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HD Radio Fact Sheet


What is HD Radio?

HD Radio features upgraded audio quality, along with the ability to broadcast multiple channels and wireless data services. HD Radio technology marks the most significant advancement in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo more than 50 years ago.


What does HD Radio sound like?

For listeners who have an HD Radio receiver, the benefits are:

  • FM Radio with near CD-quality sound
  • Increased listening options with multicasting
  • No more static, pops, crackles or fades
  • Transmission of additional information, such as song titles and artists
  • Increased listening options with multicasting
  • AM radio that sounds as good as traditional FM

What is difference between HD radio and Satellite Radio?

HD Radio technology is not a subscription service, like satellite radio. It is the same free, over-the-air broadcast radio that consumers have always known. It is not something that consumers have to buy into. Everyone can choose to continue listening to their current radios, but eventually all AM/FM radios will incorporate digital technology. It is a natural evolution of the medium.


How popular is HD Radio?

HD Radio broadcasting is picking up steam across country. To date, 2,500 U.S. radio stations, covering all major markets and reaching 90% of Americans, have committed to transforming radio by upgrading their stations.


What is HD Radio multicasting?

In addition to duplicating analog programming with an HD Radio broadcast, stations can subdivide the digital portion of their signal. This allows a station to "multicast" - that is, broadcast two or more programs simultaneously. WHYY listeners will have a choice of listening to the simulcast of WHYY FM in HD or the Experience: The WHYY Arts & Information Service. By offering multiple channels, WHYY and other public radio stations will dramatically increase their ability to serve more listeners with different interests simultaneously.


How can I buy a HD Radio receiver?

Radios are now available for sale in stores across the country, and home models are scheduled to become available before January 2006. Prices continue to decrease, as more manufacturers enter the HD Radio receiver market.