UK Radio 'Futurologist' Cridland Reviews HD Radio

June 6, 2011

James Cridland makes frequent entries to his blog that has the theme "What happens when radio and new platforms collide." On a recent visit to the U.S. Cridland was able to give the Mighty Red HD Radio portable radio a try-out. While at the airport in San Francisco (which is very close to San Bruno Mountain, where most of the SF FM transmitters are located) he noted the following: "I've not owned my own HD Radio, nor had enough time to properly fiddle and listen to an HD Radio in real-world conditions. So, after a short charge (the radio uses any USB charger), I was off to listen, using the real-world environment of a busy airport. Lots of concrete, metal-shielded windows, and only with a headphone cable as an antenna -- enough to cause any radio an issue. And, like the masochist I am, I plugged in my own headphones, rather than use the ones that came with the unit (they might have been tuned for good FM reception; mine aren't)."

His conclusion: "Overall, then? It's an impressive, robust technology, on a nice little radio."

On a comparison between HD and DAB: "Is HD [Radio] worthwhile for Europe? Not particularly: the technology used means that all of European FM radio would need replanning in order to squeeze it in (U.S. radio is spaced 0.2MHz apart, and has similar enlarged spacing on AM); it doesn't offer the amount of additional choice you can get from DAB; and it doesn't readily allow new entrants to compete with existing broadcasters. It is, however, eminently suited for the U.S. marketplace; and underlines, once more, that the future of radio is multiplatform."

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