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Radiosophy HD100

By Kathie Felix - Posted Nov 1, 2007
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The Product: Radiosophy HD100 

The Company: Radiosophy, LLC

215 Freedom Drive, Suite 100
North Sioux City, SD 57049
Phone: (877) 443-7234

Internet: www.radiosophy.com  

HD (hybrid digital) radio is one of the newest forms of broadcast technology creeping over the horizon. Radio stations, like their television counterparts, are adopting digital systems that expand signal quality, choice, and options for interactivity. At the time this article was written, 1,510 radio stations in the U.S. were broadcasting on 2,245 HD radio channels and 246 stations were scheduled to begin broadcasting with HD radio technology in the near future.

Basically, HD radio technology bundles analog and digital audio signals with text data in a compressed digital signal layer. As a result, more information and more than one channel can occupy the "space" previously used for a single station’s broadcast.

HD radio technology can provide FM-like audio quality to AM signals (which could lead to new programming using music formats); CD-like audio quality to FM signals; and wireless data services, including on-demand audio content. The technology expands the offerings of existing radio stations, providing more content with no subscription fees.

The Radiosophy HD100 is an HD radio receiver and digital AM/FM clock radio developed and distributed by a team of former Gateway Computer employees.

The unit offers a 1/8-inch mini stereo jack that allows users to play iPod or MP3 media players through the radio's built-in stereo speakers. The speakers provide 4 watt RMS per channel, 50 Hz to 20,000 Hz frequency response, and 8 ohms speaker impedance. A 1/8-inch mini stereo jack output is available for headphone use.

The HD100 is a compact 12 x 3.33 x 6.25 inches in size and weighs 2.2 pounds (3.1 pounds with the power adapter). The unit features 10 presets, five for FM and five for AM stations. A digital sound processor receives multiple HD streams on a single frequency band and includes a light indicator for digital signal detection and signal lock.

A telescoping FM antenna and six-inch AM loop antenna are included, as are standard external connections for third party antennas and a 110V AC wall plug.

While taking the Radiosophy HD100 for a test run, I explored a variety of expanded HD programming offered by local public radio stations. I also found some pockets of segmented commercial programming available only with an HD receiver.

The unit’s built-in speakers provided a crisp sound with a clear and bright tone. (The bass/treble settings are pre-set; there is no tone control option.) The telescoping antenna brought in a clean signal with only a minor amount of placement adjustment. After hours of extended use, the HD100 remained cool to the touch on all sides.

Two indicator lights on the front of the unit identify the incoming radio signals. A red light indicates the presence of a stereo signal; a blue light indicates the presence of an HD signal. This is a helpful feature since the current HD broadcast technology produces a slight audio delay when tuning in to a station.

The station's analog signal is used for quick tuning. After about five seconds, the audio from the analog signal turns into a digital HD radio signal. The blend is smooth when a radio station implements the HD broadcast correctly, but a skip in content of up to five seconds may be experienced if the station is having implementation problems.

In terms of affordability, the Radiosophy HD100 is a standout. While most HD radio units cost between $200 and $300, the HD100 is priced in the $100 to $120 range.


 


 
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