RadeoEngineer, on the discussion board for radio-info.com, posted a chilling reminder of why HD radio came to be. It’s a continuation of the discussion posted here, word from somebody who was there at the beginning. HD radio was the scam of choice because it excluded all the little guys, not because it leveled the playing field or some such egalitarian nonsense, and those in the decision-making knew exactly what they were doing:
I believe the top suits did and sold it to the lower suits. I had this discussion at very high levels of corporate where I worked at the time. That the HD system in development then was going to be garbage and would never work as promised, and that the right way to go digital was going to be Eureka or something similar, but that they needed to be aware that would put all AM’s and FM’s on a level playing field, and that if there were any left over digital channels in a market they would get filled one way or another. They agreed it was instant devaluation of their existing properties and didn’t want that to happen. Then they bought into the HD thing before it was even working in an actual situation other than at the NAB show in a very controlled environment. That’s why Eureka wasn’t pursued by NAB or any of the other top level people in the business. It was too dangerous to existing facilities. The whole argument against possible spectrum was nonsense. If the NAB and the majors had wanted spectrum it would have been found. Now most of those people are out of the business with their nice retirements and the folks that are running HD on either frequency band are realizing they were sold a bill of goods. This is of course all in my very humble tin foil hat opinion.
And as Bob Savage noted:
“Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t make you wrong.”
I think your tinfoil hat is very stylish.
This makes absolute sense. Let’s recall that the most outrageous developments throughout history would, every one, been rejected as proposed novels or screenplays because they were too unbelievable.
I think it’s common knowledge now that IBOC was concocted in every way, to be a hedge against smaller broadcasters getting a competitive leg up. It was consolidation . . . literally . . . by all means possible.
And thus we have HD radio, the road hog Edsel for the new millennium.