Satellite Radio has become a very popular alternative to broadcast radio since its first release. It did take a while for the two competitors of satellite radio, Sirius and XM, to begin gaining customers. Equipment was expensive and bulky. There is also a monthly fee for the service, where broadcast radio is free. Satellite does have a few advantages against broadcast that helped it gain momentum more each year. There are very few channels on satellite radio that have commercials. This is very similar to premium cable television like HBO or Showtime…they cost extra but have no commercials.
Another great feature Satellite Radio offers is quality that you cannot find in broadcast radio. Satellite radio is a digital signal that sounds cleaner and has virtually no static because with digital signals you either have close to full quality or nothing at all. Satellite also offers coast to coast coverage so you do not have to search for a local station when you travel.
Recent technology moves have helped the receiver end of satellite radio tremendously. Car manufacturers now offer satellite equipment built in to new cars so that there is nothing to buy, just the monthly service fee. Some car companies like GMC only offer XM capability, but many companies offer you to choose either but not both. Car manufacturers also offer much more high end stereos that can utilize the benefits of a digital signal. They use this as a sales pitch to show how good their stereos really are.
Satellite does have new competition that is broadcast for free like analog radio. HD Radio will be broadcast by many local stations in the near future offering better quality than satellite radio. This is much like television stations that broadcast HD TV locally. There are still commercials, but clear sound and music information about artists is available by any HD Radio equipped stereo. Only the future will tell if people are willing to shell out the dough to avoid commercials.
The HD100 is a 2.2-pound compact receiver with built-in speakers. It has a play-through auxiliary input, a headphone jack and an alarm clock. AC power is required. The radio has an internal AM antenna and a pull-out FM antenna. Both can be replaced with external antennas. Because digital signals are limited to 1 percent of the power of a station’s analog transmission, HD receivers often need external antennas for clear sound on far-off signals.
A display screen shows station call letters, song and artist details and depending on the station; brief updates on traffic, weather, news and sports. With its low weight, telescoping antenna and ability to play music from devices like iPods, this radio might have a place on the beach; as long as there is a cord long enough to reach it.
With features like crystal-clear sound, no hissing sound, no distortions, many channels and unlike satellite radio they are free to use, your radio becomes a cheap digital radio. Again all of the features are FREE of charge. There’s no contract and no subscription fees, all you need is a new radio. The HD digital radio receiver will undoubtedly become the next generation radio. No wonder several people are making rave reviews about digital radios. Below are just a sample of such:
PUBRADIO, Ken Mills – August 2007: The Radiosophy HD100 is worth it – a good value for the price. It is an excellent “starter set” for a digital versions. Overall, I recommend it.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Ben Fong-Torres – July 2007: The reception and sound are better and clearer than what you get from the fancier Receiver. With its digital AM and FM signals, may sound better than conventional types, and stations may offer additional programming through sub- or side channels. But the make-or-break factor is the bottom line: What’s it going to cost? Up till now, the special tuners have been priced from $200 to $300 and more. The reception, you can imagine, has not been good.
Now Radiosophy has released a new model for $99.95. The model is the HD100, and it couldn’t look more different from, say, the Boston Acoustics Recepter ($249 before rebates). The Recepter is sleek, silver and compact, with a second speaker for stereo. Radiosophy’s model looks like a black boom box. You’d swear you could just pick it up and take it outside but, alas, you can’t. It requires AC power.
MSNBC, Gary Krakow – June 2007: The big news here is a product from a company named Radiosophy. Overall, this radio does exactly what it’s supposed to. It receives both analog and digital AM and FM radio stations and sounds pretty darned good doing so. I especially like the HD-only station scan feature, something its competitors lack. Of the three I’ve tested, the HD100 does the best job at grabbing digital signals with the provided FM antenna (a retractable metal whip).
THE NEW YORK TIMES, Glenn Fleishman – May 2007: A digital Radio that costs less than half its cheapest rival. The cost of receiving digital AM and FM signals will drop next week as Radiosophy releases its HD100 receiver for less than $60 with a rebate. This pulls in high definition radio signals, a digital format that is broadcast alongside standard radio by more than 1,200 stations in this country. The next least expensive digital receiver is $160 with a rebate; most start at $300.
MONITORING TIMES, Ken Reitz – April 2007: The HD100 could be the radio that will bring many buyers who have been put off by those higher prices into the world of digital reception.
Now you can get an enjoyable listening pleasure from your radio. Have a digital receiver and enjoy it’s crystal-clear sound. And they are now very affordable. Yes, they are cheap and unlike satellite radio, they are free to use. That’s right; you don’t need to sign any contract and or pay any subscription fees, all you need is the radio!