HD Radio technology had a good year in 2005, Ibiquity says. The company is highlighting these points in its spiel at CES:
• The number of digital AM and FM stations on the air more than tripled, from 200 to 624;
• Multicasting emerged as the first HD Radio “killer application,” with program directors bringing richer, niche content to the airwaves by leveraging the HD Radio ability to offer several digital program channels from stations’ current spectrum;
• 2005 ended with 70 stations offering new multicast channels;
• eBay offered a national HD Radio product rebate program – “Trade In Your Old Radio”;
• Major radio groups formed the HD Digital Radio Alliance to beef up the variety of programming brought to consumers by local radio stations and invest more than $200 million in consumer promotions;
• Outside the United States, HD Radio technology is being tested in Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and Switzerland; and
• 2006 model year BMW 6- and 7-series vehicles offered factory-installed HD Radio receivers.
Bob Struble of Ibiquity said the company expects an even more aggressive rollout in 2006.
“The number of HD Radio stations on the air will more than double; hundreds of new multicast channels covering all major markets will launch; receiver prices are coming down; and products in more categories will enter the market.”