Out the Back Door

Has NPR begun to lose faith in HD radio? A little late, given that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has dumped $50 million in taxpayer money into starting up channels on public stations in their behalf — to the point that better than 40% of those channels broadcasting HD are public radio’s. Now there seems to be some indication that perhaps their zeal is waning. NPR now has a branded radio, hawked here, that hooks up to the internet:

The NPR Radio by Livio lets you tune to thousands of radio stations from around the globe and enables you to easily find NPR stations and programming, anywhere in your home, away from your computer. The NPR Radio by Livio is a stand alone internet radio that sets up in minutes and connects you to over 16,000 internet radio stations. What sets this radio apart is the exclusive NPR menu, allowing users to easily find, search and bookmark NPR stations, podcasts, and content, by topic or by program.

The NPR menu, it says, lets you hook up to 800 member stations, bookmarking your favorites. All you need is a high-speed internet connection. It’s sort of like your computer, but maybe with better speakers. And all for just $139.99 with free shipping, if you act now . . . And NPR gets a cut of the take. One statement stands out in the sales banter: “A privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 27.5 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 860 independently operated, noncommercial public radio stations.”

Nowhere does it even mention HD radio, though if you go to the NPR “shop,” here, they’ll not only tell you that it picks up your local HD channels; they’ll also tell you how you can load up Pandora on it. (Though it’s $149 on the NPR site.) Uh . . . Wouldn’t that negate the need to listen to that commercial claptrap now programmed on your local channel?

Or maybe you’re into satellite radio. Head over here and you’ll find that with Sirius, you can get all the NPR shows your heart desires on channel 801.

All in all, mixed messages seem to be emanating from the mother ship.

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One Response

  1. I believe that few NPR stations filed for the FM-HD power increase, as the conversion fund is now closed:

    http://www.cpb.org/grants/grant.php?id=258

    More wasted taxpayer dollars. Not a peep from Struble or Mike Starling, but the automakers continue pushing the HD Radio scam. I got a hit from Ford the other day searching on “hd radio australia,” but Australia rejected HD Radio a long time ago.

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