50 new HD Radio receivers are coming out this year, roughly 30 of
which will be aftermarket car models.
will see elements of iBiquity’s new, larger booth at the spring
NAB. This photo was at the recent International CES convention.
by Leslie Stimson
and Pioneer will expand their lines, and many of those models support
HD Radio, according to technology developer iBiquity Digital Corp.
Alpine, JVC, Clarion and Sony also plan HD Radio receivers in 2014.
major automakers will include factory-installed HD Radio this year,
according to iBiquity. Company President/CEO Bob Struble says the
technology is available in nearly a third of new cars and will be
installed on half in 2014. More than 200 vehicle brands will include
HD Radio this year, half as standard equipment.
date, about 17.5 million HD Radio receivers have been sold, iBiquity
says, with 15 million installed in vehicles. It predicts 7.5 million
receivers will be sold in calendar 2014.
audio receivers with HD Radio are planned from Denon, Marantz, Yamaha
and McIntosh. The Audiovox and Insignia brands are releasing HD Radio
tabletops and portables.
in the industry who comment on the RW website about stories about HD
Radio have questioned statistics from iBiquity. For example, in
reaction to the reported 17.5 million, reader “Sam G” wrote: “I
don’t know where iBiquity is getting their numbers on existing HD
receivers,” which he says are “way, way off. The actual figure is
less than 10 million. In addition, I can’t find one HD receiver for
sale in my city (top 50 market).” IBiquity has consistently
defended its figures.
whether automaker interest in HD Radio has waned, Struble says to the
contrary: “No automaker is cutting back on HD.”
automotive brands offer HD Radio audio, traffic or data features. Now
that all major automakers have incorporated the technology for the
digital AM and FM audio features, Struble says, five OEMs —
including Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi — are now
using digital broadcasts to deliver traffic, weather or fuel
information as well.
Dodge, Jeep, and Infiniti have launched HD Radio since January 2013,
as an option or standard. Some of these brands plan launch additional
integrations, according to iBiquity.
says automakers see the benefits of integrating HD Radio into their
telematics strategies, which helps iBiquity drive the transition of
over-the-air broadcasting to what it hopes will be an all-digital
service providers, Clear Channel and Nokia’s Here, have built
nationwide networks to broadcast real-time traffic and data
information using the HD Radio system. Here has partnered with the
Broadcaster Traffic Consortium; Clear Channel uses its own radio
stations to support its Total Traffic Network.
has long been part of iBiquity’s pitch to the market that
“connected cars” will be common and that broadcasters must not
take radio’s historical dominance in the dash for granted. Now
automakers are developing embedded Internet modems in vehicles,
further making the case for HD conversion, Struble believes.
data elements of HD Radio like Artist Experience and digital traffic
data services “make radio more competitive in the dash,” said
Struble. Lately that focus falls on medium- to smaller-market
stations. That type of station owner, he feels, is looking for
immediate return on investment from the digital conversion.
says more consumer electronics devices are being built without AM/FM
radio at all, because that’s what manufacturers believe buyers
want. “Everything’s an app now,” and that’s how people want
to interact with their devices, he said.
Radio implementation is part of a larger trend in which automakers
and aftermarket receiver manufacturers are adding services like
satellite radio and personalized Internet streams, hoping to sell
more cars and electronics.
for example, offers HD Radio technology and Clear Channel’s Total
Traffic Network to provide free traffic flow Images via digital FM
broadcasting on the 2014 Mazda3. Mazda North American Operations
President/CEO Jim O’Sullivan said this fall the Mazda3 is the
brand’s best-selling vehicle, making the launch of the vehicle’s
third generation “that much more important.”
the redesign, O’Sullivan said, Mazda added in-car technology,
including a human-machine-interface system called Mazda Connect,
“which offers a slew of audio and connectivity features not
expected in the compact car segment.” Partnerships with companies
like iBiquity Digital will help Mazda’s success, O’Sullivan said.
exhibited at the 2014 International CES. Broadcasters will see
elements of iBiquity’s new, larger booth at the spring NAB Show,
also in Las Vegas. The booth is modular, and more open, giving the
tech developer more flexibility in arranging it.