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.”