HD Radio: Automakers

HD Radio lemons

"AM and HD Fading from Some Vehicles"

"It would also seem that something similar may be happening with HD Radio. General Motors has removed HD functionality from a wide array of 2015 vehicles, including the Chevy Traverse, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevy Impala, Buick Enclave, and Buick Regal. Many (but not all) of these makes and models will have wireless broadband connectivity added to their infotainment stacks. Earlier this spring, Consumer Reports highlighted HD Radio as a feature to avoid when buying a new car. Presumably GM is reacting to market demands—and if so, it does not portend well for the malaise that is HD adoption. There’s been no reaction yet from iBiquity or the NAB on these developments."

"Automakers Get HD Complaints"

"But even when HD stations do implement HD Radio or put a multicast channel on the air, they’re not always able to pay attention to the alignment of the analog and digital signal. That’s a problem, because complaints about audio quality are starting to arrive at dealerships. IBiquity Senior Vice President of Broadcast Programs & Advanced Services Joe D’Angelo ticked off several: customers say the HD often echoes as if two signals are being received slightly out of time, or the audio sounds as if the station is skipping. Other complaints include the radio doesn’t pick up HD stations, ever. Or, the HD goes in and out. Owners have been slow to embrace the advanced data features that can make a radio display look like its competitors, such as satellite radio or Pandora, in the dash. Only some 400 stations have so far and that’s a problem, according to HD proponents; they believe that if stations don’t step it up, automakers will move radio down the center stack of priorities in the dash, so to speak."

"Sirius XM vs. HD Radio: The Battle For the Dashboard"

"There are many consumer complaints about the product itself, some that even the company themselves, iBiquity Digital Corporation, has admitted to. The first one is the antenna and reception. They admit that consumers are upset with their antennas, side channels dropping out, and adding external antennas have done little to help. Their solution on this issue was to simply ask the FCC to allow them to broadcast everything at a more powerful frequency. However, this does not solve other issues, nor has it been approved that I am aware of. If passed, it would require huge spending to existing terrestrial radio stations to boost their power signals. But, that doesn’t solve the interference issue. Consumers are also noticing interference when interpreting between the digital and analog signals. Remember, it's broadcasted together, in one stream. Makes sense then doesn’t it. Also, the range of the HD signal is far weaker than the analog signal, frustrating consumers even more."

"BMW HD Radio Service Information Bulletin"

"HD Radio Functionality and Diagnosis SI B65 25 05 August 2007 - this Service Information bulletin supersedes S.I. 65 25 05 dated March 2007."

"BMW HD Radio Troubleshooting Guidelines"

"Station volume changes. Audio repeats or jumps forward in time. An echo occurs when the radio switches between analog and digital audio. Digital audio sounds worse than the analog audio. The HD Radio sound keeps switching between digital and analog audio quality. HD Radio indicator keeps turning on and off. No song title or artist information is displayed. Station is not received in HD Radio digital sound quality. No HD Radio stations received."

Volvo Ford TSBs

"TSB Titles and Recalls for 2009 and 2010 Volvos"

"TJ20784 MAR 09 Audio - HD Radio Troubleshooting"
"TJ20306 DEC 08 Campaign - HD Radio Software Update"

"Ford Begs Broadcasters to Install HD Radio"

"One thing that seems to be missing from the open letter, something mildly important called, disclosure. According to iBiquity’s own website, Ford Motor Company is an investor in the technology. I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but for as long as the iBiquity crew continues to spout disingenuous bullsh!t about their failed technology, I’ll keep posting about it."

VW Artist Experience problems
"Volkswagen to Offer HD Radio Artist Experience"

"Volkswagen will be the first automaker to offer the new HD Radio technology feature called Artist Experience, beginning with the 2012 model year. Select Volkswagen vehicles will offer HD Radio with Artist Experience on the Premium VIII radio."

"Insignia: A Glimpse of Artist Experience"

"Finding an HD Radio station that is transmitting the Artist Experience is rather difficult. Since then I have found a few more stations transmitting album art, but the number of stations encoding it appears limited, the adoption rate among broadcasters extremely slow. Further, your local HD Radio station may be airing Artist Experience images, but you may not notice them immediately. That’s because, according to iBiquity, the album art is only sent once or twice shortly before the next song starts. So, if you tune to a radio station in the middle of the song, you will not see any album art. You will get the Title/Artist/Album text display, but no image until the next song. If the receiver has any data errors during the limited time when the image is being transmitted, the image will not display. In my opinion, this is a big problem."

HD Radio dealerships
"Radio’s Revenue Falls Even as Audience Grows"

“HD radio is pretty much going to be nonexistent, because they can’t figure out how to get the auto guys to include that as an option, and the auto guys that do include HD don’t let the consumers know about it, Ms. Ryvicker of Wachovia Capital Markets said."

"More Car Makers Offer HD Radio, But Can You Actually Buy It?"

"After reading a recent Radio World article, I wonder if at least part of the blame is due to the difficulty of actually buying the option. Writer Thomas R. Ray III, who is normally a cheerleader for HD Radio, recounts the difficulty he faced in getting an HD receiver in his brand new Ford Escape. It turns out the Ford dealership had never heard of HD Radio, and so he ended up with a factory-installed analog radio."