Why did Magnum Dynalab choose to produce an XM Satellite Radio Tuner versus an HD Radio Tuner?
What is most important to mention first is the fact that the term 'HD Radio' does NOT stand for 'High-Definition Radio'. 'HD' is merely a trademark developed by iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of HD Radio, with no direct reference to a higher decoding rate of the digital signal. Rather, 'HD' more appropriately stands for Hybrid Digital, which describes the process of HD Radio locking onto a station - first locking onto the analog signal in mono, then stereo, then trying to find a digital signal. If digital signal reception is lost, the radio will revert to analog, the same way a car radio will go into mono operation from stereo when signal strength is insufficient for stereo. Much of the success of this system property relies on proper synchronization of the analog and digital audio signals by broadcast engineers at the transmitter. In part due to this variability in broadcast quality (versus the consistent quality of the XM signal), we have not elected to proceed with an HD Radio device. To put an exclamation point on our decision, extensive listening tests with prototypes we have created in our lab have not resulted in sound quality that is consistently satisfactory for us to adopt this technology.
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