Taking Out the Zune HD for a Test Drive

Listening in a moving car
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While coming back from Kitty Hawk, N.C., last week I had a chance to test out my new Zune HD.

IBiquity sent me the device before the NAB Radio Show. I charged and set it up then, but only really tried to use it for any length of time in my dentist’s office a couple of weeks ago. I had trouble pulling in some of the multicast channels. But really, that was a short-lived test because my dentist wanted to talk. (My plan had been to distract myself from the drilling and filling with the Zune.)

I really had a good chance to try it out on the way back from Kitty Hawk. We have a Kenwood KDC-HD942U receiver with built-in HD Radio in my husband’s car. As he drove, sometimes we were listening to the same stations (he on the Kenwood and me on the Zune) and it was interesting comparing the displays on both.

When I began listening to the Zune in southern Virginia heading north on a sunny day last Friday, the unit pulled in several HD1s and HD2s from the Richmond area, including those of WMXB, WDYL, WRXL, WTVR, WCDX, WCVE, WWLB, WKLR, WRVQ and WBTJ. Of those, only one HD2, the jazz format on WTVR at 98.1 MHz, dropped out consistently. Some of the other multicast channels dropped out intermittently.

I find that how hard or how long you swipe the frequency display affects how many stations it displays for you; I’m still getting used to that.

As with the Insignia HD, the Zune HD locks in the analog signal first, then the HD. I do like that once it displays frequency and calls, it also lets you know if there are multicast channels available for that station.

I’m still playing around with the unit and will have more to say later. We also have an engineer reviewing the unit in an upcoming issue of Radio World.

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