Q: Are there any other digital radios you haven’t told me about?
A: Yes, there are almost too many to mention. For example,
most short-range wireless data applications are digital. Some
examples are garage door openers, remote keyless entry devices
on vehicles, and remote temperature sensors. GPS receivers for
navigation are also digital.
Q: What else?
A: Well, the Wi-Fi wireless LAN radios in your laptop or cell
phone are digital, of course. These are the radios that let you
access the Internet and your email at local hot spots. Bluetooth
radios in your car or cell phone headset are all digital. Some wireless
speakers for home stereo systems are all digital.
A: An unexpected method is to get Internet radio on your cell
phone. Apple has several apps for streaming Internet radio to
their iPhones. Weather Underground ( www.wunderground.com)
recently announced their WunderRadio — an app for streaming
audio not only to the iPhone but also to BlackBerrys, Windows
Mobile, and any phones using Google’s Android operating
Q: Wow, digital radio glut. Maybe I won’t build that crystal set
after hearing about all my digital radio options. It may be more
fun to explore one of these.
A: Go modern and start checking out all your digital radio
Q: You mentioned the HD radio in cars.
What about satellite car radios?
A: Yes, satellite radios in cars are all
digital. Sirius Radio and XM Radio
merged recently under Sirius but they
maintain separate digital satellite systems.
Like other digital radios, the sound
quality is CD level.
Q: What is an Internet radio? I’ve heard
of that recently.
A: Oh yes, Internet radio. There is
such a thing and it is not so well known.
Basically, it is radio received over an
Internet connection. Most radio stations
also put their broadcasts on their website
so you can go to that site and stream the
audio to your PC or laptop. That means
you need some kind of broadband
Internet connection like a DSL line or
cable TV access.
The interesting thing is that so much
of what is on Internet radio is not
generated by real radio stations. There
are many non-radio stations that develop
programs and content such as special
music categories or talk sessions. I have
heard estimates of 18,000 different so-called Internet radio stations.
Q: How do I receive these stations?
A: You can access individual stations
on your PC if you have the speakers or
headphones and know the URL. They also
make special Internet radio receivers. A
good example is the CC Wi-Fi radio
shown in Figure 1 from C.Crane
( www.ccrane.com). Crane makes high
end AM/FM and SW receivers. This one
connects by a Wi-Fi wireless link to your
home Internet router and provides a way
to access all those tens of thousands of
stations. No antenna required.
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Q: I had not thought of buying a separate
Internet radio but it may be worth it to
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way to receive Internet radio?
October 2010 59
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