02 July 2006

Can you hear me now?

We have digital everything. Analog certainly is useful for some things, but right now, high defition digital radio is rocking the world. Remember static from an analog dial tuner? Most radios today use digital tuners with a numerical digital display of the frequency you're hearing. But we're talking about digital signals, not just digital tuners. Digital radio sends/receives signals of music processed to the qualities of CDs.

What? I need to buy more equipment?? XM/Serius/Digital receivers. Where does it end? A digital receiver can also receive traditional analog radio signals. How good is it? AM digital radio is capable of providing sound quality equivalent to that of standard analog FM, and sounds dramatically better than analog AM. Some broadcasters believe that digital broadcasting may bring music back to the AM band. Wow. If it can make AM sound decent, it must be some powerful stuff.

Digital radio offers a number of consumer advantages over traditional analog radio, including:

  • Better audio quality, more robust signals, and new auxiliary services, such as multiple audio programming channels, audio-on-demand services, and interactive features.

  • Enhanced radio designs with simplified functions. Simply select the station you want from the call letters or names displayed on the digital radio liquid crystal display (LCD) and the computer within the radio will do the rest.

  • Potential to introduce new data and information services that will be displayed on the radio’s small screen when “all-digital” operations are introduced. For example, a station could send background information about a band when that band’s music is playing. Advertisers could send information about discounts and sales. Listeners could program their radios to receive customized weather reports, news, or stock quotes.

Best yet, a hard drive can be incorporated so that listeners can record / replay the broadcasts. Think : TiVo for Radio!!


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