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-   -   HD radio vs Internet streaming (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/166196-hd-radio-vs-internet-streaming.html)

jfitz57 2nd May 2010 08:03 PM

HD radio vs Internet streaming
 
Hello,

I'm mostly visit Tubes/Valves and Planers & Exotics but I have a question that I'd like answered and I did a search and nothing came up. So here it is: Is there a difference in the quality of a radio stations audio over HD radio vs Internet streaming? While I'm here, throw in regular analog too. Analog cuts of at around 15-16KHz so I' guessing the other two are better? If anyone knows thanks for answering.

Jim

gooki 2nd May 2010 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jfitz57 (Post 2173539)
So here it is: Is there a difference in the quality of a radio stations audio over HD radio vs Internet streaming? While I'm here, throw in regular analog too.

Yes there is a quality difference. However one cannot say which is better than the other because compression can vary within each medium (obviously FM analog isn't digitally compressed but does have other issues like you mentioned as well as broadcasters adding EQ processing to the signal etc etc).

Of the choices listed, I'd choose Internet streaming and only pick stations that met my minimum compression quality standards.

wakibaki 2nd May 2010 10:00 PM

In the Americas, AM channel spacing is @ 10kHz. Since it's DSB + carrier the absolute audio bandwidth is less than 5kHz.

Broadcast FM in the UK is (or was) the best source available (here), exceeding that of digital systems, better than CD quality on occasion. There has been some talk about poorer quality in recent years, I don't know to what extent it is justified.

Since there is the capacity to vary the quality with digital broadcast it has become difficult to be assured of the quality you are receiving. Most people think it sounds pretty good, mostly. Defnitely better than AM and on a par with FM.

Sorry to be so vague, but you have to deal with these digital sources on a case-by-case basis - when you can actually discover what bitrate and compression is being employed. If you want an assurance of quality, CD is easiest.

w

jfitz57 2nd May 2010 10:19 PM

Thanks guys. I Have DSL internet now and am happy with it but I was wondering about investing in HD or satallite radio equipment. I've heard people say the sound over the internet sucks but I don't think I could tell the difference of an A/B test with good headphones on.

Jim

kappclark 5th September 2011 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gooki (Post 2173581)
Yes there is a quality difference. However one cannot say which is better than the other because compression can vary within each medium (obviously FM analog isn't digitally compressed but does have other issues like you mentioned as well as broadcasters adding EQ processing to the signal etc etc).

Of the choices listed, I'd choose Internet streaming and only pick stations that met my minimum compression quality standards.

I would go with Internet streaming ... but quality will vary .. I try to stay with 128K streams or better...my squeezebox makes it so easy to find classical stations..WXXI out of Rochester has an excellent feed, as well as WGBH...like Jazz? Try Jazz88 out of San Diego...hundreds of choices..

My Sony HD radio just gave up the ghost ( it scans and so on, but all I hear is a hum ...),,,I think I will stay with the squeexzebox for now

For fun, I hooked up my HK tuner, and the sound is wonderful...seems much less compressed (which is probably the reality)

kevinkr 5th September 2011 12:22 AM

The FMtuners group and their listserv would have some pretty definitive information on the quality of HD FM versus analog FM and conclusions generally favor a properly managed FM analog signal..

Tuner Information Center - Vintage Stereo Tuners

Based on my very limited exposure both satellite and HD FM are easily bested by streaming internet radio particularly at sample rates of 192K and beyond.

It should be noted that UK digital FM and US digital FM standards are entirely different, and so comments should be weighed on that basis for relevance.

Personally I can't be bothered with Ibiquity's HD FM I think it sounds mediocre at best.

kevinkr 5th September 2011 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wakibaki (Post 2173613)
In the Americas, AM channel spacing is @ 10kHz. Since it's DSB + carrier the absolute audio bandwidth is less than 5kHz.

<snip>
w

The channel spacing in the United States is 10kHz.. However the actual broadcast audio bandwidth can be as high as 10.2kHz or so using adjacent unused allocations, but channel width may not exceed 20.4kHz under current FCC rules. (1989) I have an antique Atwater Kent receiver with sufficient bandwidth that I can hear the quality differences between different local stations, but I doubt many are using the full allowable bandwidth. (4 - 5kHz would seem to be it)

stratus46 5th September 2011 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wakibaki (Post 2173613)
In the Americas, AM channel spacing is @ 10kHz. Since it's DSB + carrier the absolute audio bandwidth is less than 5kHz.

Broadcast FM in the UK is (or was) the best source available (here), exceeding that of digital systems, better than CD quality on occasion. There has been some talk about poorer quality in recent years, I don't know to what extent it is justified.

Since there is the capacity to vary the quality with digital broadcast it has become difficult to be assured of the quality you are receiving. Most people think it sounds pretty good, mostly. Defnitely better than AM and on a par with FM.

Sorry to be so vague, but you have to deal with these digital sources on a case-by-case basis - when you can actually discover what bitrate and compression is being employed. If you want an assurance of quality, CD is easiest.

w

Not what you expect but AM broadcasters in the States are allowed to transmit up to 10.2 KHz. Yes the channels will overlap but not within a market (a few exceptions). If your AM radio sounds really bad, try a wider bandwidth receiver. Not great but certainly adequate for talk and elevator music.

AM broadcasting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scroll down to 'Limitations'.

Best radio I ever heard was a bootleg FM transmitter fed directly by a CD player with no processing of any sort. The modulation depth was correct and the sound was stunning - not like the squashed EQd krud from LA broadcasters. Truly dreadful sound and it's a shame but limited brainpower listeners want it loud and the market rules - as it should.

G

dangus 7th September 2011 12:06 AM

For what it's worth, AM receivers with synchronous detectors are supposed to be better, and IIRC the North American AM Stereo format required required synchronous detection. Some '80s factory car radios included AM stereo, and presumably have RF sections that perform well. My friend's Chrysler K-car had AM stereo, and it sounded reasonably good. I suspect you could find such a tuner in an auto wrecking yard quite cheaply, then modify it for line level output. Possibly cannibalize the AM stereo detector chip and add it to another receiver. (IIRC the chips are long out of production, and could only be purchased by licensees.)


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