Sony Electronics Inc. unveiled today two new HD radio products and announced a long-term commitment to offering a range of HD radio-enabled gear over the next several years. The XDR-S3HD table top radio will be available in July for $200, and the XT-100HD car tuner will be available in the same month for about $100.
The term HD is not to be confused with High Definition – although it does claim some improvement offering near CD quality sound and reduced interference and static – it actually means Hybrid Digital, a hybrid system in which digital signals are sent along with the analog carrier. Just like satellite radio offerings from Sirius or XM, HD radio also can display radio station names and genres if the information is provided by the radio station. However, unlike satellite radio, HD is available for free and is supported by advertising just like any other radio station.
According to Sony there are currently 1300 stations broadcasting with the HD radio system and approximately 90% of Americans will have access to HD Radio broadcasts within the next two years.