After the just-completed 2016 CES show, Digital Radio Update was able to catch up with Jeff Jury, longtime executive and former chief operating officer at iBiquity, who hasassumed the role of general manager, automotive and HD Radio,for DTS Inc. (Bob Struble, former CEO of iBiquity, became an adviser to DTS and its chairman/CEO Jon Kirchner, in January 2016.)
Doug Irwin:� Clearly DTS is interested in expanding HD Radio access in new vehicles.� Is there any renewed interest in other types of radios or devices?
Jeff Jury: We are focused on new vehicles since quite a bit of listening goes on there. And we believe the combined DTS/HD Radio product line offers exciting opportunities to improve the listening experience in new cars. Having said that, there are a number of home products available in the market. We displayed a number at CES. You can go onAmazon and find several, or visit stores like Best Buy for after-market car products.��
Doug Irwin: Artist Experience was the last major feature added to HD Radio.� Are there any new features being developed for HD Radio broadcasting?
Jeff Jury: I believe the last feature developed wasEmergency Alertsto provide listeners with enhanced information during alerts. Most recently, we have been focused on successfully launching features introduced over the past few years. But we continue to work with our partners in broadcasting and car companies to identify new features and will continue to expand the capabilities of the HD Radio system.���
Doug Irwin: Can you tell us about further expansion in North America, or perhaps even other parts of the world?
Jeff Jury:We are strongly committed to rolling out across all of North America. In fact, we just surpassed 100 channels on the air in Mexico. And, we are working with a number of Canadian broadcasters to launch stations and new services. While we have aspirations to rollout globally, our focus right now is to ensure successful deployment in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Doug Irwin: Do you see any progress on the idea of using 100-percent digital radio on the AM band (as opposed to the current hybrid model)?
Jeff Jury: We are working with a number of interested parties in the industry to identify next steps for AM radio. We have run all digital tests in the past, and cooperated with the NAB in their test program which demonstrated successful operations. I believe next steps are dependent on a number of regulatory decisions that need to be made around the future of AM.
Doug Irwin:� Are there any other developments in the works that you can share with us?
Jeff Jury:While I cannot discuss new features, I can say that we continue to expand our rollout with all car companies and with radio stations. And, in support of quality implementations, we have developed a station monitoring system that we are deploying across North America. This system allows us to identify HD Radio related issues, such as time alignment in any station broadcasting with HD Radio technology.� We can then work with the stations to improve performance. This is a key component of ensuring a great user experience with digital radio.