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May 25, 2010


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That's the kind of image that i really thing is super image like. If more images very real like this were out there we'd be super full of graet images in the world.


Listen to the irritation of alternating digital-analog in HD1 or digital-silence in HD2 and HD3. Tune the dial and hear all the new competition from market drop-ins, city of license moves, FM translators, hispanic music and Jesus pop.

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Eric, how can you kill something when it is already dead?
Underground radio was more than just non-commercial music, it was the fountain head of a movement never to be duplicated again, kind of like the phenomenon of The Beatles although it unfolded at a much slower pace.


You may also want to check out the fiasco that AM HD, and HD in general, has become in the Bay Area...and no, it's not just programming.


Greg Jablonski

Eric, the technical issues with HD Radio make all the other issues -- and there are many -- moot. I think it's time we put a flower on the coffin of HD Radio, lower it into a hole, and recognize it for what it was -- a grand distraction. The mantras "digital is better" and "digital at any cost" have really gotten out of hand. Analog FM radio is by far the most robust, efficient, and reliable radio delivery method ever devised. A better system may come along someday; it just isn't HD Radio.

Bob Monroe

When I'm done with my morning show, voice tracking the weekend, updating the website, cutting a spot or two, maybe I can keep my job another week. My GM will not notice if I didn't load a log into the HD-2 automation, because while we all have an HD radio, they aren't worth the fuss. They don't work consistently. I will buy batteries for my mp3 player at least. While 128k MP3 sounds fine to most everyone, the obsolete codec on 32-48k HD2 sounds like a poor webcast no matter the source material. The HD reception failure is frequent and abrupt and only the HD1 will fall back to noisy analog just when it's at it's worst, plagued with multipath and iboc hash. Listen to the irritation of alternating digital-analog in HD1 or digital-silence in HD2 and HD3. Tune the dial and hear all the new competition from market drop-ins, city of license moves, FM translators, hispanic music and Jesus pop. FM is now AM and is polluted with trash. To think we can just throw on some alternative programming for the kids and make it work like FM in the 70s is ridiculous. There was a thing called hi-fi that made FM work with obscure programming and they still had problems selling it. Was it like now where radio does not promote or advertise itself except on sister stations? Back then, when the music listeners all moved to FM, we AMed it. We even made it sound worse than AM with the latest audio processing. We did promote FM on billboards after it became mainstream.

Ibiquity investors i.e. big broadcasters get to keep their infrastructure while jamming competition from adjacent markets and community oriented class A stations. HD2 and HD3 stations (the stations between the stations) have essentially been granted by the FCC, without allowing new competition for paying Ibiquity. What would two new station construction permits cost in New York? Competing applicants are avoided. All paid politics.

For now and the future we'll play the few most recognizable songs on all channels for Arbitron. Not diversity. Not quality. Nobody from the station is even listening all weekend. We need at least some time off from doing six jobs all week. So if we don't listen, why would the listeners? For the six analog stations running here and now the 4 hd channels and less than ten people on the programming staff, this is more like an automated factory than a creative medium. We don't have promotion budget for our primary signal, much less for an HD2. Why make 31 flavors when you can't even get vanilla right? Not when listeners have every type of music they can run their own jukebox without commercials. Not when web casting has much better sound and reliability. Not when the web casting is on your phone and in your dash. FM is now AM and it is time for a whole new thing and big broadcast will be out of the picture because of their greed (and huge debt for some rusty towers).


I hope that you HD Radio boosters are ready for that DOJ probe.

Rick Peters


Just read your HD article. I have a different take on what is killing HD, and I think you missed it. You see, for the first time an "industry technical standard" is being LICENSED instead of offered as "open architecture" to broadcasters.

To my knowledge, this has never happened before in the HISTORY of broadcasting. Imagine what would have happened to FM if Armstrong had wanted 25k per station and a percentage of your HD revenue instead of offering it as an open technical standard. What would have happened if David Sarnoff at RCA had tried to make the networks pay for phase modulation and color TV? Never before has this happened and the result is obvious.

No, Ibiquity is killing HD. 125k and a precentage of my revenue for my stations in Montgomery to license HD. Not over my dead body. I'll use that money to establish a beachhead in the digital space.

I've already hired two web designers and a sales force, and tomorrow I will debut BuzzMontgomery.com - a local, digital town square complete with 4 custom designed, listener interactive, commercial free digital music streams (in addition to my 5 broadcast streams). This is where the future lies.

HD radio is already terminal. Ibiquity tried to put their hand in my pocket instead of licensing the receiver manufacturers. I choose not to participate in my own mugging.

HD is not going to survive unless the standard is made "open" and free. Just one broadcasters opinion.

RIP Ibiquity. RIP HD.

Something to think about.

Rick Peters


I bought a Big Red Radio and found that nobody's broadcasts HD where I live, but it's great for listening to XM 164 on the FM modulator - nobody else likes the old radio programs around here.

I have said that IBOC, now "HD" radio was a science project out looking for a fair since .. 1993? 94? Back when the magic bus ran at the NAB, anyway. I simply never offered any real advantage of analog. HDTV sells itself. People see it, they buy it. CD's sold themselves, people heard them, they bought them. iTunes and iPods sell themselves. Radio became a background medium intentionally in the 70's, with all of the background formats; lite rock, music to work by, etc., barf, etc. Now it's deep background; only talk formats remained foreground and that demographic is aging out of relevance.

Content? What's left? Music Radio doesn't produce any content. A good club DJ trance mix is better than most of what the "music industry" puts together. Pandora sounds as good as HD, and it's interactive.

The old NAB magic IBOC bus wasn't so magic as it was predictive of the technology's future ... under it.

Just sayin' :-)


1. Yes, we are considering turning off HD due to the high cost of power.
2. Yes, where I work, management has no interest in it and thinks it is a waste.
3. Yes, corporate committed our cluster before we were ready and no time is available for it.
4. Yes, it rides without notice.

On the other side, I agree that content is important in getting it running. I am not a fan of the technical limitations & problems (I'm an engineer), but if we have it, we should use it. One thought was to block program or lease the channel to some programmer with a message or dream. Grab 20%-30% of their net or gross income. Shoot there are a number of out of work morning shows that may do this.

Marketing is another side. No one wants to "lose" a piece of that revenue pie. Splitting up their audience is a scary thing. I think radio needs to break away from the ratings way of thinking and move to content based programming and sell that content. Radio needs to revamp and re-market itself.

Good thoughts, and good article.


Why doesn't Eric post the real truth as to the destructive nature of IBOC hash? A ploy to drive the smaller, adjacent-channel broadcasters out of business, and to force listeners to listen to only their local HD Radio stations. How about posting the truth about iBiquity's supposed HD Radio sales figures? Do I really need to go on? HD Radio reminds me of the Nazi's Volksempfänger Radio:



Hey Eric,

Couldn't agree more - the industry needs to water & nurture this technology in order to watch it grow. Also, wanted to let you know RadioYou Boston (WBOS-HD2) is programmed by young people (myself, & Jason Rossi both 25 yrs old) catering to those in the age group 17-25. It's a fresh alternative approach & we often compare ourselves to those underground fm stations from the 70's as we don't necessarily play the hits but songs we think are great. We're just a group of really passionate radio people trying to help make this medium take off.

Your words are inspiring. Thank you for continually trying to motivate this industry into high gear.



Does anyone really need to tell you that HD Radio is a farce? Except for the vast amount of misinformation above, you've pretty much outlined that for yourself. I've decided that your post deserves a new post on my blog, but I'll have to see how it works out before I make any final decisions. Do you realy think that an email-blast of this was a good idea?

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