Sangean | HDT-1 | Sangean HDT-1 HD Radio

F
IRST LOOK
New Product Reviews
Monitoring Times HD Radio Report, Part 3
Sangean HDT-1: The Component Approach
By Ken Reitz
W
hile all the other HD Radio manufacturers are introducing HD table
radios, Sangean’s HDT-1 presents
the component stereo approach. This sophisticated looking radio has no built-in amplifier, no
speakers, and no antenna. It’s intended to be the
HD Radio component of your stereo system. This
means that your expensive analog stereo receiver
won’t become obsolete when, or if, a “drop dead”
date for analog FM becomes a reality.
❖ Top Drawer Features
Sangean has designed the tuner to be part
of any quality home stereo system and so there’s
been no effort to cut corners to keep costs down.
It has the kind of features many tabletop set
manufacturers would like to have, but can’t in
order to meet discount price points. For instance,
the large front panel leaves plenty of room for
full sized, generously spaced buttons; the blue
LCD display takes advantage of all HD Radio
and analog RDS display modes; separate tuning
functions for analog and HD Radio lets you automatically tune through the band stopping only
on HD Radio signals.
The back panel has the fewest connections
possible: two antenna inputs (“F” connector for
75 ohm FM coaxial cable) and spring connectors
for AM external antenna, left and right RCA jacks
and the AC power connector. That’s it. I found the
AM connectors perfect for the Radio Shack AM
tunable loop antenna. It allowed me to move the
loop to a convenient place for tuning and peaking
the signal. The tuner generates virtually no heat
and could be placed just about anywhere without
worrying about air circulation. Of course, you
don’t want to put it directly on top of a big heat
producer such as your stereo amp.
The HDT-1 comes with a credit card sized
remote control which duplicates all front panel
functions, including the information display,
direct frequency entry or preset station recall.
You can do HD seek from the remote as well.
As does every other HD Radio made, this
radio comes with the standard folded dipole “T”
FM antenna and a ridiculous AM loop which
Front view of Sangean’s HDT-1, the first and, so far, only component HD Radio available. Clean
layout design and well-considered functions complement the receiver’s capability. (Courtesy:
Sangean)
is nearly worthless. Of course, we can’t expect
Sangean (or any other HD Radio manufacturer
for that matter) to supply amplified FM Yagis and
tunable AM loop antennas, but if you’re going to
have success tuning HD Radio stations outside of
urban locations, that’s pretty much what you’ll
need.
❖ The HDT-1 at Work
There are 20 FM and 20 AM station presets
on the HDT-1 which should be enough in most
areas to assign presets for your favorites. Keep
in mind that multicasting stations will each need
a preset. For example, if your local public station
has regular programming on their first channel
and news/talk on a second channel, you’ll use two
presets for that one station and its two signals.
Setting and retrieving the presets is a little
quirky. You have to press the “preset” button
before actually trying to retrieve a station. It’s a
cumbersome extra step that takes a little getting
used to.
The clock is set manually with the unit
plugged in but not turned on, i.e. in the “standby”
mode. I found that for some reason the clock ran
about 5 minutes slow, a peculiarity Sangean was
unable to explain. Of course, it’s not necessary
to have the clock functioning, but it seems odd
to me that if you have a digital data stream being
transmitted, that a clock setting bit is not part of
that stream. No current HD Radios can set their
own clocks yet. Perhaps that will be a function
in future sets.
The HDT-1 is the most sensitive HD FM
receiver I’ve used. It was able
to tune distant HD Radio signals
not heard on most tabletop sets
using the same antenna. It’s hard
to know how it will perform on
Rear view of the HDT-1. Minimal connections are needed to AM, because during the time
turn your expensive older stereo into the latest thing. (Cour- I had it there were no AM HD
tesy: Sangean)
Radio stations in my area (there
66
MONITORING TIMES
July 2007
are still only a few hundred nationwide). As an
analog performer it did well, especially with the
tunable AM loop antenna.
Listening to HD Radio signals on the HDT-1
is a real pleasure, but it will only be as good as
the stereo you have it plugged into, and for even
better sound I’d like to see a fiber optic output on
a next generation receiver. Multicasting is now
more common as stations explore the possibilities
of having a second program channel at their disposal. During this introductory period, the FCC
is not allowing second or third channels to carry
commercials, which makes for some truly enjoyable listening. That’s not going to last, however,
except on the non-commercial stations.
The HDT-1 lists for $199.99 and is one of
many HD Radios involved in the national HD
Radio rebate program which gives you $40 off
the retail price. Full details and a rebate form
can be found on the HD Radio web site www.
hdradio.com/2007_HDRadio_Rebate.pdf The
promotion ends 7-3-07.
WHERE TO BUY:
C. Crane: 800-522-8863 www.crane.com
Crutchfield: 888-955-6000 www.crutchfield.
com
Universal-Radio: 800-431-3939 www.universal-radio.com
MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS
Frequency range:
AM 520-1710 kHz
FM 87.50-108.10 MHz
Antenna input:
FM 75 � coax “F” connector
AM 300 � spring terminals
Main Power: 10 watts maximum (120 v
AC)
Battery (remote control): 3 v DC (CR2025
battery)
Dimensions: 17” W x 2.75” H x 10” D
Weight: 5.75 pounds
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