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Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 11, 2017 10:29PM
HD radio seems to be dying.

My mother wants an HD clock radio for Christmas, primarily for the local NPR station's two alternative channels, Classical and Jazz.. They don't exist. And HD radios (outside of car stereos) are now limited to a handful of models, none with solid reviews. (Some of these can work as clock radios, but are more desktop radios.)

Kind of surprised that companies like Bose, Tivoli Audio, and Sony (well, Sony seems a mess anyway) don't support HD. Many of the "radio" makers now support "digital", which is a catchall term for being able to stream from some other source. (Redefining the term "digital" for a radio, which used to mean that the tuning screen was digits instead of an analog dial.)

I've never understood why HD radio didn't catch on, unless the licensing fees for the technology (from a company called iBiquity, now part of DTS, which is itself owned by Xperi) were too high.

We have a small Insignia HD radio in our kitchen, and use it all the time, in spite of having a Sonos Play:1 right nearby. Would love to have it in our cars too, but even the "modern" one (2012 Subaru) doesn't have HD radio.

Maybe "HD radio" was misnamed, since the name conflicts with the idea of High Definition television, and has nothing to do with that. Should they have called it Digital Radio? And early radios apparently had tuning problems, which might have put some people off.

Also, apparently a lot of the HD stations don't broadcast a higher quality signal, just a digital signal.

Don't think much marketing was put behind it, but lots of radio stations regularly announce that they are broadcasting in HD. Many people may not understand what that means.

I like having the alternative channels on the radio. I know there are dozens of other ways to get audio, but I don't think any are as easy as tuning a radio.

So, may have to get my mother another Insignia, and a separate clock radio.



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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 11, 2017 10:31PM
Get her an Echo.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Bixby
Date: December 11, 2017 10:46PM
[hdradio.com]
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 11, 2017 10:46PM
Quote
sekker
Get her an Echo.

Don't think so. I've got a problem with any device from Amazon. I love shopping there, but after being repeatedly (and apparently deliberately) mislead about how Kindle Fires are backed up I doubt I'll ever buy an Amazon branded device again. This happened all the way up through the Amazon president's office.

A company which continues to tell you something which is not true after you have explained why it's not true has a credibility problem. If they can't get support for something as relatively simple as Fire backup right, I have no faith that I can trust Amazon with a voice-controlled assistant.

I give companies more than one chance, but the old adage "fooled me once, shame on you, fooled me twice . . . " and my business goes elsewhere, most often permanently. I tried really hard to get a straight answer out of Amazon, and could only conclude that they didn't care about being honest.

Maybe a HomePod one day. My mother uses Siri on her iPhone all the time - more than anyone else I know. She dictates most of her emails and messages.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2017 10:48PM by Winston.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 11, 2017 10:52PM
Quote
Bixby
[hdradio.com]

Thanks. Been there. (See my note about ownership of the HD technology.)
"Table Top Radio". It's too big.
The only thing sort of the right size is the Sparc FM Radio with Dual Alarm:
[hdradio.com]

but it gets some pretty poor reviews.

So, it's probably the Insignia,
[hdradio.com]
plus a clock radio (with large numbers).



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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 11, 2017 10:53PM
It should have been named "Worst of Both Worlds AM/FM Radio."

I think there were multiple mistakes made in the format, the main one being most people assumed HD implied "high quality" but in many cases they soon realized the opposite was true.



In tha 360. [url=Zee Maps Now requires a subscription/payment to work]MRF User Map[/url]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2017 10:54PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Rolando
Date: December 11, 2017 10:53PM
Wow! Did a quick search on Crutchfiled for "clock radio", ZERO HD Radio matches, but plenty with bluetooth, so that might work, since yo mentioned she uses her iPhone a lot as well.

[www.crutchfield.com]



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)

"Trump is a moron." -- Steve G.

"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
-- Edmund Burke
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt (1918)
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: December 11, 2017 11:07PM
Quote
Winston
"Table Top Radio". It's too big.

The Sangean is not all that big.

4.5”H x 9.5” W x 7 ¼” D

Roughly the same size as the WR-22. Larger than the typical clock radio, but smaller than "table top" seems to imply. Would certainly cover most of a nightstand, but wouldn't be obtrusive on a wide dresser.

Would look something like this:
[youtu.be]



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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: gabester
Date: December 11, 2017 11:14PM
Is HD radio actually a thing that people want and use?

Ah, yes, I'm sure after Net Neutrality is repealed and ISP's Title II Common Carrier classification revoked, we can look forward to a mandated retirement of analog AM/FM radio in favor of this HD bunk.

I'm no audiophile so I can't imagine getting any benefits from "HD sound" when FM is good enough for music and AM does the talk thing just fine.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: December 11, 2017 11:42PM
[www.amazon.com]





It is what it is.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 11, 2017 11:46PM
The google home system is also a viable option if you don't want to wait for the Homepod
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 12, 2017 01:10AM
Thanks for the various suggestions (Sangean, TEAC). One of the issues is that she wants a large clock display. The "tabletop" radios have clocks, but they aren't large.

And there are other deal breakers:

In the case of the Sangean, the first Amazon review says this:
"- If the power fails, even for just a second, this radio loses its time AND alarm settings!!!"
An alarm clock with no battery backup? No thanks.

And for the TEAC:
"When the radio is on, no time is displayed. You can press a button to see the time, but it goes back to the radio station after a few seconds. . . .
Another anoyance is the brightness of the display. The lowest setting is not bad, but it is still bright. . . .
On several occations I have turned the light off which is fine until you want to turn it back on. More times than not, I had to unplug the radio and plug it back in to get the display to come back."

Not giving my 88 year-old mother a clock she has to bend down and unplug to make the display work.

And, it's a discontinued product.



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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 12, 2017 01:16AM
I dont think Im totally understanding it all, but would an iphone nightstand dock and a BT speaker + spotify/pandora/apple music/iheartradio/whatever subscription work?

"hey siri, play pandora" is really easy...



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 12, 2017 01:21AM
Quote
gabester
Is HD radio actually a thing that people want and use?
. . .
I'm no audiophile so I can't imagine getting any benefits from "HD sound" when FM is good enough for music and AM does the talk thing just fine.

The big parallel between "HD" (i.e. digital) broadcast radio and digital broadcast TV is that it allows stations to put out more than one channel under the same frequency license.

An FM station can have a regular (analog) broadcast, and three digital channels. (Doing so, however, prevents the digital channels from being "CD quality".) Typically the first HD channel is the same as the analog broadcast, but the other two (if offered) are different. Our local NPR station had three HD channesl (normal program, classical, and news) but after moving to a mostly news format dropped the third channel, which was primarily BBC programs. Where my mother is, the local NPR station offers the regular NPR programming, all classical, and all jazz.

I've not heard AM digital, but it's supposed to give the same quality as a regular FM broadcast, eliminating the tinny-ness and hiss common on AM broadcasts. (Our Insignia HD radio is FM only.)



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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 12, 2017 01:24AM
Quote
jdc
I dont think Im totally understanding it all, but would an iphone nightstand dock and a BT speaker + spotify/pandora/apple music/iheartradio/whatever subscription work?

"hey siri, play pandora" is really easy...

It might. And Siri can also set alarms. But Siri isn't as flexible yet as it should be, especially when interacting with non-Apple apps. Also, it doesn't solve the "glance over and see what time it is" that you get from a bedside alarm clock.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2017 01:25AM by Winston.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Michael
Date: December 12, 2017 05:27AM
Quote
Winston
Quote
sekker
Get her an Echo.

Don't think so. I've got a problem with any device from Amazon. I love shopping there, but after being repeatedly (and apparently deliberately) mislead about how Kindle Fires are backed up I doubt I'll ever buy an Amazon branded device again. This happened all the way up through the Amazon president's office.

A company which continues to tell you something which is not true after you have explained why it's not true has a credibility problem. If they can't get support for something as relatively simple as Fire backup right, I have no faith that I can trust Amazon with a voice-controlled assistant.

I have nothing concerning the basic thread, but would you like to comment on what they say vs. what they do concerning back ups? A quick search showed "Your device will automatically back up once daily when it is in sleep mode and connected wirelessly."

Thanks.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Buzz
Date: December 12, 2017 06:54AM
"Another annoyance is the brightness of the display. The lowest setting is not bad, but it is still bright. . . ."

A long, long, time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, before the Empire Struck Back*, I discovered another useful use for window tinting film; taking a small piece, or two, or three, as needed, to dim annoying displays. Heck, in our bedroom now, the displays on a clock radio, a cable TV box/DVR, an oversize Tivoli stereo table (dresser) top clock radio, a pair of bluetooth headphones, and an Ozeri fan w/ LED's have all been double, triple, and even quadruple 'tinted'.

*initial foray into display tinting was December 1979.
==
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: December 12, 2017 07:00AM
.....it's a HD.....habit....to break.....



____________________________________________________

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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: December 12, 2017 08:10AM
Does SiriusXM have jazz and classical channels that your mother would like? And if so, is there a SiriusXM-capable radio/device that will also serve as an alarm clock?

Otherwise, sounds like separating the clock (a simple, large digital or analog alarm clock) from the HD radio (perhaps one that will feed wireless speakers anywhere in her home) might be the simplest solution.

My mother listened all day to broadcast classical FM on the wired stereo system my father had installed throughout the house. She had a large-number LED clock at her bedside.

/Mr Lynn



"Hillbilly at Harvard"
Honky-tonk Country and Bluegrass
Founded in 1948 by Pappy Ben Minnich
Saturdays 9am - 1pm Eastern
WHRB-FM, Cambridge, MA
Streaming at [www.WHRB.org]
Be there!

The HAH weblog: [hillbillyatharvard.wordpress.com]

Topical weblog: [walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com]

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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: December 12, 2017 12:24PM
What mrlynn wrote, that's probably the best and most economical decision.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 12, 2017 02:40PM
Quote
Michael
Quote
Winston
Quote
sekker
Get her an Echo.

Don't think so. I've got a problem with any device from Amazon. I love shopping there, but after being repeatedly (and apparently deliberately) mislead about how Kindle Fires are backed up I doubt I'll ever buy an Amazon branded device again. This happened all the way up through the Amazon president's office.

A company which continues to tell you something which is not true after you have explained why it's not true has a credibility problem. If they can't get support for something as relatively simple as Fire backup right, I have no faith that I can trust Amazon with a voice-controlled assistant.

I have nothing concerning the basic thread, but would you like to comment on what they say vs. what they do concerning back ups? A quick search showed "Your device will automatically back up once daily when it is in sleep mode and connected wirelessly."

Thanks.

Was first told that "everything" is backed up. Wasn't told that photos are not backed up unless you turn that feature on. Found this out later from Amazon, but only after I asked, or had found the info elsewhere.

Lots of other things are not backed up. For example, any documents you download. I can't remember now, but maybe music you add on your own. Probably game info (I didn't have any games).

But Amazon kept telling me otherwise.

I kept being told that "everything is backed up", when I could show that there were things which are not backed up. This happened even dealing with the Amazon president's office (twice, several months apart). I'd give them an example of something which was not backed up, and they would reiterate that everything was backed up (and again not mention about photos). Then they would say "this is the best information available". This statement was not technically true, as I'd shown them otherwise. It almost could have been a Monty Python comedy sketch, like the one in the cheese shop.

I could never get Amazon to explain what exactly was not backed up. I guess this is a corollary to the misinformation they kept repeating. Someone at Amazon certainly had this information, but apparently corporate policy was to deliberately mislead customers. (I've hesitated to say "Amazon lied" about how backups work, but that's what many people would conclude.)

So I stopped using the Kindle Fire, and gave up on Amazon devices.

I'm still somewhat amazed, or maybe bemused, at how poorly Amazon handled my attempt to get answers.

- W



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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 12, 2017 06:03PM
Winston, you have gotten further than I have. I have complained to Amazon about 20 times that their search/category options suck and don't work. I will admit I never got to the president's office.



In tha 360. [url=Zee Maps Now requires a subscription/payment to work]MRF User Map[/url]
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 12, 2017 11:09PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Winston, you have gotten further than I have. I have complained to Amazon about 20 times that their search/category options suck and don't work. I will admit I never got to the president's office.

From my experience it would not have done any good. Not exactly "the earth's most customer-centric company".

I share your frustration with Amazon's internal search. Can't tell you how many times I've been on Amazon, and resorted to a search engine, which then just returned me to Amazon.


- W



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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Michael
Date: December 13, 2017 04:43AM
Quote
Winston
Quote
Michael
Quote
Winston
Quote
sekker
Get her an Echo.

Don't think so. I've got a problem with any device from Amazon. I love shopping there, but after being repeatedly (and apparently deliberately) mislead about how Kindle Fires are backed up I doubt I'll ever buy an Amazon branded device again. This happened all the way up through the Amazon president's office.

A company which continues to tell you something which is not true after you have explained why it's not true has a credibility problem. If they can't get support for something as relatively simple as Fire backup right, I have no faith that I can trust Amazon with a voice-controlled assistant.

I have nothing concerning the basic thread, but would you like to comment on what they say vs. what they do concerning back ups? A quick search showed "Your device will automatically back up once daily when it is in sleep mode and connected wirelessly."

Thanks.

Was first told that "everything" is backed up. Wasn't told that photos are not backed up unless you turn that feature on. Found this out later from Amazon, but only after I asked, or had found the info elsewhere.

Lots of other things are not backed up. For example, any documents you download. I can't remember now, but maybe music you add on your own. Probably game info (I didn't have any games).

But Amazon kept telling me otherwise.

I kept being told that "everything is backed up", when I could show that there were things which are not backed up. This happened even dealing with the Amazon president's office (twice, several months apart). I'd give them an example of something which was not backed up, and they would reiterate that everything was backed up (and again not mention about photos). Then they would say "this is the best information available". This statement was not technically true, as I'd shown them otherwise. It almost could have been a Monty Python comedy sketch, like the one in the cheese shop.

I could never get Amazon to explain what exactly was not backed up. I guess this is a corollary to the misinformation they kept repeating. Someone at Amazon certainly had this information, but apparently corporate policy was to deliberately mislead customers. (I've hesitated to say "Amazon lied" about how backups work, but that's what many people would conclude.)

So I stopped using the Kindle Fire, and gave up on Amazon devices.

I'm still somewhat amazed, or maybe bemused, at how poorly Amazon handled my attempt to get answers.

- W

Thanks. That's interesting and concerning. It certainly isn't what their basic statement says. I think I'll check our 2 Kindles and see what has been/not been backed up.
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Re: Mom wants an HD clock radio, but they don't exist.
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 13, 2017 09:24AM
Michael -

There was a file browser available for the Kindle Fire, pretty sure it was ES File Explorer:
[www.amazon.com]
Which I used to figure out that not everything was being backed up.

It's not the most intuitive program, but it lets you poke around in the file structure on a Kindle Fire to see what's stored where. If you figure out how to use it, you can find the things which Amazon isn't backing up. It also allows you a remarkable level of management of files, again, if you spend the time to figure out how it works.


I stopped using the Fire not because I couldn't figure out what was not backed up (although I wasn't 100% certain I'd found everything), but because the Fire is so tied into Amazon and I'd lost trust that Amazon "had my back" using the device. I suppose I could have rooted it and turned it into a straight Android device, but part of the idea of the Amazon system was protection from some of the problems Android has with security.


Good luck.

- Winston



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