HD radio

HD Radio broadcasters and OEMs sued for patent infringement

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 11:00am

In what is widely interpreted a patent trolling, some radio broadcasters using HD digital transmission technology (HD Radio) alongside their analog signals are being sued by Delaware Radio Technologies and Wyncomm LLC for patent infringement. The spate of lawsuits has recently expanded to auto companies which build HD radios into their cars.

The lawsuit targets on the radio side are reportedly large broadcasters, lending credence to the trolling theory, as that strategy often aims for a deep-pocketed settlement. HD Radio technology developer iBiquity is not named in the filings. 

RAIN spoke to iBiquity CEO Bob Struble, who cited company policy against commenting on litigation matters, but offered: “We are aware of [the lawsuits] and are working closely with broadcasters and automakers on them.”

Mazda’s connected dash climbs into the HD Radio Total Traffic network

Monday, October 14, 2013 - 11:25am

The 2014 Mazda3 (which we must say, although we are not in the automotive reporting business, is the most drop-dead beautiful economy car around) has entered showrooms as the first Mazda model equipped with Clear Channel’s Total Traffic HD Network on the HD Radio platform. Other Mazda cars (CX-5, CX-9, and Mazda5) are equipped with HD Radio. iBiquity is the technology partner for this launch.

The Total Traffic Network is a hybrid digital-broadcast/Internet information network that seeks to deliver real-time traffic information and maps. HD Radio generally provides listeners with more interactivity than traditional lean-back AM/FM, though not the extreme degree of customization afforded by music-discovery platforms like Spotify, Rdio, or Rhapsody -- all of which are pushing onto the digital dashboard, inch by inch. Internet radio leader Pandora owns first-mover advantage in the automobile, among Internet pureplays.

This bit of HD Radio news fits into the mad scramble for positioning on digital dashboards, and provides an interesting counterpoint to SiriusXM’s escalated push for in-car listening (see the previous story in today's newsletter, or click here). According to HDradio.com, HD Radio is distributed by 33 car companies, across 167 models, with Toyota being the most bought-in (16 models). Nearly 30 percent of 2013 car models shipped with HD Radio. HDradio.com claims that in 2014, every American car dealer will have at least one HD-equipped car on the lot. 

Emmis to launch analog FM and HD Radio mobile app

Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 1:10pm

Emmis Communications says it will introduce a smartphone app that enables listening to local analog FM and HD Radio stations on mobile devices, saving data consumption and battery life (as opposed to streaming).

The app, to launch next year, will be called NextRadio. Emmis Communications CTO Paul Brenner says the app combines "the efficiency and scalability of over-the-air radio" plus the ability to "deliver an interactive artist and advertiser experience" via the data channel, reports Radio World.

Emmis plans to add other features including "enhanced synchronous ad modes" (SMS integration and couponing), song tagging capabilities, and social media integration. Brenner and other broadcast industry executives hope that by building compelling apps centered on analog broadcast radio, device manufacturers will see the value of including FM (and HD) chips in more of their devices. 

Read more in Radio World here.

Don't blame the platform, when bad content and lack of promotion are at fault, argues Cridland

Friday, December 9, 2011 - 11:00am

Radio's "futurologist" James Cridland had to bust out the "spicy" language to make his point (which we think is a pretty ****ing valid one). James spoke at the Jacobs Media Tech Summit in Baltimore this week (see Tom Taylor's "zingers" section yesterday in Radio-Info.com), and clarifies a point he made there in his blog today.James Cridland

Cridland took exception to the idea that a delivery platform -- HD Radio in this case -- could be at fault for an underperforming brand. To paraphrase, the reason nobody’s listening to your HD2 channel isn’t that HD Radio is s**t, it’s that your HD2 channel is s**t.

"It is not a discussion about platform – it’s a discussion about content," Cridland wrote. "And, as I regularly say, you may have good reasons why you have chosen not to be on a given platform, but that doesn’t give you licence to slag it off, because that’s bad for radio listeners and radio advertisers."

Interestingly, the point came out of Cridland's attempts to sample WMMR/Philadelphia HD-2, MMaRchives, which also streams online. And Cridland doesn't really have any problem with the content of that actual channel -- but the fact that it was so hard to find led to his conclusion that the lack of listening to the channel is a result of lack of promotional support by the station. 

"If you tell nobody about a new station, bury it four screens down in an unintuitive place on the website, and don’t tell anyone how to tune in, it’s unfair to blame the platform for your failure to promote a service well," Cridland suggests. Read his blog here.

HD radio-equipped smartphone could be demoed by next spring

Friday, October 7, 2011 - 11:00am

Intel, Emmis and iBiquity are developing an HD radio-equipped smartphone

Editor's note: RAIN will return Tuesday, 10/11.

Intel, Emmis Interactive and iBiquity are reportedly developing a smartphone equipped with HD radio.

The companies hope to demo the device at the NAB Show in spring 2012. Inside Radio reports, "if a [mobile] carrier likes what it sees, it's possible the handset could be in stores by the end of 2012."

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