Last week at CEDIA Expo, Polk Audio introduced their I-Sonic Entertainment System 2, the first radio that allows listeners to buy songs heard on HD Radio broadcasts using Apple's new iTunes Tagging technology.
The iTunes Tag button on the I-Sonic ES2's front panel and remote control lets you tag songs broadcast by HD Radio stations, and stores information about the tagged songs to its memory, and transfers the tags to an iPod when docked. When you connect the iPod to your PC, iTunes automatically presents the songs in a new Tagged playlist to preview, buy, and download.
The I-Sonic ES2 features four-speaker I-Sonic technology "that delivers room-filling stereo sound 360-degrees around the entertainment system." Polk designed the new system to serve people who prefer to use an iPod for video delivery, while the original I-Sonic ES has a built-in DVD player.
The I-Sonic ES2 includes a second generation HD Radio tuner with full multicasting. It accepts all iPod models with dock connectors in its top-mounted dock hidden beneath a sliding door. S-Video and composite video outputs allow the user to connect a TV for viewing video content stored on an iPod.
An auxiliary stereo input allows connection a portable CD player, cassette deck, etc. The I-Sonic ES2 is also a full function dual-alarm clock that can use the radio or iPod as the alarm. It also has a headphone jack, 24 radio presets, and a wireless remote control. On-radio controls allow it to operate when you lose the remote.
The I-Sonic ES2 measures only 14.5" x 9" x 4.75", making it suitable for use on a kitchen counter, night table, or shelf. It should be available from select specialty retail stores, Apple stores and PolkAudio.com in October 2007 for $499.
HD Radio is digital radio technology developed by iBiquity Digital that offers high quality reception from FM stations, and also allows broadcasters to multicast program streams over a single FM frequency to serve multiple audiences. A variety of data services that range from text-based information -- artist name, weather alerts, school closings, traffic alerts, etc. -- can be scrolled across the receiver display.
This is a preview, not a review.
Monday, September 10, 2007
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HD Radio is a farce:
Except for one NPR station that I listen to a few hours each week, I have no interest in terrestrial radio, HD, lo-D, or no-D. I have four XMs and two Siriuses, and eagerly await the merger of the two companies.
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