Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HD Radio Has Yet To Take Off


DALLAS -- Dozens of stations in North Texas are broadcasting in high definition, but few people have the radios to receive it.

Patrick Davis of 106.1 KISS FM, one of 25 stations broadcasting in high definition, said HD radio offers pure digital quality.

"Your favorite radio station comes in crystal clear," he said.

Each radio station can also broadcast side channels, adding nearly 100 more radio stations to choose from in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"Our HD 2 channel is Pride Radio," Davis said. "It's nothing but dance music and stuff like that."

The additional channels are mostly commercial-free.

The only cost to listen to HD radio is the initial purchase of a player. Prices start at $150.

"The advantage is, there's no fees," Johnnell Robertson, of Radio Shack, said. "There's no subscription fees. It's absolutely free."

HD radio is designed to compete against satellite radio, Robertson said.

But the technology hasn't taken off as expected. NBC 5 could not find one person who owns a hi-def radio and neither could KISS FM's program director.

"I don't know anybody that has one yet," Davis said. "What we're trying to do is just raise awareness that HD radio is out there."