How will HD Radio fare in 2008?

35 Comments

Radiosophy, a three-year-old company that makes affordable HD radios, emailed me their newsletter and it was full of some interesting bits. For instance, there are 1,000 HD sub-channels broadcasting in U.S. markets. “Next year, look for an emphasis on the HD sub-channel programming, including sports and special interest content.” Will that be enough to lift the fortunes of HD radio in 2008? And if you are interested in HD radio, check out these web sites: Radio-Locator, which is like TV Guide for HD Radio, and V-Soft, which helps find signal strength in your zip code.

35 Comments

IBOCcrock

“Report: Future Of U.K. Digital Radio May Be Bleak”

“LONDON — January 30, 2008: A report from Enders Analysis found that digital audio broadcasting, or DAB, is in trouble due to the high cost of transmission and slow revenue growth, U.K. newspaper the Guardian reports.”

http://www.radioink.com/HeadlineEntry.asp?hid=140877&pt=todaysnews

“Macquarie Radio execs: delays have ‘killed’ the future of digital radio”

“Macquarie Radio Network says years of delays had ‘killed’ the future of digital radio, which was being overtaken by broadband services, third-generation mobiles and digital devices such as iPods, reports Australian IT.”

http://tinyurl.com/34p4lz

Mike F

Thank you Nick Piggott. Not only are the HD Radio critics (like PocketRadio) supplying only subjective opinion – choosing only to share the negative… they hardly share anything based on any fact as well.

Proves my theory once again that there is a huge ulterior motive behind these HD Radio critics (like PocketRadio), stretching the “truth” and easily making their comments nothing but hot air.

Nick Piggott

Crikey PocketRadio – if you’re going to quote stories on The Register from January, it’s worth at least checking their accuracy.

http://nick.piggott.name/blog/2008/01/28/a-german-melodrama-part-ii/

DAB is doing fine in Europe. German’s planning ramping up of stations and coverage in 2008, French doing the same in 2009, and 27.3% of adults in the UK already own a digital radio. etc. Come over and have a look around, rather than relying on flaky reports websites with agendas to pursue.

Mike F

PocketRadio: So, if I am wrong and HD Radio is a ‘farce’ as you say… and it does die… what will do then? What next target technology will yoo spend thousands of blog links on to blast it out of existance??? And do you enjoy what you are doing?

I have yet to read anything positive from you about any subject you have presented on the internet.

You must know, that very telling thing about you discredits you completely. All subjective.

The educated consumer looks at all the content on the web, and weighs heavily on a balanced objective point of view from all sources. If he/she reads nothing but negative press from one particular source about something over & over… he dismisses that source – realizing that source has an ulterior motive.

It’s obvious you do. So what is it that you fear that HD Radio will do to you personally if it succeeds? :<)

Mike F

PocketRadio: So analog is the way of the future??? And ‘Too many’ radio stations!!?? You’ve got to be kidding me. This is your best argument over ditching the HD Radio Technology???

Satellite and internet wi-fi radio provides HUNDREDS of radio stations for a consumer. And that’s a BAD thing???

Yes… I have heard all the debate about Content being more important than quantity. I agree 100%. And so what does that have to do with iBiquity’s mission to provide advanced technology for the future of terrestrial radio. It’s still in the hands of radio company broadcasters to provide the better content. Whether it comes as digitial or analog is immaterial. Such a weak argument to believe that iBiquity and IBOC is the cause of slowing down the consumer’s desire for better content. It has NOTHING to do with it.

So back to you. You have spent over two years with three thousand plus blog links throughout the Internet (and yes, I have seen your blogs all over the place)… in an attempt to save people from buying into advanced technology for terrestrial radio ????

Let me get this straight: Your sole purpose is to shoot down HD Radio technology???!!!

Wow! You must have a LOT of free time on your hands.

BTW… I will believe HD Radio is a farce, the day it dies.

Let’s see if it does.

Maybe I’ll be wrong. But I doubt it will bother me nearly as much as it will bother you… if you are the one that is wrong.

You’ll have nothing to do then!

MDF

PocketRadio

“Germany flicks off-switch on DAB”

“Part of the problem is that analogue FM never went away and most people didn’t seem to care for the clear digital-quality sound, and were left nonplussed by such benefits as easy tuning and message displays with song names and titles. DAB is struggling almost everywhere in Europe.”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/28/germany_switches_dab_off/

What IBOC-shills don’t understand, or admit to, is that consumers could care-less about the transmission systems, digital versus analog, but only care about content. Besides, digital radio is inferior to analog. There are already too many radio stations, so the HD channels are just over-kill. Digital radio is dead, or stalled, worldwide.

Mike F

Pocket Radio: You still haven’t answered my questions. What the heck do you have against terrestrial radio and the ability to improve it? This can’t stay at only analog forever and survive with the competition. So what is your better solution for it??? And that’s the real rub with your negative blogs you throw out. You have a lot to say… but no better solution. But I would love for you to answer the questions I have above. I’ll be waiting to hear.

PocketRadio

“But the price has to be right, says Susan Kevorkian, an analyst with market research firm IDC. Most HD Radios are still pretty expensive, at $100 or more.”

But:

“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.”

http://www.hear2.com/2006/11/are_you_waiting.html

“Consumers bought more than 300,000 HD radios in the U.S. last year, Struble says. That’s a drop in the bucket compared with total annual radio sales of 70 million.”

But:

“HD Radio spinners claim a breakthrough year: Pulling a fast one”

“According to a press release from the Alliance 330,000 HD receivers were sold last year. This is a 725 per cent increase from the 40,000 sets purchased a year earlier and therefore 2007 was a ‘breakthrough year’ for the technology. In 2008 they will sell a million of the things.”

http://tinyurl.com/4zgkaw

Do you have anymore articles?

Mike F

For all those reading this blog (note link below). Here is a link that Anti HD Radio folks refuse to share. They only want to focus on the negative, not the progress. And every implementation has its challenges and set backs. This is a HUGE endeavor by iBiquity to change an industry that is over 100 years old. In retrospect, six years in the making… their making good progress. At least they are not several hundred billion dollars in debt in their first few years of being in operation!

http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=17&artnum=2&issue=20080604

Mike F

What? No more propaganda from the anti HD Radio alliance?? I figured it would littered with more counter productive garbage. It is beyond me that there are folks out there going way out of their way trying to convince people that something is a failure… before it even has a chance to succeed. Especially since its such a good idea! I guess these same people are stockholders or shareholders of satellite radio and/or just love throwing their money away on a monthly basis… and also have something against FREE local radio. I feel sorry for them.

Mike F

Pocket Radio: I see you have a buddy. Oh yea… the same old dumb negative counter productive links being thrown at this blog. This has now become a completely useless uninformative subjective blog. This is where I sign off. Thanks for doing me the favor of looking one less useless link.

Greg2

“Congress: FCC process appears broken”

“The bottom line is that the FCC process appears broken and most of the blame appears to rest with Chairman Martin, wrote Commerce and Energy Committee staff members in the April 28th memo to committee chairman Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), and Rep. Bart Stupakhoward-dean-goofball Mar-31-2008 (D-Mich.), chairman of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations.”

http://tinyurl.com/46zvj2

“Judge tells FCC to rework powerline broadband regulations”

“The ARRL and other ham radio groups have been consistently critical of BPL, arguing that the technology causes interference on their receivers… In its ruling, the three-judge panel said that federal law required the FCC to make all portions of the studies available, and that the Commission didn’t adequately explain how it arrived at its criteria for determining when a BPL signal causes harmful interference.”

http://tinyurl.com/47nqb9

“NAB to Seek FCC Approval of Major IBOC Power Boost”

“For some broadcasters, however, the fact that the NAB has apparently signed on to the recommendation without first revealing details of this rather secretive study to its general membership is both striking and troubling.”

http://tinyurl.com/66dg52

Chairman Dingell of the Commerce Committee is investigating Kevin Martin, and accoring to Bob Savage (WYSL), who has submitted material concerning the jamming of his station by WBZ, IBOC is also under investigation. From Bob Savage:

“I’ve been in touch with Congressman Dingell’s office, and have brought the iBiquity-lobbying IBOC situation to his attention as his office probes how the Commission conducts its business. I have further offered to testify before his Subcommittee if they have interest in pursuing how HD Radio was allowed to find the light of day.”

http://www.radio-info.com/smf/index.php/topic,89910.msg685824.html#msg685824

Oh, well!

Greg

“HD Radio on the Offense”

“But after an investigation of HD Radio units, the stations playing HD, and the company that owns the technology; and some interviews with the wonks in DC, it looks like HD Radio is a high-level corporate scam, a huge carny shill.”

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/2007-03-07/music/hd-radio-on-the-offense

“Radio: Ponzi’s back!”

“In 1918, we had Charles Ponzi. Ninety years later, we have Peter ‘Sgt. Bilk-o’ Ferrara. Schemes. From Ponzi to HD Radio. Ibiquity has the license and collects the fees. The HD Radio Alliance, which Sgt. Bilk-o runs, does the fast-talkin’, slow walkin’ hype. Right? Like the other schemes, the HD Radio edition begins with a hard-sell sales pitch to hook you in and establish the product. Right?”

http://gormanmediablog.blogspot.com/2008/03/radio-ponzis-back_27.html

Thf FCC sanctioned the hijacking of our public airways by the iBiquity/HD Alliance monopoly. HD Radio is a scam.

Mike F

Pocket Radio: And who says that monopolizing the radio world with monthly fees via satellite from XM/Sirius merger – is a good thing? Again… what the heck do you have against terrestrial radio and the ability to improve it? Are you mad because you didn’t come up with this idea first to advance its technology? Of course there are bumps in the road of such a change. Those quotes you provided – I have seen about 10 times in the week. They are still the same quotes from the same whining sources (that you endorse).

Mike F

Pocket Radio: Funny how you only accentuate the negative in all of this. Very easy to be critical. Just remember… something labaled a farce is something that couldn’t possibly have gotten FCC approval (or is everyone at the nation’s capital all stupid in your eyes as well)? Talk about spreading lies. Once again, very counterproductive. Are you doing this to stroke your ego – so you can say in a few years (as you pound your chest)… “I told you so!”

Good for you.

PocketRadio

“Pioneer says HD Radio succcess should be decided by open market, not forced inclusion”

“IBiquity, the company behind HD Radio, is making enemies all over the place, the latest of which is Pioneer. The Japan-based corp, which makes the popular Inno, recently told the FCC [PDF] that iBiquity’s scheme to force satellite radio manufacturers to include HD Radio playback is absurd.”

http://tinyurl.com/5f9q2b

Broadcasters, consumers, retailers, and manufacturers have all been burned by iNiquity’s/HD Allianecs lies.

Pioneer is the first HD Radio manufacturer to turn against iNiquity – there will be others.

Mike F

Pocket Radio: Attempt to read this link below with objectivity.

http://www.twice.com/article/CA6563292.html

You cannot state a technology is dead… or… as some would ludricrously state in blogs I have read, is a “farce”… when consumer awareness is already slowly growing with forecasts that it will continue to grow.

I just don’t understand the attacks on this endeavor. Anyone against it (seems to be a huge fan of dumping money into satellite radio or iTunes). Becoming a customer of Satelitte radio is fine in itself. Good for them. But why is this such a competition? There are people out there that like “FREE” alternatives to radio. Attacking HD Radio for the simple purpose to promote other alternatives like Satelitte or Wi-Fi radio, gives me the impression that – that one suffers from some sort of complex about something.

I don’t mind the critics. When it’s done objectively. Throwing numbers at me as you did is just one narrow perspective. I just gave you another (link above).

Mike F

Pocket Radio: Rage? Not at all. However, I read your blogs. Personally, I find them very subjective. For those who don’t wish to be nickled and dimed to death and like the concept of progress with “FREE” radio… this is a nice alternative that we hope has a future. Practically everything comes with a PRICE tag on it with monthly fee. Someone trying to champion the expansion of terrestrial radio is (i think) a good thing! And despite it addmittedly slow progress since coming into existance, it is indeed showing progress nonetheless. The idea to scrap it is nonsense! Cell phone reception was not perfected for years but is now much better than when that technology first came out. I find it very shortsighted for some to not see the potential for improvement and tweaking as time goes on. Stay tuned. Until HD radio is dead… you cannot claim it is!

PocketRadio

@Mike F:

HD Radio has been in existence since 2002, and the the first HD Radio sold January 2004, yet total consumer apathy is turning into antipathy, as consumers reap the benefits of HD/IBOC adjacent-channel interference (intential jamming). With long 5-10 seceond acquisition/reacquisition time on the HD1s, and with dropouts/silence on the HD2s/HD3s, HD Radio is not practical for real-word applications. HD reception in moving vehicles is even more problematic, due to phasing. HD requires external FM-dipole and AM-loop antennas, yet the fagile digital signals can’t be picked up. Electrical ignition, thunderstorms, and florecent lights knock out the HD signals. I guess 100,000,000 consumers disagress with you about throwing money away on iTunes, and 17 million disagress about Satellite Radio.

I have posted over three thousand links to my blog. over two years, throughout the Internet, including Google Finance:

http://tinyurl.com/4ome62

I hope that this doesn’t put you into a rage.

Mike F

HD Radio is still in its infancy. That said, the potential is outstanding.

Here is what I wonder: All those above comments that have critisized this technology and throw it aside without second thought… have they tried it? Apparently people love to spend money and don’t enjoy the concept of FREE local radio! I do. It will never go away. And HD Radio is a great way to keep it alive.

To all those that have been so negative about it, keep throwing your money away to satelitte radio and iTunes. There is indeed an audience out there that like the concept of local free radio. They embrace the idea of HD Radio and hope it success. If you don’t, just step aside. We don’t need to hear your negativity. It is very counter productive.

Thanks.

Greg2

Try figuring out first compelling content on the main analog channels. HD Radio is just about more ad dollars, as the HD channels are just clever remixes of the main analog channels – no one is buying HD radios except for radio-geeks. This is nothing but a scam:

“HD Radio on the Offense”

“But after an investigation of HD Radio units, the stations playing HD, and the company that owns the technology; and some interviews with the wonks in DC, it looks like HD Radio is a high-level corporate scam, a huge carny shill.”

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/2007-03-07/music/hd-radio-on-the-offense

Bill Moore

HD Radio has a role and broadcasters are doing interesting experiments using sub channels for new content, like Clear Channels Pride Radio. HD broadcasts are also free and covered under traditional music license.

But no distribution can compete with the internet. Our site makes it easy to find radio you can get depending on your location, device, and the time. http://radiotime.com

Doug Hanna

Interesting post though I agree hdradio.com offers better information on stations broadcasting HD. However, it seems to have dropped any reference to signal coverage. I think that HD has its problems but the elephant in the corner is the subchannels made possible by digital multicasting. Everyone who has been negative about HD fails to mention these and apparently cannot see how much opportunity these hold for terrestrial broadcasters. 2008 should be an interesting year indeed.

Dragoljub Profirovic

I agree with the previous set of comments regarding HD Radio. It’s a product that does not offer anything far superior than standard radio and is still plagued by the same set of issues – i.e. long commercials, poor song selection, etc.

VitaiminCM

It is a solution to a problem that does not exist. Nobody wants it or cares about it. Is the iPod so successful because of the sound quality or the convenience?
Exactly.

Peter Childs

The window for HD is already closed. It’s not the number of channels that are broadcast that matter – it’s the number of listeners and in that department the jury is already voted – and they’re not buying HD radio’s – in fact I bet they’e not buying radios as much as they’re buying other devices.

Radio used to be about connecting you to new music – that’s preference engines, it used to be abou connecting to community- but that’s social sites.

I’m not sure how ore channels on HD is going to change any of that.

rick

I don’t think it will fare at all. Regular radio should worry about programming their crappy standard stations with something compelling before worrying about HD

Eric

One link in this article is for a site selling one cheapy HD radio (HDR) and the other two are just standard radio station listings with absolutely no reference to HDR. Why not link to hdradio.com which actually has information about HDR and you can find HDR station and several HDR products.

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