Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Radio: HD Radio's Booble and Bilk-o crank it up!


That horse has been beaten dead. You know it and I know it.

HD Radio. If you bought into it, forget it. You’ve been swindled. You were robbed. It was one of the biggest, most expensive con jobs in radio history. Take solace in knowing that you were far from the only victim in this fraud.

HD Radio - a waste of time, money, engineering, on-air time….need I continue?

Let’s switch subjects for a moment.

Have you bought your Blu-ray DVD player yet? Probably not.

Blu-ray DVDs feature high definition-quality digital video and can only be played on Blue-ray DVD players.

A Harris Interactive Poll showed that only 9 percent of respondents (87 percent of whom own a DVD player) planned on buying a Blu-ray player in 2009.

A study by the NPD Group on Blu-ray found that most respondents were satisfied with their current DVD player and had no plans to upgrade.

These studies were conducted prior to gas jumping over $4/gallon.

An editorial in this week’s Home Media Magazine admitted, “DVD is still the lifeblood of home entertainment, and most likely it will be for years to come.”

Then there’s this piece from Tuesday’s New York Times. Briefly, it explicates the growing pains of High Definition Television “side channels” and how a couple of programming service providers had already gone under due to those pesky financial limitations.

Translation: There was no money in it.

Just because you can have a HD TV side channels doesn’t mean they’ll do anything positive for your bottom line.

This brings us to the scam of all scams – the misleadingly named HD Radio, which is not high definition – and offers side channels of lesser-quality fidelity than an unprocessed analog FM.

Think about it. Most of those surveyed do not plan to upgrade their DVD player and the television industry hasn’t figured out how to monetize their side channels.
*
And we're lead to believe there is a demand for this no-thing called HD Radio?
*
In this parallel universe where wrong is the new right, the Capo di tutti capi of HD Radio developer iBiquity is Bob Struble or “Booble” as those he believes are his best friends call him behind his back. His supporting dumbbell is Peter “Sgt. Bilk-o” Ferrara. Credit them for knowing everyone’s price of protection to keep their HD Radio scheme alive.

I’m not saying Booble and Bilk-o are in the same league as gangsters, extortionists, cash-skimmers, witness and embezzlers. I am saying that anyone that fell for the HD Radio hype was robbed. Of course they’ll deny that. Will they settle for voluntarily robbed?

They’ll tell you that households will give up their gas budget to buy an HD Radio for all its wonderful and diverse choices.

They’ll also tell you that as consumers are forced to upgrade to High Definition television sets they’ll also upgrade their radio audio, too. Yeah, right.

They’ll even tell you that they would like me to perform an impossible act.

Face facts. There are too many terrestrial radio stations.

Some will go dark over the next 12 to 18 months.

Boobles’ latest scheme was to con a few pols and pals into buying into his proposal that, should the XM-Sirius merger get FCC approval, there would be a covenant for all manufacturers to make units AM/FM/HD Radio compatible.

Then Pioneer, one of the manufacturers of satellite radio units shot it down. They contend that that “the iBiquity conditions would limit the breadth of radio product offerings to consumers, limit which radio component supplier’s products be designed into radio, have the effect of decreasing AM/FM tuning performance, unnecessarily increase costs to consumers uninterested in HD Radio, and interfere with the useful and healthy free-market mechanisms extant in radio electronics purchases.”

Translation: It’s a dumb-as-they-come proposition.

Other manufacturers didn't even bother to respond.

It gets better. Steve Jobs announced his latest 3G iPhone. HD Radio not included. Reason? The chip for HD Radio is too large to fit in the new model iPhone.

Sorry, HD. You’re technologically inferior.

For that matter, the new iPhone has no AM/FM either. I mean…why would you?

Jobs will eventually add radio to the iPhone. Free standing Internet radio.

There’s more.

The HD Digital Radio Alliance now comes clean on problems with their product.

They’re conceding that HD Radio owners are upset with its antenna, which has to be manually moved around like an old fashioned rabbit ears antenna to pull in HD radio channels – and that the side channels frequently drop out. External antenna systems do little to improve the problem.
*
What’s their solution? Crank it up, of course.

They’re asking the FCC to allow HD radio stations to increase their power tenfold. Chances are Chairman Boy Kevin Martin will rubber stamp his approval. His bed’s too big without them.

To increase power will require radio stations to squander more contingency dollars for the privilege of purchasing new transmitters and antennas to accommodate the power increase for radio stations that no one is listening to or ever will on that digital frequency.

And just like these stations’ original conversion to digital – it’s strictly voluntary – except for the exorbitant licensing fees paid to iBiquity for the permission of broadcasting digitally on their faulty technology.

Though most chains are waist – or is it waste – deep in the muddled HD Radio scam, CBS Radio in its new alliance with AOL’s Internet radio portal found may have found their out.

Though streaming is still not profitable Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone has seen the future and knows it will be.

“The merger of CBS Radio and AOL Radio stations into one asset has instantly doubled our daily audience of listeners, and advertisers are signing up every day, clearly recognizing the benefits of being able to target such a highly interactive group of listeners,” says CBS Radio head Dan Mason. “Our stations are gaining access to millions of impressions by being integrated into content throughout AOL’s site. Promotion like that, you can’t put a price on.”

And not a word was said about HD Radio. Things to come?

Its Father’s Day this Sunday. Did you expect the HD Radio Alliance to ensure the shelves are stocked with a variety of HD Radios at all the retail outlets they claim their product is sold in?

I did my monthly walk-through. I’ve been doing this once a month for the past year. Wal-Mart? Best Buy? Radio Shack? Costco? – Nothing!

That HD Radio delivery guy is still AWOL?

Even worse. Three of the four stores even had Blue-ray DVD players in stock.

Then I got this press release about the National Association of Broadcasters announcing their HD Multicast Award, which will be held at their annual convention in Austin. The award is given based on an HD Radio station that – in their words - is “at the forefront of creating unique, innovative or groundbreaking programming.”

My question. If an HD Radio station is programming unique, innovative or groundbreaking programming but no one hears it – did it really make a sound?
----

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

With all the important news going on, the best you can come up with is another tirade against HD Radio?

Don't you understand that HD haters are giving it far more free publicity than anyone at iBiquity or the Alliance could ever buy.

Of course, all of it is bad. But Babe Ruth once said, as long as they spell my name right, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

So keep on devoting your blog space to HD Radio. Everyone appreciates the free publicity.

Meanwhile, there are some REAL issues to discuss.

PocketRadio said...

"It gets better. Steve Jobs announced his latest 3G iPhone. HD Radio not included. Reason? The chip for HD Radio is too large to fit in the new model iPhone."

"HD Radio"

"Until now, portable HD Radio receivers have been unavailable because the chipsets needed by this technology required too much power to be practical for a battery-operated device. However, in January 2008 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas iBiquity unveiled a prototype of a new iPod-sized portable receiver. It is based on a new chipset developed by Samsung. Although portable, it is still a relatively power-hungry device (it will run on an average set of alkaline batteries in about two hours, according to an iBiquity engineer)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio

It's also way too power-hungry - Satrad's portable runs for thirty hours. Of course, iBiquity is shipping these power-hogs to receiver manufacturers.

Apple has chosen iRadio and FlyTunes for the iPhone and iPod. Jobs considers terrestrial radio to be old-fashioned:

"FlyTunes - Radio for the iPod that eliminates Radio Stations"

http://www.hear2.com/2008/01/flytunes---radi.html

"Radio on the iPod? Only if it's Internet Radio"

"He said (with a straight face) that Apple had no immediate plans for a 'radio-type' function on its players because Steve considers traditional radio to be an old technology and he doesn't want to taint his cutting edge technology."

http://www.hear2.com/2007/11/radio-on-the-ip.html

I would consider Struble, Bilk-o, and Fumbles to be gangsters - modern-day pirates attempting to hijack our public airways, though the monopoly/takeover by the HD Alliance owned stations, and by jamming the mom-and-pod stations off the dial.

I hope that Struble and his gangsters have enjoyed my blog, splattered througout the Internet, as it sits on the first page with iBiquity's site, when doing Google searches for "HD Radio". According to Google Stats, 85% of people doing searches for "HD Radio" end up clicking on my blog.

Splicer said...

The problem with people who engage in "salesthink", like the folks running the radio business, is that they imagine a medium filled with side-channels and alternate streams, each of them delivering advertising to the listener. They have an odd world view that seems to imagine a population of radio listeners clamoring for more spot breaks, chomping at the bit to hear the next Kars for Kids ad.

Anonymous said...

As a person whose livelihood depends on terrestrial radio, I have a problem with ads on my station telling people to tune elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm no engineer, but won't an increase in power level also increase the interference that's already on the the same as well as the next channels over? It seems like this interference is a major problem with HD radio to begin with. Won't the power increase just make it worse?

Anonymous said...

I am not in radio, just a (former) fan. Why does the radio business keep supporting HD radio when it is such a failure and has been for a long enough time to measure success, failure, probability?

Why would radio think that by adding more stations even if they are impossible to get without spending $200 or more for a HD radio would help them?

bobyoung said...

Great article, Yup, time to get rid of the big scam that's going absolutely nowhere,

Bob Young
33 S Main St
Millbury, MA
KB1OKL

Joe Friday said...

HD Radio is such a hot product that QVC has invited the HD Radio folks to peddle their wares on their channel again and again. Ha!

HD Radio could not even get an encore on QVC. How many HD radios did they allegedly sell? Ha!

What a crime.

PocketRadio said...

"Grand Theft Digital: How the FCC is Helping Hijack Digital TV"

"Why has the FCC, acting as sock puppet for the National Association of Broadcasters, crafted a process that quietly gives broadcasters exclusive rights to newly available channels?... Why does the FCC want to avoid public notice and public debate on this $70 billion dollar giveaway of public spectrum?... On February 17, 2009 a massive, but so far little-noted corporate theft of the public airwaves will be consummated as US analog TV stations switch to digital TV (DTV) broadcasting."

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/12/6193/20771

The FCC is also helping the NAB hijack our TV spectrum.

Anonymous said...

To anon #1 - the HD radio issue is very important and it is as a real as any other story facing radio. HD radio is an example of how to hijack digital frequencies. Instead of providing public service the overwhelming majority of HD side channels are pre-recorded and syndicated and do absolutely nothing for the community they allegedly serve. It was also a way to bilk millions from radio stations for license fees, equipment and other physical plant items. If there is anthing that should be investigating it is this HD radio scam.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm glad you're keeping the focus on HD Radio. People should understand exactly why radio is dying, and the pursuit of HD is typical of the mentality in radio.

What are radio's core problems: Quality listeners are leaving for more engaging content. Customers are finding better results from making targeted buys that get them better-qualified prospects. And the typical station has slashed its budget so much that it can no longer attract even halfway decent employees.

So what would a rational company do in this situation? Focus on improving the content. Seek out quality listeners/prospects and deliver them at the prices the customers want to pay. Invest in creating and retaining a quality sales force that can make sales. Deliver value. And then worry about fattening up the bottom line.

But what does radio do? Look for a quick fix in a shabby technology that has as its main advantage that it can create a bigger pipeline for more of the same crappy product that's already failing. I guess the thinking is if people don't like your crap now, maybe they'll be happier if you give them more of it. Ugh. What futility. Some day this will make a nice business school case study. Meanwhile, my heart goes out to those of you still struggling to try to survive in the business. My only advice: Give it up and find a new way to use your skills. Life's too short to sink your career for the likes of the idiots running radio today.

Shannon said...

ROTFL over the idea of an award for "innovative" HD radio programming. Does anyone really expect that from the corporate owners who have made radio so exciting to listen to over the last 13 years. Like Anon above said, bland automated music mixes and syndicated programming.

The only way HD radio would become relevant is if the side channels were being programmed by the people who are doing independent (non corporate) internet radio stations. Now that would make it worth the bucks

Rfburns said...

Booble Struble - I LOVE IT.

Hey Booble, you can buy a Sony "HD" radio on CLEARANCE at Best Buy for $49. Pick one up while they last!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Booble Struble - did your wife give you the idea for "radio with a boob-job"? You are a freak'n clown, as with the rest of your airwaves thieves. You are a malignant cancer that has metastasized throughout the broadcast community, pitting one broadcaster against another, in cases of interference. I hope that Chairman Dingell, of the Commerce Commission takes Bob Savage to-heart, and gives you and Kevin Martin rectal probes you won't soon forget!

Great post, John! Loved the dead horse! LMFAO!

Anonymous said...

"Like Anon above said, bland automated music mixes and syndicated programming."

If you think that's bad, wait until the RIAA wins their performance royalty, and a big chunk of radio revenue must be paid to record labels.

The result will be that radio companies will spend no money on staffing, no money on programming, because all the income a station regerates will go to record labels. The labels will hire some DJs in markets where it matters.

This issue has been brewing for ten years, and I think owners knew it was coming. There may be a quid pro quo coming, where Congress will permit more deregulation in exchange for stations paying this new royalty.

And yes, HD Radio will also pay the new royalty. So stations that make no money will actually cost owners to operate. How long do you think that will continue?

You guys have nothing to fear. RIAA will get rid of HD Radio all by itself.

Old Grouch said...

Monday's Wall Street Journal:
Four-Column ad for a new status-symbol radio.

AM/FM/Shortwave/RDS/XM/iPod dock.

Guess what's excluded?

Anonymous said...

I am sure there were a couple of manufacturers during the turn of the last century that refused to convert their horse carriage companies to automobiles. That is what HD Radio is all about with one exception. They successfully worked the NAB, radio and the FCC to their advantage. You can smell a scandal on the horizon. When the heat is on the pigs begin to squeal.

Anonymous said...

"When the heat is on the pigs begin to squeal."

How can someone be a pig when no one has made any money?

I think all you haters don't understand that HD Radio is losing money for everyone involved. The stations, the manufacturers, and iBiquity. It's all losing money.

The only people reporting on HD radio are the haters. They're the ones keeping attention on it. But no one cares. If you guys would just shut up, it would go away on its own.

Anonymous said...

"The only people reporting on HD radio are the haters. They're the ones keeping attention on it. But no one cares. If you guys would just shut up, it would go away on its own."

Have you ever done a Google News search on "HD Radio" and seen all of the bullshit stories about HD Radio:

http://tinyurl.com/ywvbqu

anonymous bosch said...

To last anon....wait a minute. Companies spent five figures per station to convert to HD. They pay licensing fees to iBiquity. They run HD Radio promos (heavier than any other client schedule). iBiquity has robbed the radio industry of millions. Don't you get it? Why do you think the HD Radio Alliance is run out of an office at Clear Channel hdq. in San Antonio? Follow the paper trail and it takes you all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Anonymous said...

"Have you ever done a Google News search on "HD Radio" and seen all of the bullshit stories about HD Radio.

I have...most of them are from haters.

And most of them are BS too.

The fact still is that no one, and I mean NO ONE, is making any money from HD Radio.

Show me one article (from a non-blogger) that identifies that any station or company has made money from HD Radio.

"Companies spent five figures per station to convert to HD."

Yes, we know. They spent lots of money. Where does it say they made any?

"iBiquity has robbed the radio industry of millions."

And guess what? iBiquity hasn't made any money either. They're in debt up to their asses, and just got another credit line so they're even deeper in debt. Where is the money they're supposed to be making?

"Follow the paper trail and it takes you all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Wow...what a conspiracy theory. Next you'll tell me that HD Radio is responsible for the Iraq War.

Come on, people. Get a clue. No one's making money from HD Radio. The only people keeping it afloat are the bloggers and haters who live their lives to defeat it. What will they do with all their free time once it goes away?

Anonymous said...

"The only people keeping it afloat are the bloggers and haters who live their lives to defeat it. What will they do with all their free time once it goes away?"

Start a hate-blog about the NAB shysters. You are trying to convince the anti-IBOC folks that they are wasting their time - we aren't going to give it up, until HD is dead-and-buried, whch may be years.

Anonymous said...

"Start a hate-blog about the NAB shysters."

It's already been done. Hundreds of times. Come on! You think big radio is cookie cutter? Read some of the anti-NAB blogs. If you get tired, go to the blog section at pbs.org, and you'll read more anti-NAB stuff.

There's nothing new about hating big radio, the NAB, IBOC, or Clear Channel. This is one of a few thousand sites that all say the same thing about the same stuff to the same people. It;s so incestuous you've all got three eyes.

"You are trying to convince the anti-IBOC folks that they are wasting their time - we aren't going to give it up"

I'm trying to tell you if it wasn't for you, it would have been dead a year ago. Don't you understand? How thick is your skull?

No one's buying these radios, no one's making any money, and no one cares. Go out an get laid. The weather is nice outside.

Anonymous said...

"I'm trying to tell you if it wasn't for you, it would have been dead a year ago. Don't you understand? How thick is your skull?"

HD Radio would be dead, if it wasn't for Struble's pleading for more investment funds, and for the likes of CCU. Sorry, but your reverse-psychology isn't going to work. I've heard it all from the IBOC-shills.

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theories may be a little far fetched but there is a strange bedfellows collection which includes Bush, Cheney, Tom Hicks, Lowry Mays, Kevin Martin, David Rehr, et al. They have either been in business together, worked political campaigns together or in some manner employed by one another. It is safe to say that the people you most read about in the NAB and FCC are related in some way to the Bush/Cheney camp. There is no conspiracy per se. There are however beneficial connections galore.

Anonymous said...

"The fact still is that no one, and I mean NO ONE, is making any money from HD Radio"
False - Bilko, Booble, and the lawyers are making quite a bit of money. This isn't about corporate profit. It's about individual profit.

Anonymous said...

From Feed Blitz Cinematech:

>>When Amazon sold out of Kindle e-book readers after just a few days, I was skeptical: they'd never announced how many were available in that first production run. Was it 100? 1000? A million?

Now, we've got the same situation with Roku's new $99 set-top box that delivers "Watch It Now" streaming movies from Netflix: they're sold out, according to the San Jose Mercury News, but no one will say just how many were available.

So does it matter that Roku is "sold out" of its set-top box? Or is this just a PR gambit to make the device seem "hot"?

(Or maybe it's a manufacturing snafu: Roku says it'll take six to eight weeks to clear up the backlog, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.)<<

If you have a product people WANT they will BUY it. Obviously convergence calls from this. This is another reason why HD Radio has failed. There is no market for it.
It was purely designed to make a handful of people some money at the radio industry's expense.

Anonymous said...

Even if HD receivers were in every home, would there be enough advertising to make the signals profitable? Advertising budgets are tight, and money spent on an HD channel would mean less money spent on a broadcast channel. Advertisers aren't going to increase their spending to accommodate all these new "platforms," as they call them these days.

It's the ethos driving today's capitalism-on-steroids yet again: Get yours and get out of town before the marks wise up.

Anonymous said...

"Bilko, Booble, and the lawyers are making quite a bit of money. This isn't about corporate profit. It's about individual profit."

Is any of it coming out of your pocket? No.

Is anyone required to buy these radios? No.

Are we talking about the kind of money that the US is spending in Iraq? No.

And truthfully, is there anything you can do about it? No.

It's all one big cartoon show with a few nut cases running around making up silly fake names for a bunch of people they've never met and turning them into target practice. It's the blogging version of the WWE. Except they wear suits instead of spandex.

Can't you see how ridiculous it all appears?

So a bunch of lawyers are making a few bucks. How does any of this affect you? If a tree falls in a forest and no one's around, does it make a sound? No. And no one cares, either.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster, the direct effect of IBOC is enormous. When the industry chases this sham, it wastes precious resources that are desperately needed for other things. Those who perpetuate the sham deserve to be ridiculed and pilloried. Yes, they will make their exorbitant salaries off this sham technology, but they should have their reputations destroyed for doing it.

I don't think it's unreasonable for people who have dedicated their lives to radio, and who are struggling to maintain an industry that is being run into the weeds by idiot money men, to be upset that its dwindling resources are being squandered on salaries for some slick salesmen.

Should harsh criticism be leveled at the investment bankers who are also feeding off the dying carcass of radio and the regulators who are failing their obligation to protect the resource of the airwaves? Yes. But IBOC hucksters deserve to be right there taking their hits with the rest.

Anonymous said...

"How does any of this affect you?"

"Night of the Bees"

"Radio listeners across America are trying to hide from a monster, but there is no shelter. After spending its adolescence in technical trials during daytime hours, IBOC has now come out at night... For example, in New York City, WOR broadcasts on 710 kilohertz. When it turns on its IBOC equipment, the digital noise it produces can be heard on 690, 700, 720 and 730 kilohertz with a reduced fidelity analog audio signal remaining on 710…"

http://karlzuk.blogspot.com/2007/09/night-of-bees.html

Anonymous said...

"Is any of it coming out of your pocket? No."

"HD Radio: Will More Awareness Translate To Sales?"

"Unfortunately, Ibiquity does not: Yes, they have gotten many radio stations to make the $100,000 or so investment required to add HD Radio broadcasting, but what the leave out of their PR spin is that MANY of these stations were Public Radio/NPR stations that had their equipment paid for by special funding from Congress. So tell me, senior executives from, say, Sony, Mitsubishi, Best Buy, etc.: How do you feel about Ibiquity''s lobbyists getting US taxpayers to pick up the tab for many of their transmitter sales? Wouldn''t it be great if your lobbyists could get Congress to mandate that US taxpayers be required to buy your products, too? Do you even slightly care? Ibiquity will take their money and run, and HD Radio will join a long list of failed formats, like Dolby FM radio, Elcassete, mini disk (in the US), etc."

http://tinyurl.com/37pe7t

Anonymous said...

"And truthfully, is there anything you can do about it? No."

"Telecom & Media Gabriel Sosa Gabriel Sosa"

"Despite the enthusiasm of iBiquity, creator of the standard, the technology does not penetrate as I want and foresight studies (see performed by the firm Bridge Ratings, www.bridgeratings.com) observed a much more favourable scenario for Internet radio that for terrestrial digital radio. In the guidelines were included at the request of COFEM, the pros and cons of the standards of digital radio. The IBOC case highlights the issue of interference, especially in AM. The United States has an enormous inconvenience for that and other aspects related to technology. Several Internet sites dealing with the problem, as IBOC Stop Now (www.stopiboc.com) and HD Radio Is a Farce? (hdradiofarce.blogspot.com). It is useful to consult them, now that Mexico is a decisive step."

http://tinyurl.com/6yrztn

Anonymous said...

"Can't you see how ridiculous it all appears?"

"The Increasing Influence of Blogs"

"AP documents the increasing influence of blogs, which are recognized as having made a significant impact this past year in reporting on breaking news events, political issues, and technology innovations, as just a few examples. In addition, the December 27, 2004 issue of TIME has two articles on blogging..."

http://www.bespacific.com/mt/archives/007199.html

Anonymous said...

"When the industry chases this sham, it wastes precious resources that are desperately needed for other things."

First of all, only five companies, which own less than 2,000 radio stations, are even part of the Alliance. That leaves 12,000 stations not involved. So it's hardly an "industry" thing.

Second of all, where else do you think they'll put this money? Into programming? Ha! They'll put it in their own pockets, or find some other hairbrained idea.

"But they should have their reputations destroyed for doing it."

Sounds like you've been spending too much time reading the Scarlet Letter.

People will believe what they want to believe. They will hire who they want, regardless of what they've done. Sam Zell just hired Randy Michaels. Who cares what his reputation is? If you're going to devote your time to something, why not make it constructive?

"MANY of these stations were Public Radio/NPR stations that had their equipment paid for by special funding from Congress."

Could you document this claim?

As far as I know, no "Congressional mandate" has required any station to buy any such equipment. It's all been quite voluntary. Even NPR hasn't required it of member stations. Lots of stations haven't done it.

Anonymous said...

"And truthfully, is there anything you can do about it? No."

"HD Radio fails miserably"
Bob Savage, CEO, WYSL

"I've been in touch with Congressman Dingell's office, and have brought the iBiquity-lobbying IBOC situation to his attention as his office probes how the Commission conducts its business. I have further offered to testify before his Subcommittee if they have interest in pursuing how HD Radio was allowed to find the light of day."

http://tinyurl.com/5mu8cn

You have good reason to be running-scared.

Anonymous said...

Regarding who is paying for what. NPR stations did jump on the bandwagon, probably drunk with Ray Kroc's widow's money. How NPR funded it in unsure. Was the money divvied among NPR stations or was it locally generated. I don't know. Maybe someone here does. What I do know is that Radio World has a "scorecard" on how many stations are on HD and granted it may be somewhat embellished knowing the way the HD Radio Alliance fibs but I see a lot of commercial stations listed and all the majors bought in. It was an expensive mistake. The smart stations mostly independent did not fall for the hype. Either that or the "cartel" of CC, CBS, EMMIS, Citadel, Cumulus and others received some kind of kick back for their investment. The big moneymaker is IBiquity because they get licensing fees, sell equipment and have a license to print money at radio's expense.

Anonymous said...

"Could you document this claim?"

"DEAD AIR: Radio's great leap forward stalling in the Valley"

"KMBH, the National Public Radio affiliate based in Harlingen, switched to HD this year, but the change did not boost its inconsistent analog signal in the upper Valley. Monsignor Pedro Briseño, the manager of the station and its television affiliate, did not return multiple calls and an e-mail requesting comment on the station’s shift. A fundraising campaign on the station asked local listeners to contribute to the upgrade earlier this year, touting the change as a service to listeners that would improve their experience. The station’s business manager said she could not reveal the cost of the upgrade, saying all media requests have to be routed to Briseño. A public information request faxed to the station Monday evening has not yet received a response. Organizations that receive government funding are subject to state and federal open records laws, but have seven business days to respond to information requests."

http://www.themonitor.com/news/radio_7098___article.html/digital_new.html

The Press knows HD Radio is a fraud, at least the one's that have not been bought-out by iBiquty.

Anonymous said...

The claim was that Congress has mandated stations to buy IBOC.

I asked for documentation. So far, I've seen none.

Documentation would mean a specific law or resolution from Congress that aporions money specifically for this, and requires stations to install it.

If you don't have documentation, then all you're giving me is a bunch of BS, which makes you no better than the people you criticize.

Regarding Ray Croc's money, it is an endowment which has specific educational purposes, and is not being given to stations.

"The big moneymaker is IBiquity because they get licensing fees, sell equipment and have a license to print money at radio's expense."

They only have a "license to print money" if it's a success. If your point is that it's not a success, then they DON'T have a license to print money. It's either one or the other. It can't be both. Certainly none of the stations are making any money with their HD channels. Almost all are commercial free.

It's nice to be passionate about your opinion, but it really helps to know the facts.

Anonymous said...

"The claim was that Congress has mandated stations to buy IBOC.I asked for documentation. So far, I've seen none."

I never claimned that there was some sort of mandate, just that the NPR stations had their IBOC upgrades approved by Congress, thus taxpayers were bilked out of tens-of-millions - nice try, but you are attempting to obfuscate the original issue.

Anonymous said...

"NPR stations had their IBOC upgrades approved by Congress, thus taxpayers were bilked out of tens-of-millions"

And I'm asking where is your proof for that?

Show me where Congress approved this special funding. One would think it would be in the Congressional Record. Even the HD Alliance has no record of it. You'd think they'd do a press release.

I saw where one NPR radio station had a fundraiser in their community to raise the $1000 it needed to install the equipment. They told their listeners what they were doing, and it was all voluntary.

I also disagree with your use of the word "bilked." If a station took delivery on a product they ordered, and it works as advertised, no one has been bilked.

Just because you don't happen to like something doesn't mean a crime has been committed.

Anonymous said...

"CPB AWARDS GRANTS FOR DIGITAL CONVERSIONS"

"CPB also has awarded $8.8 million in grants to help 119 more public stations, including 78 serving rural and minority audiences, purchase equipment needed to transition to digital. This is the fourth round of matching grants to eligible stations. CPB has distributed grants to 405 public radio and 285 public television stations to begin their digital transitions. These funds are part of $190 million in funding that Congress has provided to CPB over five years to assist public broadcasters go digital."

http://www.rwonline.com/reference-room/iboc/03_rw_hd_show_2.shtml

You really are a moron.

Anonymous said...

"You really are a moron."

Actually, you are the moron.

The CPB grants are to "go digital." If you go to the CPB site, you'll discover that means many things. Not just HD Radio.

You said "tens of millions" were spent on IBOC.

The lion's share of the money is for TV which is required to convert to digital by February 9th, 2009.

I'm still waiting to see where Congress approved IBOC upgrades.

Anonymous said...

"CPB has distributed grants to 405 public radio and 285 public television stations to begin their digital transitions."

No, YOU are the moron that obviously can't read.

Anonymous said...

"These funds are part of $190 million in funding that Congress has provided to CPB over five years to assist public broadcasters go digital."

Anonymous said...

"No, YOU are the moron that obviously can't read."

I can read very well. Only $2 million went to stations for IBOC. Not "tens of millions."

Congress didn't approve any special funding for IBOC. It's for overall digital conversion, the bulk of which is TV. Nothing wrong with that.

And as I said, some stations have chosen to raise the money locally, rather than take the CPB money.

This is not the huge federal taxpayer scandal you're attempting to create.

Anonymous said...

"CPB AWARDS GRANTS FOR DIGITAL CONVERSIONS"

"CPB also has awarded $8.8 million in grants to help 119 more public stations, including 78 serving rural and minority audiences, purchase equipment needed to transition to digital. This is the fourth round of matching grants to eligible stations. CPB has distributed grants to 405 public radio and 285 public television stations to begin their digital transitions. These funds are part of $190 million in funding that Congress has provided to CPB over five years to assist public broadcasters go digital."

http://www.rwonline.com/reference-room/iboc/03_rw_hd_show_2.shtml

The Radio World article above proves that Congress approved funds for conversions to digital radio (i.e., IBOC). Prove that only 2 million went to upgrade public broadcasters to IBOC digital radio - I'm waiting.

Anonymous said...

"The Radio World article above proves that Congress approved funds for conversions to digital radio (i.e., IBOC)."

Read the article carefully.

It DOESN'T say "digital radio" or IBOC.

YOU are saying that.

"Prove that only 2 million went to upgrade public broadcasters to IBOC digital radio - I'm waiting."

400 stations times $5000 per station. Do the math. How much is that?

You are so lame.

Neither Congress nor the FCC is requiring this change, yet they did for TV. One of the reasons is one company owns the rights to digital radio. So it's optional.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm very entertained by the fact that you keep calling IBOC an "upgrade." Hahahaha. You've been drinking at the Alliance kool aid.

Solomon said...

People. Please.

Can we agree on one thing?

HD Radio IS A FAILURE. No matter how you try to explain it, excuse it, cut it, support it or hate it -one fact must be faced. THEY AREN'T SELLING. The consumer does not want or need it.

You can debate this to death but the bottom line is that HD RADIO DOES NOT MAKE MONEY (except for those collecting licensing fees and got "consultant" deals like Fred Jacobs, Peter Smythe, Randy Mays and the like.)

Not only is the product bad but the content sucks too. Go on station web sites and listen to the HD Radio fare.

Meet the new radio same as the old radio and it will be that way as long as the current owners/operators/programmers (dumb ones that is) remain in power.

Anonymous said...

"Meet the new radio same as the old radio and it will be that way as long as the current owners/operators/programmers (dumb ones that is) remain in power."

Actually, it will be that way even if they get replaced.

Check all the stations that have been sold to new owners in the last two years. Many have gone from big corporate owners to local ones. Tell me if there is an improvement.

The latest is in DC, where local billionaire Dan Snyder bought 3 AM stations from Clear Channel.

You can complain all day. Demand the current owners get replaced. When they do, the new ones do the same thing.

PocketRadio said...

"FCC Chair backs approval of Sirius-XM merger"

"UPDATE: Noticeably absent from the agreed concessions are iBiquity's proposal to require HD Radios be built-in to satellite radios, and Georgetown Partners' proposal to take 20% of Sirius-XM broadcast infrastructure off their hands. And that's a good thing."

http://tinyurl.com/4tdmhv

Sweet! It's over now Booble!

Anonymous said...

"Noticeably absent from the agreed concessions are iBiquity's proposal to require HD"

Maybe you missed this:

"The companies have voluntarily committed and agreed to an open standard for manufacturing of radios. Anybody will be able to make and market the radios -- i.e. wire line telephones (off-the-shelf, retail radios)."

So if an electronics manufacturer wants to include HD, they can do it without permission of XM/Sirius.

"Sweet! It's over now Booble!"

Wishful thinking.

PocketRadio said...

"Pioneer says HD Radio succcess should be decided by open market, not forced inclusion"

"IBiquity, the company behind HD Radio, is making enemies all over the place, the latest of which is Pioneer. The Japan-based corp, which makes the popular Inno, recently told the FCC [PDF] that iBiquity's scheme to force satellite radio manufacturers to include HD Radio playback is absurd. The iBiquity conditions would limit the breadth of radio product offerings to consumers, limit which radio component suppliers’ products be designed into radios, have the effect of decreasing AM/FM tuning performance, unnecessarily increase costs to consumers uninterested in HD Radio and interfere with the useful and healthy free market mechanisms extant in radio electronics purchases."

http://tinyurl.com/5f9q2b

Pioneer got burned and doesn't want HD Radio - think any other manufacturers want this shitty technology. Yada, yada, yada!

Anonymous said...

"not force Pioneer, which is in the satellite radio business, to include a competing service in its players."

So Pioneer is basically making a case for those opposed to the merger, by saying there should be no competition and satellite radio should be run as a monopoly.

"Pioneer got burned and doesn't want HD Radio - think any other manufacturers want this shitty technology. "

http://www.ibiquity.com/manufacturers/receiver_manufacturers

PocketRadio said...

Yea, I know, it's pretty pathetic. Pioneer got suckered (lied to) into manufacturing HD radios, now they don't want anything to do with it. Since hardly any HD radios have sold, and most have been returned as "defective", surely, the same goes for the rest of the manufactures (suckers).

Anonymous said...

Pretty much everything you say about HD radio could easily be applied to XM and Sirius.

Rfburns said...

Realistically - I find it hard to believe that iBiquity HD radio is going anywhere when radios that went for $200 a year ago are now selling for $49 in clearance sales. Help me out on this.

Anonymous said...

>> Pretty much everything you say about HD radio could easily be applied to XM and Sirius. <<

That would be true, except for the fact that both XM and Sirius:

1) Have over a hundred channels of many formats and name-brand sports, talk and news channels;

2) Have no commercials on music channels;

3) Have nationwide broadasting with the only infrastructure that reliably reaches the entire nation in a moving object.

Otherwise, what you say is true.

sprechkenzee frank said...

The noise you can't ignore:

The co- and inter- channel interference from hybrid-digial (HD) radio. By the way that's what HD stands for, not "high definition".

Anonymous said...

**If you bought into it, forget it. You’ve been swindled. You were robbed.**

Well for $100 I have a radio that has allowed me to enjoy, 70's music, Jazz and folk. How have I been robbed?

**HD Radio, which is not high definition**

Of course it is. It's higher definition than folks get now.

What is wrong with you?

Anonymous said...

After reading your opinions on HD-R recently I thought you might find this of interest. In a recent Reuters articles entitled, “HD Digital Radio Alliance Expands Marketing Campaign to Convert Consumer Awareness...” An HD Alliance spokesman claims an exponential growth in traffic to HDRadio.com. I feel this statement maybe misleading, after all if they had 1 hit in 2006 and then 7 hits in 2008 isn’t that exponential growth? Without actual numbers who knows what they mean and what happened to’07?
“The Alliance also revealed that traffic to HDRadio.com continues to grow exponentially, with the number of page views so far in 2008 exceeding that of 2006, the site's first year.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS86566+30-Jun-2008+PRN20080630

This started me thinking Google Trends (G/T) charts how often a particular search term is entered relative the total search volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. I understand this is not a definitive method but in the absence of actual numbers it could be a rough indicator of actual interest. Look what happens when you use G/T to look up the site www.hdradio.com:

“Your terms - www.hdradio.com - do not have enough search volume to show graphs.”

http://www.google.com/trends?q=www.hdradio.com&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

Then I thought, “Who googles a web address”? But, if you try www.ipod.com, www.sirius.com or www.xmradio.com they all come back graphed with results. I think the HD spinster may be laying it on a bit thick I find it hard to believe that www.hdradio.com generates no G/T data yet they’ve had “meaningful” growth over two years. To be fair HD radio does create Gtrend data but it includes both pro and con sites in its data set. It seems to me hdradio.com is actually HDOA. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes well know that the NAB tries to artificially influence Gtrends.

Anonymous said...

What happened to all the NAB/IBOC “stealth” shills after this last comment? It has been two months and the GTREND data still reflects the dismal failure that is HD(OA)radio. com. I love the DOOFUS who kept saying that any publicity is good publicity I’m sure all manner of criminals; murderer, rapist and thief would beg to disagree. I’m sure if the Headline were “FAMOUS BALL PLAYER SENTENCED TO DEATH IN BABYMURDER/RAPE CASE” Babe Ruth would also disagree. The pro HDR faction likes to complain about repetition from the Anti-HDR blogs but how many different ways can you say, “FIRE….HOT!”? And remember the only reason we need to say, “fire, hot” is because of all the idiots saying “fire, cold”.

I also give moron points to the Anon-Retard who writes back and forth to himself:

[ "Have you ever done a Google News search on "HD Radio" and seen all of the bullshit stories about HD Radio”.]

\I have...most of them are from haters. And most of them are BS too.\

BWAHAHAHA! What a CHOAD! He goes on to claim to himself, “NO ONE! makes money with HDR”. I guess Bob “thenob” Struble and all of his employees are unpaid volunteers as are all their blog “stealth” shills. Companies don’t need to make money in order for certain people to make money even if the company fails. After everyone points out he is WRONG his argument changes to “It doesn’t effect you why do you care”? Well we care because we caught you in a LIE you said “NO ONE” why would we now listen to anything you say? You’re a very desperate LIAR who is attempting to stifle just criticism through criticism and nothing more.

<“ and no one cares. Go out an get laid. The weather is nice outside”. >

If no one cares WHY DO YOU? I would guess you get “out” and laid less than anyone here. By your own admission HDR is a dead and failed technology so our kicking the dead horse is doing nothing to bring it back to life in the real world. Maybe some of us hate the HDR abomination so much that we don’t want this disgrace to ever be repeated or forgotten perhaps this “Dead Tech” must be kept “alive” in cyberspace forever as an example to future generations. I’m sure all the whining and moaning to the contrary will only prolong your misery.

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