Sangean HDR-14 UL HD AM/FM Radio - What do you think?


Johnny
 

Hi all,

I just picked up a new Sangean HDR-14, UL sized HD AM/FM radio.

I'm looking forward to starting my VERY informal testing "process" with it.

I bought it mostly for FM DX and it's HD capabilities, as I think that it is just "okay" on AM in general.

I like to test my new radios against my current favorites:
  • CCrane Skywave
  • Sangean DT-800
  • Sihuadon R-108
  • CCrane CCRadio-2E (If it does good against this one, then in my opinion, it has pretty good reception)

Anyone else like this radio?  If so, how do you feel that is measures up to your other UL radios?


Johnny


Jorge Garzón
 
Edited

Hi Johnny, 
I bought my Sangean HDR-14 nine months ago and I find this model a capable receiver. On MW (AM) is just on the average and better on FM. I cannot add anything regarding HD AM as this choice isn't implemented here in Europe. So FM is the main interest here.

RDS decode is quite good and do it correctly, at least the PS name. Unfortunately the PI decoding is just valid for the USA and Canada (not sure about this latest one) as they use the RDBS data index instead of the WW RDS data index. It's a pity because would be the only ULR/Small Portable that I know with PI decoding capabilities. A real useful DXing tool when implemented! 

This small toy is a Sangean portable and it does mean 'good sensitivity and not bad selectivity' by definition. The receiver will be able to detect weak signals but the inteligibility will be sometimes compromised because of a lack of good selectivity. Audio is OK and good by connecting the earbuds. Size is extraordinary to be carried in the field and directivity can be explored conveniently with the rotating whip. An example of this can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/pyrZ90RD9_0

PSE, share your comments on this small one here. Probably mine is one of the few Sangean HDR-14 units in Spain. 

¡73 y buen DX! 
--
Jorge Garzón (EB7EFA · EA1036 SWL) 
QTH: IN83ag / 43º15' N · 03º56' W
Urb. San Roque 95, casa 5 (Villasevil)
39698 Santiurde de Toranzo (ESPAÑA - SPAIN)
..................................................................................
Blog: IberiaDX  · Twitter: @IberiaDX


radiojayallen
 


Michael Schuster
 
Edited

As somewhat a collector of IBOC ("HD Radio") sets I purchased this upon its release. A miniaturized version of the HDR-16, crammed into the cabinet used for the Sangean DPR-65 FM/DAB+ portable, there had to be some design compromises. Your intended comparison sets should prove to be an interesting exercise as the others are really aimed at different market segments - apples and oranges. The HDR-14 is not a DX rig but aimed at the casual program listener who has HD stations nearby and wants to take advantage. Frankly if you're outside of North America I can't see any reason to buy it over other postabls unless you are a collector .... but then, many of us are!

When this model was introduced I posted to the SWL blog a quick comparison with its direct competitor - the NiceTex ("SPARC" "Audiovox") SHD-TX2. In the end the NiceTex is marginally a better performer on RF and has much better audio from the speaker due to its passive radiator design. It was never well distributed though and unfortunately seems to have been silently discontinued along with the majority of their private label portables.

The HDR-14 is quite competent on FM which is probably true of most portables designed in the last few years. Its HD capture is really good, which does require very good sensitivity. AM performance is hampered by a small ferrite antenna and rather wide selectivity - again reflecting the design choices made in its market position and re-using a cabinet that did not even have AM section in its original configuration. There are quite a few birdies on AM which may or may not matter depending on whether you have stations which overlap those frequencies. I live in an area in which one of the last remaining AM-HD stations is still on the air, and it does handle it very well. I even snagged AM-HD Dx occasionally from a station ~75 miles away or so.

It is somewhat of a battery hog though, and true to Sangean's design philosophy of beating existing circuit designs to death, still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990's can offer.


Johnny
 

Hi Jorge,

Thanks for your great reply, very helpful!  As you said, the size of this unit is it's real draw for me.


Hi Jay,

I know!  I have read practically every review on your website at least a few times and probably go to your website at least once a day!  Thank you for this great resource!


Hi Michael,

I do believe that this one is not a DX rig as you mention and I am concerned whether I will like it, but we shall see.  In my area, HD is not that popular yet, so that is also a factor.

"still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990's can offer." -- Love it!!!  I laughed out loud!



Thanks guys!


Johnny


Paul Blundell
 

That is a nice looking radio, I look forward to hearing how it works for you.

Paul

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 10:25 PM Johnny via groups.io <jlochey=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi all,

I just picked up a new Sangean HDR-14, UL sized HD AM/FM radio.

I'm looking forward to starting my VERY informal testing "process" with it.

I bought it mostly for FM DX and it's HD capabilities, as I think that it is just "okay" on AM in general.

I like to test my new radios against my current favorites:
  • CCrane Skywave
  • Sangean DT-800
  • Sihuadon R-108
  • CCrane CCRadio-2E (If it does good against this one, then in my opinion, it has pretty good reception)

Anyone else like this radio?  If so, how do you feel that is measures up to your other UL radios?


Johnny



--
Paul


Peter 1956
 

Hello Jorge,
The Eton Elite Traveler is an ultralight that will display a PI code, but it needs a strong signal, and there is no external aerial socket.
https://youtu.be/qK8wuSC3SJ8

Peter


Jorge Garzón
 

I see Peter. Has it 9 kHz MW steps? Or more accurate 1 kHz. Any 50/100 kHz steps option on FM. Maybe you think a mods to add an external FM aerial plug-in? An ULR with PI decoding is a jewel! 

El vie., may. 21, 2021 a 6:03, Peter 1956
<pe1etr@...> escribió:
Hello Jorge,
The Eton Elite Traveler is an ultralight that will display a PI code, but it needs a strong signal, and there is no external aerial socket.
https://youtu.be/qK8wuSC3SJ8

Peter


Peter 1956
 

Yes it has both 9kHz and 10kHz steps but no 1kHz step, on MW.
It is basically the same radio as the Eton Traveller III, that came number 1 for MW sensitivity and directivity on Gary DeBock's 2015 ultralight shootout. (The only negative is that it just has a fixed IF bandwidth on AM)
Yes it has 50kHz and 100kHz steps on FM. The main problem is the telescopic whip is short, same length as the Skywave.
The tuning wheel slow/fast steps can be set by pressing a button, like on the Eton G8 Traveller II.

Peter


Emily Keene
 

I have the Sangean HDR-14. I am enjoying it very much. The size is perfect, the HD stations are easily identified and come in clearly with no effort ( I remember those first HD radios with their touchy, external add-on antennas ) and the stereo FM, HD or not, sounds wonderful with my headphones. Both AM and FM are sensitive enough to pick up weak stations, and the single bandwidth on AM allows for good selectivity, even if the voices are sometimes a bit muffled. All-in-all, it has been a pleasant surprise.

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, 7:36:02 PM EDT, Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:


That is a nice looking radio, I look forward to hearing how it works for you.

Paul

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 10:25 PM Johnny via groups.io <jlochey=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi all,

I just picked up a new Sangean HDR-14, UL sized HD AM/FM radio.

I'm looking forward to starting my VERY informal testing "process" with it.

I bought it mostly for FM DX and it's HD capabilities, as I think that it is just "okay" on AM in general.

I like to test my new radios against my current favorites:
  • CCrane Skywave
  • Sangean DT-800
  • Sihuadon R-108
  • CCrane CCRadio-2E (If it does good against this one, then in my opinion, it has pretty good reception)

Anyone else like this radio?  If so, how do you feel that is measures up to your other UL radios?


Johnny



--
Paul


Mark Roberts
 

"still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990s can offer" -- haha!

It's hard to find AM stations broadcasting in HD. There are none in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example. KCBS (740 kHz), KGO (810 kHz), and KTCT (1050 kHz) tried broadcasting it at various times but ultimately discontinued it. KNBR (680 kHz) could not broadcast it at all, according to my understanding, because the antenna system could not pass the bandwidth required. KHTK Sacramento (1140 kHz) is close enough for an HD signal to be detected, but not strong enough to lock into the signal. I was in Denver a few years ago, had my HDR-14 with me, and got OK results. The sound quality will depend upon the quality of the station's encoding: it's really quite variable, more so than for FM.

It will be interesting to see how it does with the digital-only stations (what few of them there are) that are starting to convert from analog.

For radio collectors: the Sangean SG-108 is the same radio, but in a white case with gray lettering.

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 8:37 AM Michael Schuster <schuster.ma@...> wrote:
As somewhat a collector of IBOC ("HD Radio") sets I purchased this upon its release. A miniaturized version of the HDR-14, crammed into the cabinet used for the Sangean DPR-65 FM/DAB+ portable, there had to be some design compromises. Your intended comparison sets should prove to be an interesting exercise as the others are really aimed at different market segments - apples and oranges. The HDR-14 is not a DX rig but aimed at the casual program listener who has HD stations nearby and wants to take advantage. Frankly if you're outside of North America I can't see any reason to buy it over other postabls unless you are a collector .... but then, many of us are!

When this model was introduced I posted to the SWL blog a quick comparison with its direct competitor - the NiceTex ("SPARC" "Audiovox") SHD-TX2. In the end the NiceTex is marginally a better performer on RF and has much better audio from the speaker due to its passive radiator design. It was never well distributed though and unfortunately seems to have been silently discontinued along with the majority of their private label portables.

The HDR-14 is quite competent on FM which is probably true of most portables designed in the last few years. Its HD capture is really good, which does require very good sensitivity. AM performance is hampered by a small ferrite antenna and rather wide selectivity - again reflecting the design choices made in its market position and re-using a cabinet that did not even have AM section in its original configuration. There are quite a few birdies on AM which may or may not matter depending on whether you have stations which overlap those frequencies. I live in an area in which one of the last remaining AM-HD stations is still on the air, and it does handle it very well. I even snagged AM-HD Dx occasionally from a station ~75 miles away or so.

It is somewhat of a battery hog though, and true to Sangean's design philosophy of beating existing circuit designs to death, still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990's can offer.


Jorge Garzón
 

Hi Mark, 
Well, there is no HD AM stations here in the Old World and never will have! I bought mine from the EUA because, despite its size, it had PI decoding capabilities. Unfortunately the RDBS and RDS systems are not compatibles in between them. That's funny as sometimes I got US calls when internally receives some RDS PI codes that coincide with a W... or a K... call in NA. 

But it's a good receiver to go bushwalking, ultralight with good sound, very easy to carry in my rucksac and receives PS, CT and RText opening these subcarriers easily. 

Peter, what about to change the Eton Traveler whip for a longer one? This will improve the sensibility of the receiver compared to the other ones. Did you try this? 
¡Saludos desde España! 

El dom., may. 23, 2021 a 6:13, Mark Roberts
<markrobt@...> escribió:
"still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990s can offer" -- haha!

It's hard to find AM stations broadcasting in HD. There are none in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example. KCBS (740 kHz), KGO (810 kHz), and KTCT (1050 kHz) tried broadcasting it at various times but ultimately discontinued it. KNBR (680 kHz) could not broadcast it at all, according to my understanding, because the antenna system could not pass the bandwidth required. KHTK Sacramento (1140 kHz) is close enough for an HD signal to be detected, but not strong enough to lock into the signal. I was in Denver a few years ago, had my HDR-14 with me, and got OK results. The sound quality will depend upon the quality of the station's encoding: it's really quite variable, more so than for FM.

It will be interesting to see how it does with the digital-only stations (what few of them there are) that are starting to convert from analog.

For radio collectors: the Sangean SG-108 is the same radio, but in a whitee  case with gray lettering.

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 8:37 AM Michael Schuster <schuster.ma@...> wrote:
As somewhat a collector of IBOC ("HD Radio") sets I purchased this upon its release. A miniaturized version of the HDR-14, crammed into the cabinet used for the Sangean DPR-65 FM/DAB+ portable, there had to be some design compromises. Your intended comparison sets should prove to be an interesting exercise as the others are really aimed at different market segments - apples and oranges. The HDR-14 is not a DX rig but aimed at the casual program listener who has HD stations nearby and wants to take advantage. Frankly if you're outside of North America I can't see any reason to buy it over other postabls unless you are a collector .... but then, many of us are!

When this model was introduced I posted to the SWL blog a quick comparison with its direct competitor - the NiceTex ("SPARC" "Audiovox") SHD-TX2. In the end the NiceTex is marginally a better performer on RF and has much better audio from the speaker due to its passive radiator design. It was never well distributed though and unfortunately seems to have been silently discontinued along with the majority of their private label portables.

The HDR-14 is quite competent on FM which is probably true of most portables designed in the last few years. Its HD capture is really good, which does require very good sensitivity. AM performance is hampered by a small ferrite antenna and rather wide selectivity - again reflecting the design choices made in its market position and re-using a cabinet that did not even have AM section in its original configuration. There are quite a few birdies on AM which may or may not matter depending on whether you have stations which overlap those frequencies. I live in an area in which one of the last remaining AM-HD stations is still on the air, and it does handle it very well. I even snagged AM-HD Dx occasionally from a station ~75 miles away or so.

It is somewhat of a battery hog though, and true to Sangean's design philosophy of beating existing circuit designs to death, still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990's can offer.


Peter 1956
 

Jorge, no I didn't try that because it was still under warranty.
Here it's unlikely I'll get Es with RDS on a portable. The only longer telescopic rods I have won't fit anyway. I could attach a 3m wire to the whip, that works for FM.
Peter


Mark Roberts
 

Hola, Jorge -
The situation in the United States is not one that would indicate that HD is the future of radio. In the San Francisco Bay Area, one of our two National Public Radio stations has turned it off. The commercial FM stations running HD have been abandoning their HD-2 channels. The all-sports stations on FM (we have two of those) have turned it off - the time delay makes it difficult for listeners to bring their radios to the ballpark or stadium to hear the play-by-play of the action that's in front of them. There are still a couple of interesting formats on HD-2 stations, but in other cities, HD-2 channels seem to be used primarily for AM simulcasts. No AM HD here - the nearest is in Sacramento (about 130 km away). The Federal Communications Commission has authorized digital-only AM stations, but that's a relatively new development. The big commercial chains (Audacy, iHeartRadio, Bonneville, Cumulus) are the ones who've kept HD alive. As for receivers, many new cars can receive HD signals. However, that's not widely promoted. I bought a car two years ago; the "infotainment system" can receive HD but it was turned off by default. I had to go through the menus to find the setting to turn it on.

Ultimately, programming drives adoption of anything new in radio. In this case, one of those HD-2 channels in San Francisco has a format that no one else has in the area, and I like it, so I've bought a couple of radios and a tuner in order to hear it. If I lived in Albuquerque (New Mexico), where there are very few stations with HD broadcasts (a bit odd since Cumulus owns the top stations there), it would be a different matter.

I know some Mexican stations are also broadcasting HD; I don't know about Canada. You're right, it's definitely not a worldwide standard. I personally think it's a mistake, but we Americans can make a mess of broadcasting standards when we try!

¡Saludos!

On Sat, May 22, 2021 at 11:56 PM Jorge Garzón via groups.io <iberiaDX=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Mark, 
Well, there is no HD AM stations here in the Old World and never will have! I bought mine from the EUA because, despite its size, it had PI decoding capabilities. Unfortunately the RDBS and RDS systems are not compatibles in between them. That's funny as sometimes I got US calls when internally receives some RDS PI codes that coincide with a W... or a K... call in NA. 

But it's a good receiver to go bushwalking, ultralight with good sound, very easy to carry in my rucksac and receives PS, CT and RText opening these subcarriers easily. 

Peter, what about to change the Eton Traveler whip for a longer one? This will improve the sensibility of the receiver compared to the other ones. Did you try this? 
¡Saludos desde España! 
Jorge


El dom., may. 23, 2021 a 6:13, Mark Roberts
<markrobt@...> escribió:
"still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990s can offer" -- haha!

It's hard to find AM stations broadcasting in HD. There are none in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example. KCBS (740 kHz), KGO (810 kHz), and KTCT (1050 kHz) tried broadcasting it at various times but ultimately discontinued it. KNBR (680 kHz) could not broadcast it at all, according to my understanding, because the antenna system could not pass the bandwidth required. KHTK Sacramento (1140 kHz) is close enough for an HD signal to be detected, but not strong enough to lock into the signal. I was in Denver a few years ago, had my HDR-14 with me, and got OK results. The sound quality will depend upon the quality of the station's encoding: it's really quite variable, more so than for FM.

It will be interesting to see how it does with the digital-only stations (what few of them there are) that are starting to convert from analog.

For radio collectors: the Sangean SG-108 is the same radio, but in a whitee  case with gray lettering.

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 8:37 AM Michael Schuster <schuster.ma@...> wrote:
As somewhat a collector of IBOC ("HD Radio") sets I purchased this upon its release. A miniaturized version of the HDR-14, crammed into the cabinet used for the Sangean DPR-65 FM/DAB+ portable, there had to be some design compromises. Your intended comparison sets should prove to be an interesting exercise as the others are really aimed at different market segments - apples and oranges. The HDR-14 is not a DX rig but aimed at the casual program listener who has HD stations nearby and wants to take advantage. Frankly if you're outside of North America I can't see any reason to buy it over other postabls unless you are a collector .... but then, many of us are!

When this model was introduced I posted to the SWL blog a quick comparison with its direct competitor - the NiceTex ("SPARC" "Audiovox") SHD-TX2. In the end the NiceTex is marginally a better performer on RF and has much better audio from the speaker due to its passive radiator design. It was never well distributed though and unfortunately seems to have been silently discontinued along with the majority of their private label portables.

The HDR-14 is quite competent on FM which is probably true of most portables designed in the last few years. Its HD capture is really good, which does require very good sensitivity. AM performance is hampered by a small ferrite antenna and rather wide selectivity - again reflecting the design choices made in its market position and re-using a cabinet that did not even have AM section in its original configuration. There are quite a few birdies on AM which may or may not matter depending on whether you have stations which overlap those frequencies. I live in an area in which one of the last remaining AM-HD stations is still on the air, and it does handle it very well. I even snagged AM-HD Dx occasionally from a station ~75 miles away or so.

It is somewhat of a battery hog though, and true to Sangean's design philosophy of beating existing circuit designs to death, still sports the best LCD display technology that the 1990's can offer.


Michael Schuster
 

WFAS-AM (1230 KHz) in White Plains, NY - a low-power daytime station with almost no audience, inexplicably converted to IBOC "("HD Radio") digital-only MA3 mode on May 22. Perhaps Cumulus is testing the waters in a low-risk situation.

Their transmitter is about 18 miles from me as the crow flies.

Knowing this change was coming I benchmarked the useable signal on a few of AM-HD capable portables (Sangean HDR-14 and HDR-15, NiceTex "SPARC" SHD-TX2) in analog mode early last month, and then did the same after the conversion. In analog mode the audio was very staticky but as intelligible as any fringe area station. Of course the digitall audio is significantly more intelligible - at the cost of the artificial-treble expansion sibilance characteristic of HD-AM.

The problem is, even with all of the transmitter power invested solely into the digital signal, and unlike WWFD in Maryland, this particular station makes the worst-case scenario for an analog-to-IBOC conversion. In various parts of my house I can either hear ony digi-noise (i.e. the HD detector is not even triggered), otherwise there may be an HD "lock" but no audio, or still elsewhere the digital audio kicks in (and out) only after an extended period of buffering.

This is barefoot ... adding just about any externally-coupled loop or ferrite antenna makes a world of difference as one might suspect.

Tune in in 6 months or so for the post-mortem ...


Peter Laws
 

On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 4:01 PM Michael Schuster <schuster.ma@gmail.com> wrote:

WFAS-AM (1230 KHz) in White Plains, NY - a low-power daytime station with almost no audience, inexplicably converted to IBOC "("HD Radio") digital-only MA3 mode on May 22. Perhaps Cumulus is testing the waters in a low-risk situation.
Where are you in relation to their (alleged) contour?

https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/am-profile/wfas/contour-maps/

Digital is better farther than analog but when it stops being good ..
it stops. Completely.

Analog keeps going farther but the signal is bad enough that only
people that subscribe to this list will listen to it for more than a
couple of minutes.

And that has nothing to do with HDRadio - any digital radio is like
that - P25, D-STAR, whatever.



--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Michael Schuster
 
Edited

On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 06:11 PM, Peter Laws wrote:
Where are you in relation to their (alleged) contour?

https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/am-profile/wfas/contour-maps/
I am well within the limits of the contour, in the area of the GW Bridge.

Of course I am reporting to this group with topical preference to the smallest radios that are capable. The HDR-16 does much better as do both our car stereos which have HD tuners.

And yes, that's the problem with digital-only modes; the dreaded "cliff" effect.

As I mentioned the audio on WFAS-HD has an annoying sibilance which I do not hear on the other AM-HD station in the area, WINS (MA1 mode), whose audio actually sounds quite pleasing by comparison. This is me very first logging of an MA3 mode signal; maybe this is to be expected in this mode.


Michael Schuster
 
Edited

On Mon, May 24, 2021 at 12:27 AM, Mark Roberts wrote:
The situation in the United States is not one that would indicate that HD is the future of radio. In the San Francisco Bay Area, one of our two National Public Radio stations has turned it off. The commercial FM stations running HD have been abandoning their HD-2 channels. The all-sports stations on FM (we have two of those) have turned it off - the time delay makes it difficult for listeners to bring their radios to the ballpark or stadium to hear the play-by-play of the action that's in front of them. There are still a couple of interesting formats on HD-2 stations, but in other cities, HD-2 channels seem to be used primarily for AM simulcasts. No AM HD here - the nearest is in Sacramento (about 130 km away). The Federal Communications Commission has authorized digital-only AM stations, but that's a relatively new development. The big commercial chains (Audacy, iHeartRadio, Bonneville, Cumulus) are the ones who've kept HD alive. As for receivers, many new cars can receive HD signals. However, that's not widely promoted. I bought a car two years ago; the "infotainment system" can receive HD but it was turned off by default. I had to go through the menus to find the setting to turn it on.
Mark,

I'm on the opposite coast, and the NY Metro market may be atypical; but HD penetration is still reasonably alive. WCBS-AM turned off its HD exciter a few years ago but WINS-AM is still going strong with both an AM (MA1 mode) and FM-HD3 subchannel. Many of the local corporate FM stations transmit in HD and many have multiple active subchannel streams - as many as FOUR in some cases. Elsewhere I reported on WFAS-AM, a audience-less low-power Cumulus station that switched to all-digital on May 22.

Kinda curious about your experience with car radios (forgive the brief off-topic diversion). Over the last few years we have had Ford and Toyota products (odd pairing, yes - it's because they have thoroughly perfected very similar gas/electric hybrid technology); the mid-level and premium factory sound systems all have HD tuners which is simply enabled by default. 


Mark Roberts
 

Michael - Experience with car radios is a pretty limited set - a Prius (I was not the primary driver of that car) and an Audi A4 (the car I drive regularly). The Audi came with HD reception disabled; I had to go through the menus in order to turn it on. I might have left it off, but I like AAA formats and, ever since KFOG dumped its format and became KNBR-FM (sports), the only over-the-air AAA I get is KOIT HD-2....which is good for the music but kind of lacks a personality (no live talent). Reception generally is good though there are occasional dropouts, sometimes in unexpected places, such as the north end of the Highway 13 Freeway (the Warren Freeway). It sounds OK but I sometimes can hear the digital artifacts. Only one broadcaster here tries to squeeze in four HD channels, and that's EMF (the K-Love people). No AM HD here. I will be traveling near the Sacramento area in a couple of weeks; it will be interesting to see if KHTK (1140) is still in HD.

The car is my primary location for listening to KOIT HD-2, but I got the HDR-14 units so I could hear them at home and at work, back when work wasn't at home!

On Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 1:21 PM Michael Schuster <schuster.ma@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

On Mon, May 24, 2021 at 12:27 AM, Mark Roberts wrote:
The situation in the United States is not one that would indicate that HD is the future of radio. In the San Francisco Bay Area, one of our two National Public Radio stations has turned it off. The commercial FM stations running HD have been abandoning their HD-2 channels. The all-sports stations on FM (we have two of those) have turned it off - the time delay makes it difficult for listeners to bring their radios to the ballpark or stadium to hear the play-by-play of the action that's in front of them. There are still a couple of interesting formats on HD-2 stations, but in other cities, HD-2 channels seem to be used primarily for AM simulcasts. No AM HD here - the nearest is in Sacramento (about 130 km away). The Federal Communications Commission has authorized digital-only AM stations, but that's a relatively new development. The big commercial chains (Audacy, iHeartRadio, Bonneville, Cumulus) are the ones who've kept HD alive. As for receivers, many new cars can receive HD signals. However, that's not widely promoted. I bought a car two years ago; the "infotainment system" can receive HD but it was turned off by default. I had to go through the menus to find the setting to turn it on.
Mark,

I'm on the opposite coast, and the NY Metro market may be atypical; but HD penetration is still reasonably alive. WCBS-AM turned off its HD exciter a few years ago but WINS-AM is still going strong with both an AM (MA1 mode) and FM-HD3 subchannel. Many of the local corporate FM stations transmit in HD and many have multiple active subchannel streams - as many as FOUR in some cases. Elsewhere I reported on WFAS-AM, a audience-less low-power Cumulus station that switched to all-digital on May 22.

Kinda curious about your experience with car radios (forgive the brief off-topic diversion). Over the last few years we have had Ford and Toyota products (odd pairing, yes - it's because they have thoroughly perfected very similar gas/electric hybrid technology); the mid-level and premium factory sound systems all have HD tuners which is simply enabled by default. 


radiojayallen
 

The main problem I find in my cars with AM IBOC is that when you live on the fringe of an AM HD station area the switching is obvious, and the only way to stop it is to go through menus to disable HD entirely which is not convenient.

Jay