Tuesday, February 12, 2008

HD: If a Tree Falls & No One Hears It . . .


Chasing an audience that has migrated to iPods, Internet radio, pay satellite services and the burgeoning world of cellphone music, the AM and FM radio industry has spent the past couple of years beckoning listeners to discover the "secret stations" of HD radio.

But what is the secret? If you were to shell out somewhere between $80 and $300 for a new radio capable of receiving the digital signals that have added about 1,600 stations across the country, what would you hear?

I spent the better part of a week listening to the HD offerings on Washington stations, and came away impressed by the commitment two stations have made to the new technology but underwhelmed by the great majority of what's on HD.