In-Vehicle Radio Performance and Technology
Drivers have had a long love affair with their car audio systems. A smooth ride and even smoother tunes are an impeccable combination. Gone are the days of static and fade-out car audio systems. Today’s vehicles are being designed by tech-savvy automotive engineers for HD and satellite capabilities. Advanced reception systems reduce interference and provide best-quality signals. Indeed, technology is helping improve radio performance inside new-model vehicles.
HD Radio Broadcasting
One of the most significant advancements in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo is HD radio technology, which provides dramatically higher-quality digital audio than its analog predecessor. Many radio stations are upgrading their broadcast technology, with some offering HD2 multicast channels. According to iBiquity Digital Corporation, a developer of this technology, the HD radio receiver makes AM sound like FM and FM sound like CDs.
The wireless data feature enables drivers to receive information, such as titles, artists, weather and traffic alerts, by broadcasting directly to the receiver’s display screen. In addition, FM HD radio stations are beginning to multicast with streaming audio and on-screen data simultaneously. For instance, a station can run a channel of music and one of news or run three completely different music formats in three different languages.
HD radio technology features include:
*FM multicasting – ability to broadcast multiple *Static-free, crystal-clear reception
*Variety of data services, including text-based information, scrolled across the receiver display
*Ability to sort through reflected signals, reducing static, hisses, pops and fades
*Digital broadcasts in the same frequencies as analog broadcasts
*Reception is free with no subscription costs
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio
Whether it’s a drive to work and back – or across the country and back – satellite radio provides a seamless audio experience. XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio both launched their services at the beginning of the 21st century. Also called digital radio, satellite radio features uninterrupted, near CD-quality music beamed to a vehicle’s radio from space. As a result, users don’t drive out of a channel’s range.
Developed for vehicles compatible with both XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, a total satellite radio systems format features a receiver, a user interface and an antenna. Receivers can be integrated into the radio or remotely located and allow channel name, artist and song title to be displayed so listeners know what is playing. A wide variety of listening options include commercial-free or limited-commercial Rock, Jazz, Classical, News, Sports and Talk stations.
Delivering multifaceted reception capabilities in a small space, today’s reception systems are nothing like the antenna one remembers on their grandparent’s vehicle. Offering better performance than a single antenna, diversity reception systems deliver uninterrupted audio by selecting the best-quality FM signal from available antennas or combining multiple signals. With reduced multi-path interference and improved fringe area reception, drivers experience superior audio and visuals.
Small and self-contained, multiple antenna reception systems are designed to be integrated into the vehicle’s roof module. Systems combine AM/FM, cell phone, GPS and satellite reception functionality in a diminutive package. Vehicle manufacturers have the ability to choose various levels of product content, and the systems are adaptable to US, European and Asian frequency requirements. With a simplified vehicle assembly process and improved serviceability, hidden antenna systems may be an attractive choice for manufacturers and service providers. These hidden antenna systems eliminate wind noise, vibration and lost or stolen masts.
Delivering high-performance television reception in vehicles, the Fuba(TM) Mobile TV World Tuner uses patented ScanDiv(TM) scanning diversity technology to select the best audio and video signals from the system’s antennas to provide passengers with high-quality audio and in-home TV quality. Designed for global markets, the multi-standard receiver is compatible with NTSC, PAL and SECAM signals as well as DVB-T and ISDB-T digital reception. Adaptable to local markets, the system is also compatible with many rear-seat entertainment systems.