens if you lose the digital signal for some reason?
Really nothing. HD Radio technology defaults back to analog
mode in much the same way as conventional radios switch from
stereo to mono mode when the signal is weak. Then, when the
digital signal again becomes available, your HD Radio automatically
switches back. What could be simpler?