What to do with HD Radio (Besides the Jukebox)

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HD Radio-based traffic information

You may ask, "Are there receivers in the field that use this data?" The answer is yes. Garmin's Nuvi 3490 features Garmin Guidance 3.0, which gets its data via HD Radio. Kenwood makes at least two different units: the DNX6190HD and the DNX9990HD. JVC makes at least three after-market HD Radio receivers that receive and interpret traffic info: models KW-NT3HDT, KW-NT500HDT, and KW-NT800HDT. A company called Cydle offers its T43H with GPS and traffic supplied via HD Radio. Pioneer offers the AVIC-Z140BH.

The 2014 Outlander from Mitsubishi will be the first vehicle to have real-time traffic information integrated into its navigation system. This was just announced at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

It would be unrealistic to judge the success or failure of HD Radio simply based on the jukebox capability, which hasn't resonated with listeners -- at least not yet. However, as you have read, there are other, less-well-known facets of HD Radio that make it viable. If you work for a station that is still on-the-fence with respect to HD Radio, I urge you to consider all of its capabilities while making your decision.

Irwin is transmission systems supervisor for Clear Channel NYC and chief engineer of WKTU, New York. Contact him at doug@dougirwin.net.

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