Sony XDR-F1HD Digital Tuner/HD Radio

This is a Sony Model XDR-F1HD FM/AM Digital Tuner/HD radio I have. This device is only a tuner; it does not have a power amplifier to drive a speaker. It is a compact size with a large LCD display and has 20 station presets for FM and AM stations. It runs on 110 VAC. The radio receives both analog and High Definition (HD) radio signals transmitted with the format developed by Ibiquity.

The radio is quite sensitive with good selectivity and can easily receive stations on adjacent channels. The radio displays the text often tranmitted by analog stations as well as the text transmitted by HD stations. The picture above shows reception of a PBS station in analog format located about 60 miles away. The text being sent is (Alabama Public Radio). The HD signal is transmitted on an adjaent channel at much lower power than the main channel. For this station, I am not always able to receive the HD signal. The "P1" on the display indicates Station Preset 1, the first memory location for storing stations. There is also and 3-bar indicator for signal strength located in the upper left of the display.

The tuner automatically switches to HD when HD reception is possible. On signals that fade, such as the station above, the tuner automatically switches to analog if the HD signal is too weak to decode. You cannot force the radio into either mode and the automatic switching is annoying if this happens often because the audio level for analog and HD may not be identical as is the case for this radio station. There are modifications discussed on the web on how to add and external switch to force analog reception.

The picture below shows the tuner when it is receiving an HD signal. Reception of an HD radio signal is indicated by the "HD)" icon located in the upper left center of the display. If an HD signal is detected, but not sufficiently strong to allow complete decoding, the icon will blink. When the HD signal is sufficient strong to allow continuous decoding, the icon is on steadliy. Many HD stations transmit text and in the case of this station, they transmit only their call letters, WQPR-FM. Other stations transmit the name of the song and artist currently playing. Some HD stations transmit two simultaneous different audio programs and this tuner allows you to select the one you want.

When off, the radio displays the time of day, if set. The picture below shows this display.

Another shortcoming of this tuner is that if power is lost, the clock time and presets are lost. There is no memory retention.

Overall for the money, this is a good tuner and the sensitivity and selectivity are outstanding.