Greg Smith has posted some interesting links on his hdradiofarce.com blog dealing with NPR and its part in pushing HD radio (beginning with fudged data out of its NPR Labs, as first detailed here, with information gleaned from Radio World). Then, of course, you have the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ponying up some $50 million in taxpayer money to actually help build the transmitters in local public radio stations — to provide a customers for NPR canned product — as well as the CPB seed money for its fledgling Project Argo (and its far more grandiose siblings, the Local Journalism Centers, as mentioned here in a post called “All Things Beggared”).
Among the links on Greg’s site is one to the CPB’s own site, here, where you’ll find its noble aspiration: “The purpose of the Digital Radio Conversion Fund is to ensure all Americans have access to digital public radio. The program is not intended for the replacement of worn-out equipment.” It proudly follows with this statement of accomplishment:
To date, CPB has approved funding for the digital conversion of over 600 public radio transmitters. Over 550 public radio stations have completed conversions and are now transmitting digital signals.
No note on what had to be sacrificed in hard times at these local stations to start up channels that nobody listens to, but then that’s expecting too much.
Greg also included links to some of the battles fought locally — at WUSF, WUFT, KMBH, and WPR in Wisconsin, where money from the State Building Commission was tapped to help fund HD. Following the link to WPR, you’ll find the type of outrageous claim made about HD that iBiquity itself has avoided but others have blundered right into: “HD Radio promises to increase the quality and reliability of our signals while adding additional features.” And it’s a floor polish and dessert topping, too.
And on Greg’s home page, here, you can read into the problem auto makers are having with the radios in their high-end hotrods — though it’s not totally inclusive of every model having “issues.” The Mini Cooper, for example, has a forum, here, discussing its problems. And if you just google “HD radio problems,” you’ll find a whole host of listings, detailing stations that won’t come in, suggestions for wiring a TV antenna to the radio, headaches with various models of radios. It’s a field rife for exploration, providing a never-ending source for intrepid bloggers and lawyers alike.