HD Radio is a digital radio technology that exists alongside traditional analogue radio broadcasts in the United States. The technology is used by both AM and FM radio stations, and it allows them to broadcast their original analogue signals alongside additional digital content.
How HD Radio Works
Since HD Radio technology allows radio stations to continue broadcasting their original analogue signals, there is no need to update your radio hardware. Unlike the highly visible switch from analogue television broadcasts to a digital standard, there are no plans to eradicate analogue radio broadcasts. That’s largely due to the fact that a cessation of analogue broadcasts wouldn’t reclaim any bandwidth that could subsequently be resold.
The HD Radio standard is based on technology owned by iBiquity. In 2002, the FCC approved iBiquity’s HD Radio technology for use in the United States. HD Radio is the only FCC-approved digital radio technology at the point. However, technologies like FMeXtra and Compatible AM-Digital have seen a limited uptake in certain markets.
The Benefits of HD Radio
- CD quality audio on FM channels and FM quality audio on AM channels.
- Up to two additional FM channels for each traditional FM channel.
- iTunes tagging that allows you to create playlists from songs you hear on the radio.
- Song titles and artist names displayed on the head unit.
- The ability to pause live radio streams for up to 15 minutes.