HD Radio & Radio Reading Services

I read the David Noble article in the Jan. 14 issue ("Why Accessible Radio Standards Matter").

My mother was nearly blind for the last 20 years of her life, so I can appreciate the value of radio reading service broadcasts. But you are going down a dead-end street in trying to use IBOC/HD Radios for this service.

As a radio station owner I have no intention of wasting money on IBOC. This is a failed technology. There will never be enough receivers to justify not only the expense of installing IBOC equipment but also the cost of license fees to iBiquity.

A more practical system would be one based on the digital subcarrier equipment now on the market. Installation costs for the station are less than one-fifth of that for IBOC, plus there is no ongoing licensing expense for the station.

True, this still requires the design of special receivers for visually handicapped listeners. Since this would remain a "subscription" service, copyright issues can be avoided, as they can with current analog SCA receivers and the now-obsolete receivers for TV SAP channels.

But the idea that there will be a wave of consumer IBOC receivers that can include the special features mentioned in the Radio World article is a pipe dream. Or a fantasy pushed by some federal contractor.

Tom Taggart
Part Owner
St. Marys, W.Va.

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