Slow and Steady HD Radio Rollout

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Figure 1. Projected sales of radio receivers with and without HD Radio. For a larger image click here.

As the HD Radio rollout continues, many stations ponder the chicken-and-the-egg situation that exists: some stations won't install IBOC equipment until there are sufficient receivers in consumer use, but consumers won't buy the receivers if there aren't any HD Radio stations to receive. Many consumers believe that satellite radio is the only form of digital radio, which further hinders the acceptance of HD Radio.

The transition to a completely digital transmission system will take several years. During this time, more stations will commence IBOC transmissions, and more radio receivers will become available. The balancing act will continue, but the two will fuel each other. The data in Figure 1 shows that consumers will increase their investment in HD Radio-capable receivers over the next decade.

These figures show that it will take five years for more than one-quarter of all radio receivers to be sold with HD Radio capability, and nine years before half the receivers sold have HD Radio capability.

Source: Audio Signals, Deutsche Bank newsletter, June 1, 2005, from Ibiquity and Deutsche Bank estimates

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