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HD Radio Tech a Big Theme Throughout CES

Many Brands to Deliver HD Radio Offerings This Year

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At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, there will be a total of 25 new HD Radio products introduced, making for this technology’s broadest product category coverage ever. This year, 15 automotive brands will produce over 80 vehicle types, and 36 of them will include HD Radio Technology, according to iBiquity Digital.

Brands include:

- Audi
- BMW
- Ford
 - Hyundai
- Jaguar
- Kia
- Land Rover
- Lincoln
- Mercedes Benz
- Mercury
- MINI USA
- Rolls Royce
- Scion
- Volkswagen
- Volvo

At least three new vehicles are on display at the event at the HD Radio booth – the Ford 2011 Taurus SHO, Volkswagen 2010 MY Golf TDI, and 2010 Scion xB. The first ever factory installed implementation of HD Radio enabled iTunes Tagging will occur at CES and will be showcased by Ford. A number of after-market solutions from various brands are being displayed as well.

HD Radio "New low-cost, low power IC solutions were introduced at CES 2009," says iBiquity Digital. "Since that technical breakthrough, many new portable products have been committed for launch into the consumer market, several of which are currently available, with additional new models on display at CES 2010."

These include Microsoft Zune HD, Insignia ND-HD01, Cydle T43H (PND w/ Real Time Traffic), Cydle P15, Gigaware 12-645 and 12-646, Sangean DT 600HD and Sangean DT 800HD. iBiquity itself is developing a Software Development Kit (SDK) for receiver partners to aid feature integration, which is planned for later in 2010.

Over 2,000 stations in the US use HD Radio Technology. The technology allows for a richer multimedia experience than traditional radio giving users access to album art and other features.

Watch for more WebProNews coverage of CES, with exclusive video interviews coming soon.
 

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HD Radio Tech a Big Theme Throughout CES
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  • Academician

    19 Reasons that Digital Radio is Taking Off

    1. The impending power increase which will allow greater range of digital signals, so that most metro areas will be well covered.

    2. The increasing number of vehicle manufacturers including digital radio as standard equipment, or as factory options. You’re already seeing digital radios available on non-luxury vehicles.

    3. The increasing sales of after-market digital radio receivers for both vehicles and non-vehicle use and the extremely low return rate.

    4. The decreasing cost of including digital capability in receivers as more integrated chipsets are put into production. Already you’re seeing only about a $10 price adder at the retail level for digital, which means that the cost to the manufacturer is sub $5.

    5. The realization by broadcaster that there’s going to be a revenue model for digital radio as the market penetration of digital receivers continues to increase.

    6. The growing number of broadcast stations whose transmitting equipment is digital-ready, so adding digital radio service is a relatively small expense. No station is going to replace their transmitters with ones that don’t provide a low cost upgrade path to HD even if they aren’t going to immediately deploy it.

    7. The realization by broadcasters that the program source for digital radio does not have to cost them a lot of money, and that they can transition the programming as audiences grow.

    8. The realization by broadcasters that the effect of digital radio on analog transmissions is minimal, and that if their analog transmissions are being affected that the way to solve the problem is not by complaining, but by joining the digital revolution themselves to get around the problem.

    9. The realization by broadcasters that own both AM and FM stations that a way around the problems with AM radio, especially at night, is to rebroadcast the AM stream onto one of the digital sub-channels of their FM station.

    10. The complaints by stations, either too cheap or too clueless to add digital service, that other stations are intruding on their market space means that they’re feeling the pressure to go digital.

    11. The gradual replacement of broadcast engineers that are scared of anything digital with those that are comfortable with new technology.

    12. The realization that adding digital capability increases the market value of the station.

    13. The increased reliability of digital broadcasting over analog.

    14. The much better sound quality of digital radio, with the ability to broadcast CD quality sound, something not possible with analog FM.

    15. The realization that the alternative to digital schemes such as FMeXtra and HD are greatly preferred over schemes such as DAB+ because “it uses FM frequencies they already own.”

    16. The ability to eventually go all-digital, with 300 kbit/sec divided into as many as seven channels, each with a different bit rate.

    17. The failure of satellite radio, which is experiencing extremely high churn because of the pricing model they’ve chosen to embrace.

    18. The broadening of digital radio from just additional channels of music to applications such as real time traffic (both audio and data).

    19. The realization by smaller local stations that digital radio allows them to broadcast much more local content and compete more effectively against stations owned by conglomerates.

    • Guest

      Sorry to burst your bubble but digital radio is dead. It’s essentially flat-lined and not even a blip on the screen. Check it out for yourself. So many issues with it not to mention that the only one pushing it is iBiquity and a few radio insiders.

  • AvidRadioListener

    Regarding Digital Radio, thank you for saying what needs to be said. I think HD Radio is one of the coolest radio technologies since FM was invented. I think its installation as standard in cars is what will really make it take off. With the digital power increase in the pipeline, people will at last have the chance to hear clear, noise free, stereo, full frequency response on the FM dial. This is not the case today when listeners in urban areas >30 miles from the transmitters hear multipath ridden, mono sound with suppressed treble response.
    I think HD Radio is at last starting to gain momentum with the adoption by Ford (who is now growing sales faster than Toyota) in its in dash receivers.

  • Guest

    You’ll get crystal clear broadcasting of their mediocre offerings and miniscule playlists, not to mention commercials. What good is a wide open, smoothly paved road if it doesn’t take you to where you WANT to go. People don’t dislike radio because of the sound quality, it’s the lack of content quality.

    “7. The realization by broadcasters that the program source for digital radio does not have to cost them a lot of money, and that they can transition the programming as audiences grow.”

    If you don’t have compelling programming that people WANT, whose going to come?

    How many of these new radios will have an AUX or USB jack in them?

  • Guest

    Digital radio – Nothing compelling here. Most of this is just iBiquity posturing. Seven years of the “rollout” has produced essentially zero growth. Check out all of the hd radio products that have gone into oblivion. Technology products today are a success with months of their introduction. Within a year they are made or broke. Digital radio is a failure. Play with the numbers all you like.

  • Guest

    Nothing compelling here. Most of this is just iBiquity posturing. Seven years of the “rollout” has produced essentially zero growth. Check out all of the hd radio products that have gone into oblivion. Technology products today are a success with months of their introduction. Within a year they are made or broke. Digital radio is a failure. Play with the numbers all you like.

  • Bob

    I could be wrong, but it seems pretty clear that the FCC isn’t so sure that terrestrial digital is a big consumer hit. So far they’ve wisely resisted the decision to allow any significant power increase. What does that tell you? Struble’s been pissing his pants for a long time waiting on a power increase. He must have a real rash problem by now.

  • Guest

    Off the record, I

  • Guest

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? A quick trip to the CES Website reveals nothing of the sort. More iBiquity posturing. The CES will come and go, people will sober back up, go home to reality and Struble will have another lackluster year for his science fair radio.

  • MediaGuru

    Give this medium a chance. With the success of Pandora there is proof that digital radio HAS interest and a growing market. HD-Radio has been roughed up by the lack of receivers and signal quality. iBiquity would do well to upgrade and relaunch the technology in several major markets the way the cellular business does with bandwidth service.

    The sound quality should be true 197kbs – at least. And we strongly suggest adding content “suggestions” i.e. a text list of similar artists/content taggable for later purchase. This will work well with devices like Zune HD that can quickly link to a music store.

    For full acceptance iBiquity MUST convince Apple that their technology will enhance the iPod/iTouch experience. AND start adding the chips to smartphone FM tuners and provide for immediate song/content purchase via online music stores.

    This may mean cranking the RMS broadcast wattage – or some other broadcast technology that eliminates the dropout problems and guarantees signal quality in major urban areas.