Ferrara Predicts HD-R Standard in Most Vehicles by 2011

It might take two months or two years; but other large carmakers will follow Ford and add HD Radio as an option, Peter Ferrara believes.
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It might take two months or two years; but other large carmakers will follow Ford and add HD Radio as an option, Peter Ferrara believes.

IBOC proponents would prefer HD-R to be offered standard rather than as an option, but Ferrara reminded me it took FM a decade to become standard in new vehicles, having started as a bolt-on to AM radios.

“We’ve lost sight of the fact that FM took 10 years” to become standard, he told me.

He thinks HD-R can cut that timeline in half and predicts by 2011 (model year 2012) HD Radio will be optional in every car and standard in most.

As demand goes up, according to this theory, the difference in cost to manufacturers between analog vs. HD Radios drops, enticing more automakers to use them.

The question is whether five years is too long, given the pace of new and other audio delivery mechanisms vying for dash space. (Some would say it’s already been too long. Ibiquity announced an “official launch” of IBOC in spring of 2002; the first commercial station began broadcasting in both analog and digital in 2003; car receivers debuted in late 2003 and early 2004, with Kenwood leading the way.)

When FM radio came on to the scene, radio wasn’t facing competition from iPods, sat radio and, coming up the pike, WiMax in the car.

That codec issue a while back is stinging now, costing Ibiquity time to market and allowing satellite radio to be able to “tell” the story of digital radio to America first.

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