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NAB Engineers Encouraged by ‘Add Ons’ for Cell Phones

They point out the dongle and in-line control, both sold at Radio Shack

Engineers at NAB are calling attention to “add-on” digital radio receivers that are available or coming soon. They say the trend suggests that digital radio IC technology “is getting near the point where digital radio in cell phones may soon be practical.”

The NAB’s Radio TechCheck newsletter commented first on two devices that were introduced about a year ago; they are made by Gigaware and sold in the United States by RadioShack. They turn an iPod Touch or iPhone into an HD Radio FM receiver with song tagging capability.

The Gigaware 12-646 “in-line control,” shown, costs about $45; the 12-645 “dongle” is about $40.

“Both of these devices utilize the docking connector of the iPod Touch or iPhone, and require the use of an HD Radio ‘app’ which is available for free from the iTunes App store,” NAB wrote. Both use a headset cord as the antenna. NAB provided screen shots of the HD Radio app, also shown here.

The NAB further noted a planned digital radio cell phone add-on made by Nokia that adds DAB capability to the Nokia N8, C7, E7, C6-01 and future Symbian^3 devices that offer the USB-To-Go function. NAB said the Nokia Digital Radio Headset reportedly will be available soon and cost about $70.

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