New, Improved!

The Engineering Radio website checks in on HD radio and IBOC in this post, following up the iBiquity counter-offensive mounted by Bob Struble after his fortunes took a major hit in the mainstream radio press (i.e., Radio World), as reported here. The article says, in part:

In a way that never ceases to amaze me, Bob Strubel spins another yarn about HD Radio.™ According to Bob: “Tom’s experiences at the Ford dealership are disappointing. We believe they reflect the growing pains which often occur when companies launch new technologies. Tom hit the lot as factory installed HD Radio receivers were just launching.”

Well, then, I guess that explains that. If I went to a Ford dealership today, I’d find plenty of models with HD radio(s)™ stock, right?

As far as new technology and growing pains, let us pick that apart piece by piece:

  • IBOC has been in development since 1990 or thereabouts. Not really new technology. Apple’s iPhone and iPad are new technology (2 years and 3 months respectively).
  • Ford Motor Company has been an HD Radio™ partner since 2007. One would think that all the kinks would be worked out by now.
  • The IBOC roll out hit a wall around 2008 and hasn’t grown since then, both the AM technology, which appears to be shrinking, and the FM technology, which appears to be subsidized by the US government.

Then, to test Struble’s assertion that Radio World’s Tom Ray would’ve gotten his HD radio in his new Ford if he’d just waited till the first week of August, when new models rolled out, several trips were made to local dealerships:

  • Dealership #1 said they knew about HD radio, but none were in any of their stock vehicles. They also could not give me an idea of how long I’d have to wait to receive one, if ordered separately.
  • Dealership #2 pointed me in the direction of SiriusXM, saying that satellite radio was digital radio, or HD Radio™ or whatever it was
  • Dealership #3 never heard of HD Radio™ and said that all their radios were digital (Like, Duh!)

Then, of course, comes the familiar refrain, the Mark Twain quote often used when describing HD radio in general and iBiquity’s Bob Struble in particular: “There are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics.” And so continues the publicity onslaught trying in vain to protect the obscene monopoly iBiquity holds on digital radio here — in the face of consumer indifference and mounting evidence that this inferior system being foisted off on the public is indeed a farce.

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2 Responses

  1. I got a hit on my blog tonight by Amazon.com searching on “iBiquity IPO.”

  2. “HD Radio”

    “Audi announced it would make the technology standard in all its models by 2010, but this had not happened in the 2010 models that came out in the end of 2009.”

    http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2010/audio_hd_radio.php

    I haven’t checked, but Audi, like Ford, may be stalling on HD Radio. Installing HD Radio is a total loser for the automakers, except for their CEOs who must have been given a piece of any potential iBiquity IPO — the NAB/NRSC Board members are investors in iBiquity…

    Also, it appears that the NAB is trying to scam its own members concerning HD Radio, as they mass emailed this bogus article to its members:

    “Consequently, US broadcast industry trade body NAB summarised this completely inaccurate news story (“… the real growth is happening overseas, where governments have already established HD [radio] as a standard technology”) and sent it to everyone on its mailing list. The whole of the US radio sector must be amazed that Europe, led by the UK, has embraced American HD radio technology so warmly, while it is failing so dismally in its homeland. Wrong! In reality, no consumer in Europe has even heard of HD radio (except for a few techies testing it in Switzerland).”

    http://grantgoddardradioblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/download-first-annual-not-ofcom-digital.html

    Gotta luv Grant Goddard – LOL!

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