Hd Radio and Satellite Radio: the Quest for Better Listening

by Christine Peppler - Date: 2007-02-15 - Word Count: 468 Share This!

Whether searching for better audio quality or more diverse programming, there are now a couple of options available that can significantly enhance the listening experience with radio. HD Radio and satellite radio are offerings that often attract those who are looking for more. Which service to choose is dependent upon what an individual listener is searching to find.

Sound Quality and Listening from Afar

Both HD and satellite radio offer significant improvement in sound quality and reception over regular analog radio. HD radio technology simply allows stations to broadcast digitally. There is far less fading, hissing, and popping. HD radio is still limited by distance from the broadcasting station however and therefore, does not allow listening to a favorite station during long road trips. Satellite radio offers excellent sound quality/reception also but has the added benefit of allowing listeners to continue enjoying the same station where ever they may go coast to coast.

Local Listening

For some listeners, local stations, news, and radio personalities are a major part of the attraction to radio. For those who want local stations and on-air personalities, HD radio would be the service of choice as satellite radio does not provide this option.


HD radio is available in many new cars but can also be added in after market for older model vehicles. HD radios are generally limited in their portability although Visteon is said to be prepared to launch a product later this year which can be taken from the car and used in the home as well. Some HD stations can also be picked up over the internet giving listeners some flexibility in where they can enjoy radio. Satellite radio offers flexibility through receivers made for the car, boat, in the home, and even in portable personal listening devices. Sirius, one of the two major satellite radio providers in the US, offers internet radio as well for a separate fee.

Programming Options

HD offers more programming than traditional radio but not as extensive as satellite radio. Commercial free listening is available through both services. However, satellite radio is primarily commercial free while HD offers a portion of their programming, their HD2 channels, without advertisements. Whether or not HD2 channels will remain free from ads remains to be seen as there is no subscription fee to support the programming in lieu of advertisers.

Cost Considerations

For the budget conscious, HD radio has a slight advantage. After purchasing the receiver and installing the equipment, HD radio has no further cost to the individual while a small monthly fee from users is necessary to support satellite radio.

Obviously, both HD and satellite radio are able to offer better audio quality and greater programming options than traditional analog broadcasts. Listeners will need to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each to determine which service will best quell their thirst for listening.

Related Tags: radio, satellite radio, hd radio

Christine Peppler believes that consumers should not have to possess a technology degree to be able to choose home electronics and entertainment devices. Take advantage of the wealth of simple to understand, useful information and shopping available on her website at http://www.homemedias.info.

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