HD = Highly Disappointing

The latest swag on the HD radio front appears to be the launch of the “all new” Insignia radio (at $20 more than the old one), which allows you to “[l]isten to your favorite HD radio stations while you’re on the go with this portable player that features 20 station presets and a 2.4-inch color touch-screen display.” All in all, pretty weak, particularly given the comments on the Best Buy website trumpeting its arrival:

Booble: I bought one of these portables at the Shady Grove Maryland Best Buy and was very disappointed. First, it seems these portables were short-supplied, as I wonder if that was on purpose. I agree with the other reviewers that tuning was a nightmare, and trying to pick up HD Radio stations was very difficult. The few I did manage to pick up dropped out as soon as I started moving. One of the key features, album art, was not even available in my area, as I ran across this article:

“Insignia Buyers May Not Get The Picture”
“The new Insignia HD Radio portable, which includes images and live pause that can cache up to 15 minutes of live radio, will arrive in Best Buy stores October 24. Priced at $69, it costs $20 more than the previous model. But for buyers in some cities a key feature may be months or years away.”

http://www.insideradio.com//Article.asp?id=1984071&spid=32061

So, buyer beware…

What’s great about it: Better quality than previous Insignia

What’s not so great: Poor reception, no album art, clunky tuning, way too expensive
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.

Areometer: I also own a Sony desktop HD Radio in a room with only NE exposure so I know how unlikely it is to pick up HD channels. This NS-HD02 unit is a lil’ better in terms of HD reception but it all depends on your location. HD Radio sound quality is very decent. Analog is very typical & acceptable. But screen navigation and other functionality can be a deal breaker for many. Like the 1st poster points out, using this in a car is suicidal, do NOT do it! Even using this while working out, bicycling or jogging is very inconvenient to say the least. You just can’t freely & swiftly change channels without stopping, pressing multiple buttons & staring at the screen, etc. If you just use this as a desktop HD Radio receiver, then it’s decent but once again, this is only true if you don’t change channels too frequent. Now, this is how you change channels once it gets into sleep mode — which it WILL & it has to cos’ just like the manual warns, by setting its display to Always On will ruin its delicate touchscreen. Steps: 1) Press the power button for a second or longer. 2) Press the unlock button. 3) Press a preset or tune or seek arrow button multiple times until you reach your desired ‘main’ channel, if you’re in luck, after a few moments, the HD signal will come in & if your final destination is to be a sub-station, click the arrow button during that narrow window before all is gone.

You see how troublesome & user-unfriendly & slow & silly it is to change channel?!

Also, if it plays MP3 too, I’ll give it at least a 4-star. It’s armband holder is huge, a simple clip like the new Nano suffices.

What’s great about it: World’s smallest & only touchscreen HD Radio

What’s not so great: Screen navigation is silly & tedious & unfriendly

No, I would not recommend this to a friend.

NateDizzle: I was so excited to get this product that I purchased it the day it first became available in the store. I had seen it advertised and read on the box that it could easily be hooked up to a car radio by a 3.5mm jack to provide you with HD radio on the go. Being in NW Indiana, just outside Chicago, I figured that reception would not be a problem. Wow, was I wrong!

Normal analog stations came in fine, for the most part, without a lot of static. But as for HD Radio, I couldn’t receive any of the signals in my car, no matter where I was. I was able to listen to HD radio in my house, as long as I sat by a window and held the headphones cord as stretched out as possible. Of course, that makes it difficult to do pretty much anything else but sit and listen to the radio.

Because the headphones cord acts as the external antenna, I thought I would give this product a fair shot in my car by using a couple of different 3.5mm cables to hook it up to my car stereo. No such luck! Regardless of whether or not I used my high quality, thick, but shorter RadioShack cable, or my cheaper, long, and thin no-name cable, zero HD signals came in.

Even more distressing is that you cannot channel seek to an HD station unless the little radio picks up an HD signal. What I mean is that you cannot simply tune in 99.5 HD2, then wait to hear a signal. Instead, you need to tune to 99.5 analog, wait until a little HD graphic appears on the screen, then quickly seek up to 99.5 HD2 before it disappears again. This is very difficult to do in the car, without rear-ending the person in front of you because you’re not paying attention.

Bottom line — if you just want a simple radio to run or jog with, and you don’t care about HD radio, get this. But if you are looking for a cheaper way to get HD radio in your car for your commute to work, don’t waste your money. I’m returning my Insignia portable radio today for a full refund. It’s worth spending the extra money on something that will work.

What’s great about it: The concept

What’s not so great: Unable to easily tune to HD stations, doesn’t work in the car, almost zero HD radio reception, pretty much everything
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.

This following post appeared on the site Liquidation.com, advertising an auction of 24 new “HD Jump Radios by Visteon,” with accompanying claims: “HD Radio technology is more than improved sound, its improved content. And now, you can take a big jump forward in how and where you listen to that content with HD Jump. Its Transportable. Go from Car to House and Back.” Elsewhere on the page, the MSRP is listed alternatively at $4,776 and $9552. But if you act quickly, you can jump the current high bid — $215.

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27 Responses

  1. “Why would Ford be an investor in something that has all the problems you claim?”

    Quite a laundry-list of problems “claimed” by BMW and Volvo:

    http://www.1addicts.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=225468&d=1208129033

    No wonder that consumers are bringing back autos with “defective” HD radios.

  2. (Not bad Farce…..:23 minutes…..you ARE a psycho, aren’t you? LOL!)

    Why would Ford be an investor in something that has all the problems you claim?

    The complaints with Volvo’s and BMW’s is not as bad as you make it out to be (obviously you have some interest in making everything seem worse than it is.)…or else Ford would not be putting them in.

    And after all your convuluted logic above, it’s tough being a nutcake, isn’t it…you have to rationalize every peice of reality right out of your head!) LOL

    Obviously Ford isn’t worried about some petty little lawsuit.

    Why else would Ford be making this announcement?

    Because HD radio isn’t the end of the world that you’ve been warning us against?

    LOL!

  3. Ford, as an iBiquity investor, has promised HD Radio since 2007, but it has never materialized. Ford must know darn well of the complaints associated with HD Radio via Volvo’s and BMW’s outstanding TSBs, so they just continue with these announcements to appease Struble. I suspect that Struble traps everyone with 5-year contracts, which they can’t get out of without severe penalties. Ford dealerships are known to deny knowledge of HD Radio options as they know consumers will just return vehicles with “defective” HD radios. Struble probably has offered equity-options for an eventual iBiquity IPO to these CEOs. I hope that Ford enjoys being included in the Keefe/Wolf HD Radio investigation, once a class-action is filed against the automakers – LOL!

  4. Ford puts HD Radio in 2011 Focus.

    The second car model to offer iTunes tagging in a factory-installed HD Radio receiver will begin showing up at Ford dealerships early next year. The Ford Focus will be the first small car to bring the Sony component to market, the company announced yesterday as it unveiled the model at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

  5. iBiquity Digital Corporation – HD RadioHD Radio broadcasting is dramatically higher quality audio, far more programming choice and compelling new wireless data services brought to you by your …
    http://www.ibiquity.com/hd_radio – Cached – Similar

    HD Radio: HD Radio Map, HD Radio FAQs | Best BuyShop Online for HD Radio: HD Radio Map, HD Radio FAQs at Best Buy.
    http://www.bestbuy.com › More Categories – Cached – Similar

    HD RadioHD Radio technology is a new form of radio that delivers AM radio that sounds as good as FM today, and FM radio with near CD quality.
    http://www.hd-radio-home.com/ – Cached – Similar

    HD Radio® Farce”It’s not quite going in that direction – yet – but another law firm has opened an inquiry into ‘defective’ HD Radio receivers in high-end automobiles. …
    hdradiofarce.blogspot.com/ – Similar

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22hd+radio%22&hl=en&ned=us&tab=nw

    LOL!

  6. whereever it came from…it’s the truth!!!!

    LOL!

    “Hell, there’s one guy, who calls himself “Pocket Radio” who seems to be on a personal obsessive vendetta against it, practically spending his every waking hour trashing it.!

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. “You should review the fact that no station has been able to prove interference within their protected contours. Typical HD Hater vendetta.”

    Here, you posted:

    “Hell, there’s one guy, who calls himself “Pocket Radio” who seems to be on a personal obsessive vendetta against it, practically spending his every waking hour trashing it. What I don’t understand is, why? What’s wrong with technology? He obviously isn’t footing the bill for it, so who cares?”

    http://ltradio.blogspot.com/2007/07/fm-am-hd-iboc-digesting-alphabet-soup.html

  8. looks like hdradiofarce has found another place to post his nonsense

  9. “Bob Savage is the owner of a flawed little AM facility in Avon (Not Rochester) NY. He is trying to serve a community almost 30 miles away with 500 watts of power.”

    On Radio-Info you posted:

    “WYSL is a 500 watt station trying to be a local to Rochester from what? 20 miles out of town? Even in the best conditions, this is a flawed facility. Maybe not in mom’s basement. 😉 But definitely another obsessed IBOC hater seeing that the majority of your posts have to do with IBOC & AM. And the WYSL DX issue. How many will show up in this thread since “Dumber” crossposted it to another board, we’ll see! ”

    http://boards.radio-info.com/smf/index.php?topic=146956.msg1237609#msg1237609

    Well, it looks like “Don Juan” (“Don Juannn”) can’t get enough of posting personal attacks on Radio-Info.com.

  10. Hi “Greg”

    How long before the “government of quebec” discovered what a nutcake you are with no experience or knowledge of the industry?

    How long before they realize what a one-sided person with an agenda you are?

    How long before they realize you are just a disgruntled hobbyist? LOL!

    Maybe if you spam a few more web sites, you’ll get the goverment of Bulgaria to blow you off too!

    (Maybe those 5 year old articles or “member.aol.com” web addresses will get them! Or maybe when they see Savage’s crazy 500 watt setup!)

    What a hoot! Nothing to do all day, huh?

  11. 16. gouvernement du quebec (government of quebec) “radio receiver dealer” 1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%

    My, look who came visiting last night. That make 5 visits from the Swiss Federal Government and one visit from the Gouvernement of Quebec in one day. Seems the Gouvernement of Quebec must have heard about the Keefe/Wolf investigation into Struble’s scam. BTW – both countries have chosen to forgo IBOC.

  12. We are not going to stop deranged and paranoid people….you are right!

    Your vendetta against one man, suggestions of a government cover-up, etc., etc!

    You are right from the medical diagnotic books! LOL! Don’t think people can’t tell when they see your obsessive web site?

    Hows it going trying to convince the FCC? Congress? LOL!

    Hobbyists don’t make broadcast policy!

    What a hoot! What a nutcake!

  13. You suggested to Bob that he stop replying to the “troll” – seems you can’t help yourself. You aren’t going to stop us, at this point, as word is spreading globally of Struble’s scam. We are in too deep to give up now. Besides, we have to keep the FCC, DOJ, FTC, US Courts, Congress, Congressional Quarterly, automakers, retailers, chipset manufacturers, law firms like Keefe/Wolf, etc., informed. LOL!

  14. Right after we check the google analytics for the nazi web sites and the fetish “crush videos” web sites!

    They get lots of “hits” too!

    What a nut! What a hoot!

    We’ve exposed you!

    LOL!

  15. “the noise is all from a select fewpeople who don’t have any clue what they are talking about! LOL!”

    Actually, I just quote reliable sources like Radio World (your IBLOCK shill), run Google Trends and Quantcast graphs, supply links to many other sites and articles, and never give personal opinions to keep Federal Government Section 230 protections under the Communication Decency Act. I bet that you would love to see my Google Analytics reports – LOL!

  16. there you go!

    i think we’ve identified this lone NUT!~

    he thinks if people notice him (or his bloggings) they wont be able to figure out he has no clue, no experience…and doesn’t know what he’s talking about!

    the noise is all from a select fewpeople who don’t have any clue what they are talking about! LOL!

    He just likes the attention. If makes him feel like a “player”.

  17. “don’t waste your time with the iboc troll bob….he is the same guy who is spamming the internet with his cut/paste articles and has no understanding of radio engineering or the industry.”

    1. swiss federal government 5 1.00 00:00:00 80.00% 100.00%

    Yes, smamming quite successfully – got five hits today from the Swiss, you know, the ones that dropped Struble’s IBLOCK scam – LMAO!

  18. don’t waste your time with the iboc troll bob….he is the same guy who is spamming the internet with his cut/paste articles and has no understanding of radio engineering or the industry

  19. **Plenty of stations have “reported” interference within their protected contours (John Hidgeon and Bob Savage come to mind), but the FCC has stacked the deck against them.**

    John Higdon has not been able to document or replicate any interference to stations within their protected contours. If he has, please forward the results or post them. Please don’t take John Higdon’s word for it. He is living in the past and doesn’t want to move forward.

    Bob Savage is the owner of a flawed little AM facility in Avon (Not Rochester) NY. He ios trying to serve a community almost 30 miles away with 500 watts of power. Anyone could have told him this would not work and be a waste of time and money. Instead, he finds “HD Radio to be the big bad boogie man. (SOmeone could have also advise him the frequency jump was fraught with risk…but he went ahead anyway.) Also, Savage’s personality has alienated everyone who has tried to help him. It’s no wonder people don’t return his calls.

    Again, I am waiting for someone to post some reliable data about stations receiving interference within their protected contours.

    Have you read the WKLB/WRNI study? Maybe you should before parroting the HD Haterz lines for them.

  20. “You should review the fact that no station has been able to prove interference within their protected contours. Typical HD Hater vendetta.”

    “FCC OKs Increase in HD Radio Power”

    “In effect, this high bar will serve to only bolster the appearance that HD radio does not cause interference because it will be too costly to demonstrate it according to the Media Bureau’s satisfaction, not because listeners aren’t actually experiencing degraded analog radio reception… At this point it will be up to non-HD stations and affected listeners to band together if they have any hope of seeing digital power increases limited or eliminated. However, this seems pretty unlikely to occur, especially amongst listeners. Given the sorry state of most commercial radio to begin with, listeners are more likely just to abandon radio when their favorite stations becomes degraded from HD interference. This move to improve the reception of HD radio signals might just end up chasing away more casual listeners who just associate poor audio quality (not just poor programming quality) with commercial radio.”

    http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2010/02/01/fcc-oks-increase-in-hd-radio-power-increased-interference-ahead/comment-page-1/#comment-378

    Plenty of stations have “reported” interference within their protected contours (John Hidgeon and Bob Savage come to mind), but the FCC has stacked the deck against them.

  21. **The power increase is a bust, as Peter Doyle of the FCC admitted that he is disappointed in the fact that only 150 FM-HD stations have indicated interest in raising power – last count only three have gone full -10db.***

    The power increase is coming, get used to it. All upgrades are slow because ’09 & ’10 were very tough years for the industry. But it’s coming.

    **this is why Bob “The Fraud” Struble**

    I suppose this shows your objectivity here? Demonizing one man (That Mel Karmazin put in the job?)

    **As far as blanking out first-adjacents, you should probably review the fact that FM-HD stations**

    You should review the fact that no station has been able to prove interference within their protected contours. Typical HD Hater vendetta

    **Then, I would suggest reading this artlcle:**

    You know I ALWAYS trust articles posted on aol member web pages. LOL!

  22. The power increase is a bust, as Peter Doyle of the FCC admitted that he is disappointed in the fact that only 150 FM-HD stations have indicated interest in raising power – last count only three have gone full -10db. I suspect this is why Bob “The Fraud” Struble is trying to entice stations to use digital boosters. Again, I suspect few FM-HD stations will go that route, either.

    As far as blanking out first-adjacents, you should probably review the fact that FM-HD stations are doubled to 430 kHz wide, and that AM-HD stations clobber first and second adjacents:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20040926102459/http://digitaldisaster.org/

    Then, I would suggest reading this artlcle:

    “When More Bandwidth is Less Choice”

    July 2000 – “This is where this particular way of employing digital became a threat to your favorite radio station… The problem is that a side-effect of doubling the width of a radio station is that, if your favorite radio station happens to be a weak little independent college, religious or community mom&pop radio station right next to a high-powered blow-torch of a radio on the broadcast dial, you very likely will not be able to receive your favorite station again. In other words, your favorite station’s signal is jammed by the big station’s digital signal!.. The effect is like the Nazi radio giveaway because it destroys our ability to receive weaker, or more distant signals.”

    http://web.archive.org/web/20041022170246/members.aol.com/deathurbia/IBOC2.html

  23. Do you know what you are talking about?

    In our city we get 20 extra choices.

    As far as first adjacents, stations are protected within their legal contour.

    The person who claims losing17 stations cannot document that claim….and the claim can’t be duplicated.

    Lots of whining….no facts.

  24. It really doesn’t give more choices, as IBOC blanks out the first-adjacents, forcing listeners onto their local HD Radio stations, only. In ba.broadcast, one listener stated that he lost reception of 17 analog FM radio stations, due to IBOC interference.

  25. Personally, I liked the first Insignia.

    Inexpensive, and allowed me to hear Smooth Jazz on HD (the format disappeared from reg airwaves)…and also allows me to listen to WCRB Classical on the south shore of Boston.

    I am hoping the power increase on it’s was will remove some of the gaps in coverage…but overall, it give some more choices to the radio dial.

  26. “Insignia Buyers May Not Get The Picture”

    “The new Insignia HD Radio portable, which includes images and live pause that can cache up to 15 minutes of live radio, will arrive in Best Buy stores October 24. Priced at $69, it costs $20 more than the previous model. But for buyers in some cities a key feature may be months or years away.”

    http://www.insideradio.com//Article.asp?id=1984071&spid=32061

    I thought that consumers should know about this “feature” – LOL!

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