HD Radio

With all of the attention given to the switch from analog to digital television in the United States, some people have been confused when they hear the term “HD Radio”. Despite some confusing terminology, it is important to remember that there is no connection at all between HD Radio and HDTV.

HD Radio is the name for a digital radio format developed by Ibiquity. Unlike HDTV, which requires new televisions or converter boxes, HD Radio is completely compatible with existing radios. When an AM or FM station switches to using HD Radio, it still broadcasts an analog signal. To a listener with an ordinary radio, everything sounds exactly the same. But the HD Radio station is also piggybacking extra digital information onto the analog signal. Some stations have chosen to use this to provide superior audio quality (near CD-quality on FM) and some have chosen to provide additional channels. Only a listener with a HD-compatible radio can hear the improved sound or the extra channels.

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