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BTC Looks to Do More With HD Radio Data

Broadcast group hopes to expand prototyping and services to more markets

The Broadcast Traffic Consortium wants to expand. Right now, some 130 HD Radio stations in 82 markets transmit traffic and other data along with their digital signal. The group hopes to expand to cover 115 markets.

That’s according to the head of the BTC, Paul Brenner. He told attendees of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Symposium the group is developing and prototyping new uses for HD Radio data services like movie listings, sports scores and travel content.

Right now, BTC stations, through partner Navteq, deliver traffic, weather, fuel prices and advertising. For the gas prices, BTC partners with a company that monitors pricing for about 1,000 gas stations, said Brenner. “We aggregate the data, scrub it for accuracy, and broadcast it over the air.” Prices are from within the previous four hours, he said.

The BTC is all about doing more with HD Radio data, especially in the car, to keep radio competitive in the dash and to make the user experience more interactive, Brenner said, adding that automakers regularly ask him about radio’s plans to update the user experience.