One of the top criticisms of HD radio is gaps in coverage. A new development from Belar Electronics could help create a better experience for listeners in areas where coverage is less robust by eliminating the delay between digital and analog signals. This should allow seamless switching between the two with no noticeable gap in locations where HD signal is weaker or unreliable.
Belar’s Automatic Delay Correction software corrects for the roughly 8-second delay between the signals. The software upgrade for modulation monitors can be done in the field, making it a simple and effective approach for broadcasters working on both frequencies, according to the press release.
This could be a useful step in improving the experience while HD radio coverage continues to grow. Our latest from Roger Lanctot shared his experience with losing HD radio signal while using a rental car. “One should NEVER have this problem EVER,” he wrote. “As far as red flags go, it doesn’t get much worse than this.” But new software doesn’t seem like a viable long-term solution for HD coverage issues. If HD radio is to establish itself as a more reliable and powerful option than analog signals, it should be available in more places.