Monday, May 7, 2012

After 13 years, inventor waits for HD radio to break out

Hybrid Digital radio, with its superior sound and reception -- and the ability to squeeze more channels into one frequency -- should be an obvious part of this digital media age. Yet after 13 years, HD radio has failed to match its expectations -- for many reasons.

"I don't think the industry has done a good job promoting it," said Joseph Puma, vice president, engineering and technology, for WNED broadcasting. "And I don't think IBiquity is getting manufacturers to make receivers for it. Table radios have not gone below $100, and most people don't want to pay that for a clock radio. If you were a classical music aficionado, you may be more apt to buy it."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Study: Americans Still Unfamiliar With HD Radio

Nearly five years into this grand experiment, and most of the public still doesn't know what HD radio really is ("zero progress") and the numbers are shrinking...

Study: Americans Still Unfamiliar With HD Radio

Research and strategy firm Mark Kassof & Co. has conducted a new survey that shows a continued "knowledge gap" among consumers when it comes to HD Radio. The research findings, based on 670 telephone interviews in the U.S., show that 54 percent of 18- to 64-year-olds have "heard of" HD Radio, which is down from 67 percent in a 2008 study. Included in that 54 percent, however, are 16 percent who have only heard of HD Radio and don't know anything about it.

The #1 image of HD Radio is that it delivers better audio quality. Twenty percent of respondents express that view, which is essentially flat from 2008 (21 percent). But for many, better quality sound is not something they actually know about HD Radio. Rather, it's something they infer based on their knowledge of HDTV. Other findings show that only 8 percent understand that HD Radio delivers more channels and choices, which also is identical to the 2008 survey. And 6 percent have the misconception that HD Radio is satellite radio.

Firm President Mark Kassof states, "The results show a decline in awareness and zero progress in listeners' understanding of HD radio. The industry still has much work to do promoting HD radio and selling its benefits."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Dan Halyburton

Part 1
Part 2

I started to write about the content offerings of HD Radio and the deeper I was in, I reached the conclusion that while the new “band” shows some promise, the whole thing is just too damn complicated. There is a significant price that Radio is paying for this complexity.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More Heartache on HD

Literally, that's the first tag line on the flash page that welcomed me when I went to the newly re-done website: "More Heartache on HD" (along with "more music on HD...more chill on HD...more relaxing on HD..."). How fitting an admission!

Also, now that the Zune HD has been discontinued, the number of portable HD-capable players available is exactly... two - both Best Buy Insignia house brand models. Remember the old days when you'd see industry leaders like Sony followed by other companies like Panasonic, Sharp, etc. fielding quality portable radios? Not for this turkey of a technology, I guess.

The NSHD-01 gets respectable feedback but the NSHD-02 has reviews calling it a "joke", saying "don't bother" - both for the user interface and the reception, it seems.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Microsoft cancels Zune HD leaving one last portable HD radio on the market

Microsoft cancels Zune HD leaving one last portable HD radio on the market

This week Bloomberg reported that Microsoft will introduce no new versions of its Zune HD portable music device. Conceived as a competitor to Apple’s market-dominating iPod line, the Zune added an HD Radio receiver in 2009, making it one of only two portable HD radios available. The other comes from the Best Buy Insignia house brand, which has a touch-screen making it look like an MP3 player, even though it’s only a radio.It appears that Microsoft will retain the Zune brand which includes a music store platform accessible on the XBox games system and Windows smartphones. But none of those devices includes HD Radio reception.

While iBiquity, owner of the HD Radio technology, cheered the technology’s inclusion in the Zune, it’s doubtful that any significant number of consumers chose a Zune specifically for its HD Radio. Similarly, I doubt many people bought an iPod Nano because of the radio. I’m certain that a small segment of buyers are won over to a model in order to get a radio, but other features are likely a bigger determinant.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Detroit Pistons moved to CBS due to HD Radio interference?

Detroit Pistons moved to CBS due to HD Radio interference?

Pete Skorich, Detroit Pistons Director of Broadcasting, addressed a rumor that  RBR-TVBR heard regarding a rate reduction in The Detroit Pistons contract with Clear Channel’s Sports WDFN-AM 1130 kHz over poor reception in the evenings. Details had it that 50-kW KMOX St. Louis (1120) and 50-kW WRVA Richmond (1140) were killing WDFN’s nighttime signal because of their skywave HD Radio carriers on 1130. Well, Skorich tells us there was no rate reduction but instead a complete move to CBS Radio’s The Ticket (WXYT) simulcast of 97.1 and 1270 some two years ago.
But he did note it was because of reception complaints: “That was one of the components, and we were with them for five years. They had a weak signal and we were getting a lot of people that could not hear us. It could have been [because of] HD Radio, but at the time we were totally unaware of it.”



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

AM HD Radio Has Stalled. Now What?

AM HD Radio Has Stalled. Now What?

by Leslie Stimson, 08.31.2010

AM HD Radio, it seems, is the stepchild of the digital world.
Proponents point to AM HD’s dramatic improvement in audio quality over that of analog. But several experts say that, at best, AM HD is having mixed success. Many even characterize it as struggling or not successful. Others, however, say it’s too early to tell what its future will be.