With Ibiquity's HD Radio being proprietary, and it's receivers not displaying bitrate or other technical details, we'll never know just what is going on with it.
I find the trend of matching the FM / HD audio quality to be massively, horrendously irritating on so many levels. (yes, there is a grammatical redundancy there, but it gets the point across :-) )
Taking a highly processed STL (Studio to Transmitter Link) and plowing it into the HD digital stream has often resulted in the digital signal sounding more "harsh" than the analogue counterpart. Very reminiscent of early masters used for making vinyl LP's being used to make CD's.
Secondly, I've come to notice that sometimes, when the analogue is delayed to match the digital, a low bitrate is used, and the result sounds beyond horrible. I suspect CKPC FM Brantford Ontario had been testing something as for a couple of days a week or so ago they sounded horrid, but it seemed to right itself and they sound fine again, but no digital component was noticed, so I suspect some analogue testing was being done. Having said that, I've heard HD Radio sound magical, same with the DAB system, but folks just keep taking shortcuts that end up not making the end result any better.
, I cought that reference. :-) I call it the way I see it. Some may not like it, but in the end, isn't the betterment of any technological change supposed to bring improvements to as many facets as possible?