I’ve been hearing a lot lately about HD radio. What is it? Is it the same technology used in HDTV?
— T. Feliciano, Flushing, NY
Many people assume that HD Radio is like HDTV, but for radio. HD Radio, a digital broadcasting system that is developed and licensed by iBiquity Digital Corp. (www.ibiquity.com), is a very different technology.
HD Radio broadcasting promises to send CD quality sound and extra information to more radio station channels with the same amount of bandwidth. The technology allows up to eight separate stations to be squeezed into the same spectrum currently allotted for a single station.
With hundreds of radio stations currently using digital HD Radio, broadcasters can offer multiple channels of related programming. A jazz station, for example, could dedicate channels to contemporary jazz or big band jazz, while streaming along textual data, such as artist and song information.
HD Radio will not replace traditional radio broadcasting — it will be offered alongside it. The digital broadcasts promise to be static free and reduce hiss and fades. To find out more, visit www.hdradio.com.
HD Radio broadcasts are free, with no subscription fee. However, listeners have to buy an HD Radio receiver to enjoy the new technology. To upgrade your car radio, look for HD Radio products from Eclipse, JVC, Kenwood, Panasonic, and Sanyo. Yamaha and Boston Acoustics offer home radios.
Mail your technology questions to Cyberwise, BLACK ENTERPRISE130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011or send an e — mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.