HD Radio: Cashout

iBiquity rathole
"DTS Steps Into Radio’s Tech Spotlight"

"In September, DTS Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire iBiquity for $172 million, as we reported at Radio World. DTS will pay for it with a combination of $135 million of new debt and $37 million in cash. The deal is expected to close this year, subject to conditions that seem a formality."

"HD Radio Receiver Totals Reach 10 Million"

"Broadcasters own less than 10% of the private company; that’s been true now for some eight years, as iBiquity turned to financial institutions for funding like Grotech Capital Group, J.P. Morgan Partners, New Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital as investors. Partners like Ford Motor Company, Harris, Texas Instruments and Visteon have also invested in the tech developer. We hadn’t asked broadcasters for more because we wanted them to invest in HD Radio, said Struble, noting that broadcasters originally invested less than $20 million and since then, the company has raised nearly $350 million."

HD Radio: Automakers



hd radios new cars
"Shopping for a Car With HD Radio"

"01.02.2015 - IBiquity projected recently that its HD Radio technology would be in some 43 percent of cars sold in the U.S. in 2014 and believes that figure will rise to about 50 percent in 2015. Looking at the iBiquity website list of models that support HD Radio, as of mid-November, the technology was still only available for the most part in luxury vehicles. The company’s penetration projections do not make sense to me, seeing as Chevy has dropped HD Radio in the three models mentioned for the 2015 model year. Walking around car lots, I did not see one vehicle equipped with an HD Radio receiver where the technology was an option. They all had analog radios factory installed."

HD Radio complaints
"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."

HD Radio BMW TSB
"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, 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."

Consumer
"Clashing Realities: iBiquity vs. Consumer Reports"

"Contrast that with Consumer Reports. The venerable product ratings/review agency just released their annual auto issue, and of three automotive features they recommend you avoid, HD Radio is one of them. Dissed in just three sentences: It’s advertised as having better fidelity than conventional AM/FM signals, but we’ve seen little benefit on the road. It’s offered by most major carmakers. We’ve found that the [digital] signals tend to come and go, resulting in annoying changes in sound quality."

HD Radio: Worldwide

HD Radio global flop
"iBiquity's International Marketing Diminished"

"This little blurb in a trade publication notes the fact that HD Radio's point-man for global sales is stepping down. He is not being replaced; the company is construing this as (yet another) cost-cutting move. Regardless of the veracity of this statement, it can't bode well for a digital radio protocol that has no real traction outside of the United States - and very little domestically to boot. One might look at this as another throe in the agonizing death that HD Radio is undergoing."

HD Radio fails tests

"Brazil: Tests Tech Before Implementation"

"After extensive testing of both HD Radio and DRM, the Secretary of the Ministry of Communications Electronic Communications, Genildo Lins, said the tests of the two technologies have had poor results, especially high-power FM. The testing demonstrated the digital signal coverage is approximately 70% of the current analog signal. The future of radio is digital, but that future is not yet. We are unable to make a decision on these results. A polite way of saying, this is not the digital radio we were hoping for... Using unbiased real world testing, HD Radio does not look so hot. One caveat; the digital carrier level is -20dBc. That being duly noted, results show a 112 KW EIRP analog station with a 1.12 KW digital carrier that is unusable 6 miles from the transmitter site in some areas."

"Brazil: Why HD Radio is not Catching on in the US"

"Marco Tulio Nascimento, General Manager of Technology, SGR – Sistema Globo de Radio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sent RBR-TVBR an email asking why HD Radio in the US is not catching on. He is preparing a report about digital radio, as the Brazilian government is in the process of choosing the national standard for digital radio."

Canada rejects HD Radio
"Canada in Digital Radio Limbo"

"However, Canadian broadcasters are not moving to add HD Radio services, preferring instead to stick with analog AM and FM... Meanwhile, HD Radio — the iBiquity Digital in-channel, on-band (IBOC) system — has been authorized for experimental FM broadcasts in Canada since 2006. Yet, despite the willingness of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission to fast-track licenses in this format, not one broadcaster has come to us to request one, said CRTC Vice Chair Michel Arpin."

"IBOC in the Canadian FM Radio Environment"

"Based on the evidence currently in hand, the DRCG considers that it would be risky for Canadian broadcasters to proceed at this time with an unrestricted roll-out of HD Radio services in the FM band, in the manner implemented in the US. There is no ground-swell of radio listener interest in this technology so far and the lack of inexpensive receivers, as well as unique new programming services, continues to make it difficult to market HD Radio to the public in the US."

HD Radio Mexico interferes
"Mexico Says Hang on a Minute!"

"Mexico wants U.S. radio regulators to re-think their decision to allow AMs to go IBOC at night and FMs to operate on the extended hybrid digital carriers. Our neighbors to the south say they are not happy the FCC authorized its recent final IBOC rules governing broadcast transmissions without first coordinating those through international treaties."

Swiss dump HD Radio
"Swiss HD Radio Project"

"Plans for a five-station HD Radio project to launch next month in Switzerland have been called off. Markus Ruoss, owner of Sunshine Radio and head of the HD Radio project, speaking today (Aug. 30) at the SwissRadioDay, said that, due to a lack of a partner in Zürich (the largest media market in the country) the project would not go ahead."

Indonesia rejects HD Radio
"Eureka: Reaching out to the World DMB Community"

"After several tests and trials on digital broadcasting technologies including DAB and IBOC in 2006, media broadcasters and the industry have seen that DAB and DVB would be the best-suited systems to be applied in Indonesia. Up to now, the largest public-radio network – RRI (RadioRepublik Indonesia), is running a successful trial broadcast on DAB in Jakarta as well as testing the DRM technology – and experiencing minimum troubles."

HD Radio Argentina flop
"Latin America, Future of Digital Radio is Murky"

“If digital radio has not found a market in the United States, with a population of 300 million, then what chance do we have in Argentina with a population of only 40 million, wondered Juan Fernández, director of Radio Mi País, an AM station on 1170 kHz."


"Digital Car Radio Secrets Revealed"

"Commercial Radio Australia says that HD Radio will not be available in Australia as it has already been rejected by the Australian commercial radio industry and public broadcasters... Our AM spacing in Australia is 9Khz. The US HD radio technology operates on 10kHz channel spacing, so the technology would need major upgrade if it ever to be suitable for digital radio services in Australia and indeed much of Asia, she said. Currently the USA HD model switches off at 4.00 pm to allow broadcasters in the AM Band to avoid co-channel interference in markets several 100 kilometres away. HD radio was rejected by the industry as it would have disadvantaged some of the most successful radio operators in Australia, added Warner."

HD Radio: Traffic



Smartphones kill HD Radio!
"Garmin, TomTom in Trouble From Smartphone Add-Ons"

"We have been observing personal navigation device makers for some time now and one has to admit that they are coming under increasing pressure. The portable navigation market includes arch rivals Garmin and TomTom, as well as other smaller players, such MiTAC Digital and Navigon. Since navigation products are given to commoditization, there has always been significant pressure on prices. However, the more immediate threat is Google, which intends to add free turn-by-turn directions to the Google Maps app for smartphones using its Android operating system."

Navteq HD Radio sucks
"Navteq Traffic on Garmin Devices Using HD Radio"

"The state of morning gridlock just got a little more real with the introduction of Navteq's real-time traffic via HD Radio -- to be included with Garmin's Nüvi 3490LMT personal navigation device."

"Nokia To Chop 1,300 People From Its Navteq Division"

"But reducing operations in mapping and commerce—divisions that include not only the Navteq mapping business, but location-based services, social media services and mobile commerce operations—raises questions about how well it will be able to differentiate those future products from the many others that will be made on the same platform."

MSN Direct dumps HD Radio!
"Clear Channel Partners With MSN For HD Data"

"Clear Channel Radio and Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2007 that they have partnered to build a nationwide data delivery service using HD Radio technology, providing personalized and localized content to a variety of HD Radio receivers. This initiative will be branded MSN Direct HD, an extension of Microsoft's existing MSN Direct service, which currently transmits information including traffic, weather, movie times, sports, and stocks to Smart Watches, weather stations, GPS navigation devices and small home appliances."

"Microsoft Will Shut Down MSN Direct"

"Citing reduced demand and a proliferation of other data technologies, Microsoft will discontinue its MSN Direct datacasting service at the end of 2011. MSN Direct provides location-based services — traffic reports, weather, gas prices, stock quotes — to navigation systems via FM subcarrier signals. After Jan. 1, 2012, navigation devices supporting MSN Direct will continue to be operational as navigation devices but will no longer receive MSN Direct services such as traffic, weather, fuel prices, it stated."

HD Radio: Stations

HD Radio off!
"HD Radio Goes the Way of the Laserdisk Player"

"Even though Clear Channel's website claims many of its alternate HD signals remain operational, only KRQ's was functional as of Monday, Oct. 3, and the jazz signal has been down for at least a month. Elsewhere, Lotus and Citadel dabbled in HD, but abandoned their efforts rather quickly."

"HD Radio in 2011 – What happened?"

"Watching stations dump their HD channels this month, I conclude that HD radio is a failure and most radio groups know this. Just about the only worth these extra HD channels have is that of feeding a translator with a separate format. Look for an accelerated move by radio to dump HD and the increased energy bill that comes with it this year."

"A Little Feedback on HD Radio"

"Is anyone surprised to see stations shutting off their HD signals? It's a flawed technology designed only to line the pockets of iBiquity. We didn't have to pay Edison to use the incandescent light bulb...we bought the bulbs but didn't have to pay to use them. That arrangement with iBiquity is insane...a can of worms which should have been buried, not opened!"

HD Radio stalled!
"FCC Media Bureau Chief Peter Doyle"

"I am concerned with the rate of adoption of the technology. We are at about 16% of radio stations, now. But the rate that new ones are adopting has slowed to a trickle. I think that’s a real warning sign for the transition. I'm also concerned about the number of stations that have taken advantage of our power increase flexibility, which permits stations to increase power by 4-10 times and replicate their analog service areas. But we’ll see. Perhaps in the future we will get more stations on board with the digital technology."

"AM-HD Radio Has Stalled. Now What?"

"Group heads of engineering and other industry observers say that digital AM is more technically challenging and expensive than FM. The flat, or even decreasing, number of AM stations embracing it certainly bears this out. Only a core number of mostly big-wattage, large-market stations are broadcasting in AM digital; most of those transmit their digital signals only during the day, according to engineering observers. Many of the stations on-air with AM-HD are owned by members of the HD Digital Radio Alliance."

"Cumulus Acknowledges HD Malaise"

"An interesting disclosure in Cumulus Media's yearly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission: On March 5, 2009, the Company entered into an amendment to its agreement with iBiquity to reduce the number of planned conversions, extend the build-out schedule, and increase the license fees to be paid for each converted station. In the event the Company does not fulfill the conversion requirements within the period set forth in the agreement or otherwise modify the rollout schedule, once the conversions are completed the Company will be subject to license fees higher than those currently provided for under the agreement. If other broadcasters have similarly downsized their transition-commitments, it does not bode well for HD Radio's long-term prospects."

HD Radio: Monopoly

iBiquity Digital Shysters
"iBiquity's Real Business Plan?"

"The fact is that iBiquity doesn’t care about interference because the only date in their calendar is the day the FCC approves their petition to sunset analog broadcasting. Then, interference won’t matter. Theirs is a game of delay and misdirection. They will point to conflicting reports, lack of listener complaints, and any other straw man they can come up with to while away the time until they petition for analog FM to end... Also, as heavily as Cheap Channel is invested in iBiquity, it’s little surprise that as the largest single radio licensee, they are all for everything iBiquity wants. The pushback has happened and they’re terrified because people who aren’t on their payroll are now making the quantitative measurements. The only question is: Is the FCC bought and paid for as well?"

"iBiquity's Royalty Will Adverstly Affect Minority-Owned Stations"

"The royalty concept proposed by iBiquity will force small minority stations out of business and their stations would eventually fall into the hands of Clear Channel, ABC/Disney, Emmis, Bonneville, Cox and Radio One. Of course, these corporations have disclosed that they have a vested interest in iBiquity. REC feels that the proposed royalty rates by the broadcaster-backed iBiquity is strictly a ploy to drive the remaining independent minority broadcasters out of business and the megacasters like Clear Channel, et al will benefit from the royalty fees paid by these minority stations. REC questions the legality of the iBiquity royalty scheme if the proprietary iBiquity system is chosen as the standard for DAB."

"District Court Dismisses Digital Radio Technology Suit"

"Kahn and his company Kahn Communications, Inc. alleged that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and non-government defendants (iBiquity Digital Corp., Lucent Technologies, Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., and Clear Channel Communications, Inc.) conspired to violate the Sherman Act through the FCC's regulation of digital radio technology, and that the non-government defendants engaged in other ‘monopolistic behavior.'"

IBOC jamming
"When More Bandwidth is Less Choice"

"The problem is that a side-effect of doubling the width of a radio station is that if your favorite radio station happens to be a weak little independent college, religious or community mom&pop radio station right next to a high-powered blow-torch of a radio on the broadcast dial you very likely will not be able to receive your favorite station again. In other words, your favorite station's signal is jammed by the big stations digital signal! The effect is like the Nazi radio giveaway because it destroys by law our ability to receive weaker or more distant signals but does not allow local competition to replace that loss with new programming sources."

"Night of the Bees"

"Radio listeners across America are trying to hide from a monster, but there is no shelter. After spending its adolescence in technical trials during daytime hours, AM-IBOC has now come out at night. We have met the enemy and he is us! The effects of HD Radio interference may be the final death blow to struggling small local radio stations trying to compete in very difficult market situations. This noisy hash may extinguish all hope of local stations being heard in the clear ever again."

"HD Radio: Doomed From the Start"

"HD Radio was not only doomed from the start, it was such a serious blunder that it may well lead to the death of thousands of radio stations and the permanent stunting of the industry itself. Why did this happen? They didn’t want the 10-Watt student station to suddenly have an equal signal to theirs. And the money-men didn’t want dozens of new independent channels to be available to listeners. But IBOC gave the money-men the one thing they wanted most of all: It preserves the inferiority of the smaller broadcasters. In fact, amid a sea of IBOC hash from the big boys, it accentuates their inferiority. The end result of this shortsightedness will be bankruptcy for many stations, fewer and poorer choices for the listeners as conglomerates gobble up the remains."

FCC ignorance HD Radio IBOC
"FCC Admits Ignorance on Digital Radio"

October 2002 - "The Commissioners seemed completely unconcerned about the documented evidence illustrating potentially disastrous interference problems with IBOC technology. But the whopper came from the mouth of Michael Copps, who admitted with incredible candor he had no idea what the hell he was unleashing. Everybody involved pretty much admitted from the outset that the digital radio initiative is all about giving the broadcast industry more avenues to make money rather than actually improving radio from the perspective of the listener. You can watch and listen to the deed being done at our special report on the IBOC vote."

"FCC: Market to Decide Fate of HD Radio"

"According to staff testimony at the meeting, the FCC appears unconcerned with HD Radio's potential pitfalls and more than willing to let the industry set the pace of radio's analog/digital transition. As for the actual vote, Democrat Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein both went along reluctantly, concurring and dissenting in part with the order itself. Said Commissioner Copps: By adopting a blanket authorization for digital radio, this decision confers a free pass on others to take their spectrum, bypass local communities and run more of the canned and nationalized programming."

"Are HD Radio Stations Serving the Public Interest?"

"The FCC has essentially handed over this additional spectrum to incumbent broadcasters without thinking seriously about the long-term implications of this transition, how it related to media ownership in local markets and its bearing on the Commission’s public interest obligations. FMC proposes an HD radio playlist analysis project during which a researcher would examine HD radio programming, and determine whether programming is increasing diversity, or addressing local issues or community interests."

HD Radio: NPR

NPR HD Radio Screws Taxpayers
"HD Radio Scam"

"Nothing has hastened the isolating of the public from 'public radio' quicker than the onset of the HD Radio media blitz. Hundreds of public stations have bought into the scam, palmed off in the main by the unholy alliance of NPR and iBiquity (aka. iNiquity)... Which raises the question, Why is NPR even in bed with a monopoly like iBiquity? Isn’t this in some way inimical to the very idea of 'public' radio?.. And this doesn’t even begin to address the question of interference with other adjacent radio signals, the degradation of the station’s analog signal, or the spotty reception of existing HD receivers pawned off on car buyers today. There’s much more to say about HD Radio, NPR, iBiquity, and the massive fraud being perpetrated against the taxpayers and consumers of this country."

"Slow Growth for HD Radio"

"Public Radio enthusiastically embraced HD Radio technology from the outset, but has taken note of the slow uptake by listeners — NPR quietly ended distribution of its three dedicated HD Radio streams on Oct. 1, 2012... The CPB grant program, which ended last year, awarded $60 million in grants to convert 680 Public Radio transmitters, according to Bruce Theriault, Senior V.P. of Public Radio. CPB also paid a group license fee to iBiquity for Public Radio stations to adopt its technology. In its later years, the conversion fund provided assistance for equipment upgrades that allowed some stations to increase the power of their HD Radio transmitters. Wisconsin Public Radio is among the beneficiaries of CPB’s grant program. It operates 33 stations to provide statewide Public Radio coverage and completed conversion of half of its transmitters last year, according to Mike Crane, director. At the time the massive technical project was initiated, it was regarded as a strategic move to prepare the state network for a digital future. But, so far the return on investment has been hard to measure."

NPR Bait and Switch
"Classical music on hold? Dial up disgust"

"Since the switch that wasn't, some 2,000 calls and e-mails have poured in, many very unhappy in tone. Suggestions that listeners get their classical fix at WUSF 89.7-2 on HD radio or online at wsmr.org do not always placate."

"WUFT-FM officially makes switch to talk radio"

"In subsequent weeks, classical fans protested in letters, through an online petition drive and at meetings in a local home. There are a lot of upset and disappointed people, said Gainesville resident Sue Yelton, an organizer of those efforts. Yelton and others said they refuse to buy HD radios to continue to hear classical."

HD Radio: Phones

Wireless Emergency Alerts
"FCC Sets Rules for Cell-Phone Alerts"

"Federally supervised cell phone alerts about national emergencies came one step closer to reality Thursday when regulators released their final rules for how mobile providers must implement the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). CMAS is a voluntary system available to wireless providers that will send out text message blasts in the event of a national disaster like Hurricane Katrina, or the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Though providers are not required to join the CMAS, major providers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint have already pledged their support."

"No Commissioner Commitment on FMs in Cellphones"

"On the issue of including FM chips in cellphones, saying there’s been pushback on the issue from wireless carriers. He asked whether the agency would consider approving a mandate, since radio needs a platform that’s growing. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said, what you’re talking about is redundancy — that radio works even when cell phones fail during emergencies. Neither Copps nor two of his colleagues would commit to a mandate, however. Commissioner Meredith Baker said, it’s up to the marketplace to decide the matter of whether to include FM capability in phones."

"The Debate About FM Goes On and On"

"After an attempt to have the chip mandated was thwarted, broadcasters are now using community safety as their number-one selling proposition. Not everyone's buying the safety pitch. Carpenter says if broadcasters can get the chip into the phone, they wouldn't have to pay streaming fees because the chip delivers the over-the-air product, therefore eliminating the streaming cost. He was also less than impressed with the rollout last week of the new HD chip by iBiquity and Intel. I chuckled when I saw that. I don't know a soul who has HD. That was just an attempt to jump start the FM chip business which has not taken off. Carpenter also says those phones that already have the chips are not really being activated all that much."

HD Radio Deception
"Radio: High Deception"

"Doesn't it remind you of iBiquity, the HD Radio Digital Radio Alliance, and the steady stream of misleading propaganda they attempt to flood the radio industry with? This past Friday the same iLounge site was pitching for comments in its latest reader’s poll, 'Which of the following next-gen add-on features most interests you?' Harmless enough – until you read the following line: 'Currently, HD Radio is leading the poll with 29% of the vote.' So we are to accept as fact that more iPhone/iPod users want HD Radio than, let’s say, a larger screen? Or, more likely, are we to believe that HD Radio proponents are manipulating the iLounge poll?"

"The Dark Secret iBiquity Doesn't Want You to Know"

"Hot in the news is a new patent application from Apple for what has been portrayed as HD Radio capability in iPods or possibly even iPhones. What's left out of the news is one important point: We're talking about an accessory here - not a core functional piece of the iPod hardware. That's abundantly clear from the title of Apple's application and completely missed by most of the radio industry trades."

Various cell phones

"iPhone 5 Announcement"

"But Apple completely skipped over HD Radio again, as the company has done year after year since the Zune HD came out with the feature. And not only is there no HD Radio, radio itself is limited solely to the iPod Nano. If you have any other Apple product (iPhone 5, iPod Touch, etc.), you’re out of luck. Because apparently if you can get Internet over Wi-Fi, which is obviously everywhere, who needs the radio?"

"FM tuner to be in Google Nexus One smartphone"

"PC World reports the Google Nexus One Android smartphone, intended as a rival to the Apple iPhone, will include a chip for an FM tuner... RBR-TVBR observation: Again, not an HD Radio tuner, but analog FM. Guess there is still a way for radio to join the 'digital revolution' afterall."

"Windows Phone 7 Series"

"It seems the stunning Zune HD interface was something of a trial run for the new Windows Phone 7 Series software... It is also understood that Microsoft is stipulating all phones must also include an FM radio tuner."

HD Radio: Pandora



cellular bandwidth vs HD Radio
"Struble Says Don't Be Afraid of Pandora in Fords"

"HD Radio advocate Bob Struble says Internet radio cannot and will not replace over-the-air broadcast radio. The president/CEO of iBiquity Digital writes in his latest column. He noted announcements at the recent International CES about Internet radio provider Pandora and its deals with Ford to be included in the Sync communications platform as well as with Alpine and Pioneer to be on their navigation systems. But, Struble says Pandora in Fords does not spell doom... Though a dominant theme at the show was a pervasive and converged Internet — and radio should be concerned — it can adapt, he says. Internet radio is a valuable and powerful service, but network usage requirements will not allow it to support mass-market listening."

"Does radio need to worry about IP-delivered audio?"

"Back in September, Radio World published a column titled 'The Problem Isn’t Demand, It’s Bandwidth' by veteran broadcast engineer, Frank McCoy. The title was a bit of a non sequitur, because of course if there was no demand, bandwidth wouldn’t be a problem... He arrives at this 'comforting' conclusion by comparing the bandwidth required by IP audio streams in a real-world situation vs. available bandwidth, finding that IP audio just won’t scale up enough to be a threat to radio broadcasters. The exercise is interesting, but it would be a mistake for us to draw much comfort in it – at least if your goal is to stop worrying about other platforms. Here’s why."

Pandora new radio
"How Pandora can become the New Radio"

"Pandora, on the other hand, is all value-add... Radio must to be pushed into devices which don't already contain them, while Pandora can be pulled in - by audience or consumer demand. If you make cars or electronic gadgets, which will you respond to faster, push or pull? The largest concern you should have is that Pandora's entry into the auto market - something I view as inevitable - has the potential to create a complete substitute for your (music-oriented) radio station. And this will happen much faster than you think."

"Pandora's New Revenue Strategy--Impact on Radio"

"Given Pandora's success, how might this impact the radio industry?.. Probably not immediate, but the long-term affects of Pandora's competition will be felt... Quick story--I'm a college professor in the media area. I'm teaching a management course this term, and recently I asked my class how many had heard of HD radio. One student raised their hand out of 24. When I asked how many had heard of Pandora, all but two students raised their hand."

Pandora Kills HD Radio
"CBS buys Last.fm - and what it means"

"What is Last.fm, you ask? It's a popular social network built around musical tastes... It is inevitable that radio - or aspects of radio - will become personalized. Instantly, the value of a huge 'variety' of channels or stations will be obliterated. Because ultimately nobody wants a hundred diverse channels or stations. They want THEIR one or two or three diverse channels or stations. A hundred stations is what you provide when technology limits you from doing better... Bad news for HD Radio. Bad news for Satellite Radio."

"Slacker iPhone app now available, users go wild"

"All for free, on your iPhone. The definition of 'radio' is changing right before our eyes. And listeners know this. One review on iTunes calls the Slacker iPhone app the first killer radio app... not only does the Slacker app set the bar, but it changes things completely. Another reviewer says that words cannot express how awesome this app is, while yet another states that SiriusXM is in trouble."

HD Radio: Sales



HD Radio sales flop
"HD Radio: Which hype should you believe?"

"HD Radio sales numbers have come in for 2007, and iBiquity is patting itself on the back because of a reported 700% jump in sales year-over-year. Bob Struble, president of iBiquity, told the NAB Board of Directors that 2007 was a 'breakthrough year' with over 330,000 HD Radio receivers sold compared to the 40,000 units sold in 2006. And only a few months ago, iBiquity was saying they sold 200,000 units in 2006, and are estimating 1 to 1.5 million units for 2007. Surely in October the company had a good enough picture of how sales would be for the year. So which is it?"

"Struble: Radio Is the Last Analog Medium Standing"

"Insignia HD — I think this will be a nice little interim step for jogging or working out. It proves the viability of the technology and hopefully we'll get sales; but no, this is not going to sell in the hundreds of thousands... Radio alone — the sad reality of where it is — as a standalone device, it just doesn't exist anymore as a category. Nobody goes into Best Buy and says 'Where's the radio department?'"

iBiquity layoffs
"Getting By: Losing the American Dream"

August 2009 - "Knepp earned enough at his job as retail marketing director for HD Radio for his wife to be a stay-at-home mom. The couple lived comfortably. In August 2009, Knepp was laid off in a round of company cutbacks."

HD Radio high return rate
"Many Retailers Forecast ’08 HD-Radio Gain"

"Flanner’s notes, however, that returns on HD Radio for the home is higher than on other products. If you get a signal, the sound quality is spectacular, said Ernst. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. It has a higher return rate than other products because someone can’t get a signal or maybe they live in a valley or too far away from the station."

Radiosophy bust!
"Business Neophytes Share Perils"

"Three years ago in North Sioux City, South Dakota, a husband and wife launched the company Radiosophy to produce high definition radios. But after suffering setback after setback, they say their story is something of a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs. Bill Billings and Sue Nail struck out on their own with the goal of living the American dream. They thought they'd create their own business, building and selling lots of high-definition radios, and live happily ever after. But it hasn't exactly worked out that way."

HD Radio empty shelves

"The HD Radio Alliance's blame game"

"Radio Shack is slowly – or perhaps not so slowly - phasing out their HD Radio commitment. Show me one retail outlet that’s added space to their HD Radio display. You can’t. Wal-Mart never committed to retailing HD Radio in the manner Bilk-o claimed they would."

QVC HD Radio farce
"Half Dead Radio"

"My guess is that those few viewers you may get during your HD Radio snake oil sales hour will be waiting for your pitch to end and Joan Rivers’ artificial overpriced baubles sale to begin. Peter, the phone didn’t ring. It must be all the American people interested in HD Radio. What’s the pitch? HD Radio is just like HD TV without the picture?"

HD Radio ripoff
"RadioShack's Inadequate Accurian"

"One look underneath the base of an Accurian explains its $200 price tag. There, a sticker reads: 'HD Radio Technology Under License From iBiquity Digital Corporation.' Instead of developing a radio capable of superior sound quality, I'm guessing that RadioShack paid iBiquity a fortune for the license, cheaply put together a subpar product, and passed the licensing cost on to consumers."

"Are you waiting in line for your HD radio?"

"If you lower the price enough, folks will buy the radio. That's the belief about HD radio that is being stoked in our industry. And, of course, it's wrong."

HD Radio: Multicasting


"Addressing The Long Tail: HD2s and HD3s for Profit"

"Analog AM/FM cannot address The Long Tail. HD Radio™ technology can help. Few business concepts have gained such quick and widespread acceptance as The Long Tail, put forth by Chris Anderson of Wired... You simply cannot program niche formats on analog stations and make the numbers work... RIFF2 with its edgy Detroit flavor... Clear Channel’s Pride Radio... Bonneville’s iChannel... Erockster... Our friends at Arbitron say that HD2s are beginning to show up in PPM data... Put HD2s and HD3s on air, keep them on... Bob Struble."

"Harvard Business Review: Should You Invest in the Long Tail?"

"Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine, argues that the sudden availability of niche offerings more closely tailored to their tastes will lure consumers away from homogenized hits. The 'tail' of the sales distribution curve, he says, will become longer, fatter, and more profitable. Elberse, a professor at Harvard Business School, set out to investigate whether Anderson's long-tail theory is actually playing out in today's markets. She focused on the music and home-video industries -- two markets that Anderson and others frequently hold up as examples of the long tail in action -- reviewing sales data from Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen VideoScan, the online music service Rhapsody, and the Australian DVD-by-mail service Quickflix. What she found may surprise you: Blockbusters are capturing even more of the market than they used to, and consumers in the tail don't really like niche products much."

"Bonneville pulls iChannel Music"

"Bonneville has pulled the plug on its iChannel Music HD Network and streaming. For the most part, it has replaced the HD multicast with WorldBand Media content (brokered ethnic programming). iChannel allowed indie bands to upload their music online for consideration... We commend Bonneville for giving it a shot—it allowed radio to expose a lot of new, unsigned indie bands from around the world. CC Radio's eRockster HD2 format is still around at a good handful of stations and still outstanding. If that gets shuttered, a good bunch of us just might be done with HD Radio listening altoghether."

"CC Radio’s Format Lab gone?"

"So bottom line, the Format Lab is no longer available on the web and has cut some of its formats down to the most successful/desirable. The www.iHeartMusic.com website seems to only list the main audio streams of CC stations--not multicast HD formats--but does offer a few off to the side: erockster; Pride; Verizon New Music; Smooth Jazz; Real Oldies; Slow Jams and New Country. There used to be something close to 100 formats listed on the site."

HD Radio Arbitron
"CBS Radio's Dan Mason Talks Digital At RAIN Summit"

"On HD Radio, asked if the company has seen any success with its multicast channels, Mason said he could not point to any ratings successes and 'there needs to be a lot more infiltration' of receivers before ratings successes are seen."

"HD-2/FM translator combos acting like real stations”

"Now we’re seeing the latest crop of FM stations – translators with less power and less coverage than a full-power Class A – accumulate enough of a listening base to promote concerts. These stations are typically fed from the HD-2 channel of a big sister station, since a commercial radio translator can’t originate its own programming under the FCC rules... In fact, the August PPMs for Atlanta show that WWWQ-FM HD-2 has a 1.0-share and a cume of 217,300 people. Given the small number of HD Radio receivers out there, it’s likely that what Atlantans are really listening to is the translator at 97.9."

"HD Radio milepost is actually an Internet Radio milepost"

"What Inside Radio does not say, of course, is that - for Z100's channel at least - the web stream is easily accessible on Z100's website, meaning that what advertisers for Z's HD-2 channel are really buying is web traffic - which undoubtably dwarfs any radio traffic for Z's HD-2 version."

HD Radio ION
"We Might Want to Keep an Eye on ION"

"If the commission embraces the notion that secondary digital streams really do constitute separate licenses that can be separately assigned, one could easily argue that radio stations that have opted to transmit digital streams (i.e., 'HD Radio') should also be permitted to sell those streams as separately licensed stations... For one, the number of radio stations could theoretically double or triple overnight. This might not have the cataclysmic effect of, say, the injection of nearly 700 new FM allotments through the notorious Docket No. 80-90 a quarter century ago, but you never know. At a minimum, if the law of supply and demand were to hold true, the overnight doubling/tripling of stations would likely depress each station's value. And such a rapid increase in the number of stations would logically lead to a similarly rapid increase in competition for audiences and revenues. Are we all ready for that?"

HD Radio: IPO

HD Radio Struble Fraudulent IPO
"iBiquity Digital Corporation"

March 2001 - "If rollout targets are met, three years from product launch should find a roughly 10% digital broadcast penetration in terms of the share of radios able to receive digital broadcasts. By 2012, that share is projected to rise to 70%. Ultimately, iBiquity will likely offer an attractive equity option in itself, with the most likely ultimate liquidity event being an IPO."

"Robert Struble Channels Lee DeForest"

"iBiquity's President and CEO, Robert Struble, has taken to tweeting. In early September, he revealed he'd taken the train to Wall Street to float the notion of taking iBiquity public: 'Good NYC trip. Wall St way more upbeat than recently. IPO pipeline better, but most think [stock market] rally was too fast'... In the early 20th century, Lee DeForest, inventor of the audion tube spent a portion of his early career engaged with unscrupulous businessmen in the practice of 'pumping and dumping' stock in radio companies featuring his invention... One might say the same about Bob Struble and iBiquity. Given the wobbly future of the HD Radio protocol, it is not far-fetched to see a historical parallel between Struble and DeForest."

"HD Radio 'has reached critical mass' says iBiquity"

"iBiquity is continuing to try to pump hope into the survival of HD Radio, recently announcing that new aftermarket and auto manufacturers are offering the medium. But it's comments made by iBiquity COO Jeff Jury that really makes me wonder if the company is just hell-bent on persistent propaganda, or actually believes their own hype."

"Consumers, Wall Street not buying HD"

"Admit it. You’ve secretly wondered why the radio industry has invested so much in HD Radio. You’ve secretly wondered what the big payoff is. Here’s some advice if you still have a job in radio: keep it secret and don’t wonder out loud. In fact, you probably want to be seen gulping as much HD Kool-Aid as you possibly can, lest your name appear on one of those increasingly numerous slips that are coloring the halls of radio stations in Pepto-Bismol pink."

HD Radio: Receivers



Zune HD dead
"Zune HD is dead confirms Microsoft"

"Microsoft has officially confirmed that its Zune PMPs – including the Zune HD - have been axed, despite having denied yesterday that such a decision about the media players had been made."


"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. Best Buy has pulled the portable off their website."


"The Letter"

"I've pretty much come to the conclusion that nobody cares. But the worst of it came from my experience playing with one of those Best Buy portable HD radios. If you don't go searching for them, you will never find an HD radio in the store. These were hanging on a forlorn pegboard all the way in the back of the store, next to the cassette and CD portables, which, sadly, is appropriate company. There were no signs."

HD Radio Sangean dumps DT600
"Sangean Cancels Production Plans for DT600-HD"

"Sangean now says it’s not planning to introduce an HD Radio portable that was to have included analog AM in the U.S. this year. Responding to a question from Radio World, a Sangean spokesman said the company decided not to go ahead with production of the DT-600 HD; he could not say why. The spokesman also said Amazon is not accepting pre-orders for the unit, as we had reported. Sangean had not answered Radio World's query at the time that story was published. IBiquity had a prototype of the unit in its booth at CES and also at the spring NAB Show."

Narrator HD Radio fraud
"Best Buy Takes Pre-Orders for ‘The Narrator’"

"Best Buy is taking pre-orders for a new HD Radio tabletop receiver, The Narrator, designed with the visually-impaired in mind. The Narrator was created with input from the International Association of Audio Information Services, the group that represents radio reading services."

"Hogan Keeps an Eye on Noise"

“Sun Sounds of Arizona is the school’s radio reading and information service; it airs on the 67 kHz subcarrier of KJZZ and on KBAQ HD3. The biggest challenge to radio reading services has been HD Radio, Hogan said. We made the decision to place our service on an HD channel, but there have been a lot of radio reading services eliminated as stations go HD and do multiple programming to utilize the full 200 kHz of spectrum.”

HD Radio: Disclaimer

HD Radio really isn't 'HD'
"iBiquity Twists Its Tubes"

"Any simple WHOIS domain-name search turns up the obvious: iBiquity owns HDRadio.com. Administrative and technical contacts point straight back to the corporate HQ. My question is, why all the disclaimage? And are you really that clueless, iBiquity? Are you effectively denying the validity/credibility of your consumer-marketing claims? Hiding behind a trademark-disclaimer - that HDRadio.com is 'managed' by the HD Radio Alliance - which is, for all intents and purposes, iBiquity (though that particular domain is registered to Clear Channel) - does not cut the mustard."

"HD Radio really isn't 'HD'"

"Quite honestly, it doesn't stand for anything, said Peter Ferrera, president and CEO of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. The concept was somewhat of a steal from HD television, where viewers know it means better quality."

"First day with HD Radio – not impressed"

"iBiquity claims 'drastically improved sound quality' for HD Radio over its analog counterpart. So far, I find that the technology of cramming a digital signal in next to analog one has too many compromises to be successful. The bandwidth for the HD channels is not enough to offer significantly better fidelity for the primary HD channel, and the leftover bandwidth available for HD2 and HD3 provides sound quality that does not surpass what is available online or on satellite radio."

"Night of the Bees"

"IBOC is the acronym for in-band on-channel, a method of sending digital audio along with old-fashioned analog radio signals. It's marketed, confusingly, as HD Radio. In theory, HD Radio should be transparent to the end user listener. In reality, the system is anything but on-channel. It actually uses about five channels to convey its information."

"Big radio shoots itself in the foot (again)"

"Then they started promoting 'extra free channels', which it seems they've now decided to charge for. Which require a different special radio, which you can't even buy yet! Every day in every way, it's more and more like another 'AM stereo' fiasco. And wait until Congress notices this. Don't be surprised if they decide to re-open the questions of spectrum taxes or frequency auctions for commercial radio. Not very smart."

HD Radio: AM-HD

iBiquity's iBLOCK

"FCC Tunes Into HD Radio--May Turn Off Distant AM"

"But HD Radio AM broadcasts may also obstruct one of AM radio's oldest attractions--so-called skywave reception, in which AM signals bounce off the ionosphere after sunset and allow listeners to tune in from hundreds of miles away. For example, two years ago, a Cleveland station's broadcast of an Indians game kept me entertained on the New Jersey Turnpike; a couple of nights later, I tuned into WTWP-AM's coverage of a Nationals game in north Jersey. A nearby HD AM (I realize this sounds like an oxymoron) signal, however, can interfere with a distant analog signal if the two stations are adjacent on the dial. For instance, a Jersey station's digital broadcast on 1510 or 1490 AM might have stopped me from getting WTWP's analog signal at 1500 AM."

"Statement of Jeff Littlejohn SVP Engineering Clear Channel"

"The current AM allocation rules require Co-Channel stations to provide 20:1 protections to each other and first adjacent channel stations to provide 2:1 protection to each other. While this works fine in an all-analog environment, it does not seem to be sufficient in the presence of IBOC. The energy above 10 KHz from the proposed Hybrid IBOC signal significantly exceeds the energy present in the current analog AM signal. For this reason, the amount of energy provided to a first adjacent station is significantly more detrimental than our current allocation rules allow for."

"AM Broadcasters Back Away from HD Deployment"

"According to a leaked memorandum from ABC/Citadel's executive chief engineer, all AM stations in the company's stable have ceased broadcasting in digital at night, effective immediately. The memorandum does not give specifics, but follow-on reports cite interference between AM stations on adjacent channels as a major factor for the decision. Interestingly, some suggest Citadel executives knew such a problem might be in the offing, but they went ahead and turned on their digital signals at night anyway."

HD Radio Pistons
"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... 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."

HD Radio hijacking
"Could EXB Band Be Your New Home?"

"The group says most AMs should move to the new band, where they would operate as FMs on channels of 100 kHz width, enjoy more parity with current FM stations in terms of audio fidelity and gain the ability to go all-digital. AMs could transition to 100 channels and operate in the all-digital mode. In this way, AMs 'can solve the current digital problems they are experiencing, especially at night', the group states. But while most would move, the existing band could, under their plan, also remain populated with clear-channel stations that would enjoy more elbow room. Under the proposal, filed with the FCC in its diversity proceeding (Docket 07-294), the old AM band would be 're-packed.'"

HD Rado and lightning
"Lightning taking out AM IBOC"

"A live demonstration of how lightning affects an AM HD Radio signal with a relatively weak thunderstorm in progress judging by the infrequent lightning."