More HD Radio and DTV Fun

Check this “confidential survey” designed to gauge industry acceptance of HD Radio. Question #10 is my favorite, as it really encapsulates the overall tenor of the survey itself:

Overall, which of the following statements best applies to you and HD Radio technology?
* – I was never a fan, and don’t believe in HD Radio’s future
* – I’m not sure about how I feel about HD Radio
* – I was a fan, but now am very pessimistic about HD Radio’s future
* – I was a fan, but am not so sure about HD Radio’s ultimate success
* – I am a fan and believe that HD Radio will succeed
* – Other (please specify) Read More

HD Radio and Industry Schizophrenia

Interesting samples abound about what the U.S. radio industry thinks about its digital future. When you thread them all together, you find a spot of chaos.

Late August, 2008: Stop IBOC Now!, a coalition of broadcast engineering professionals and listeners, publishes a 10-page list of comments from people within and outside the industry. This list is apparently a sampling of more than 200 received by the coalition to-date. All but one are negative on HD Radio. Read More

Raising FM-HD Power Levels Will Cause Increased Interference

And not just to adjacent stations – iBiquity’s proposed 10-fold power hike for FM digital sidebands will cause what one commentator has called “honkin’ interference” to an HD parent station’s analog signal. Although the suspicions of just what increasing the signal strength of FM-HD sidebands would do to analog FM radio coverage have been well-discussed in the engineering community for nine months now, the new report from NPR Labs confirms the worst.

The “monumental 18-month study,” involving extensive laboratory and field-testing of increased FM-HD sideband power finds that increased digital interference is simply unavoidable. While the tests do show that increasing FM-HD sideband power by a factor of 10 will make digital service coverage equivalent to (or, in some cases, slightly exceed) the coverage of a station’s analog signal, the modification comes at a price: Read More

Sirius/XM Merger Sidebar

As lobbying over the conditions of the merger between the Sirius and XM satellite radio networks entered the home stretch, iBiquity Corporation and the National Association of Broadcasters requested that the Federal Communications Commission mandate all future satellite radio receivers to be interoperable with terrestrial digital AM and FM broadcasts.

This was a move by HD Radio‘s proponents to try and get something for nothing. XM and Sirius both subsidized the adoption of satellite radio receivers, especially in vehicles, by making the reception technology freely available and offering special deals to new subscribers (such as free service for a year or more, especially for folks who bought new cars and trucks with a satellite radio receiver as an option). In contrast, iBiquity Corporation wants those who make and market HD radio to pay it a cut from every HD receiver sold – effectively asking auto companies to partially pay the way for HD’s adoption. This is a proposal that nearly all have resisted. Read More