All attention turns to the NAB Show this time of year. It is the biggest industry event of the year after all. Even if you don't go or have never gone, it still has some relevance, since this is where the latest product developments and technology introductions specific to broadcasting are unveiled.
Satellite radio has the edge over HD Radio. It's been available longer, and it had a huge marketing push across multiple types of media since its inception.
The big news from CES for HD Radio was that a portable chipset was finally unveiled – at least for FM. This is one significant part of the HD Radio rollout that has been noticeably absent. Once implemented, it will provide a necessary element for HD Radio acceptance, putting a digital radio receiver in just about any portable device.
In the eyes of broadcasters, December was a busy month for the FCC. Broadcasting is just one small part of the FCC’s concerns, so when several significant rulings are made at once, broadcasters naturally take notice. Two recent actions deal with broadcast ownership while another deals with programming localism. Now that the FCC has acted, there are more questions raised than answers provided.
Why do radio engineers choose their career in radio engineering? We obviously have the aptitude and the skills for the job, but there are other reasons. I think many engineers will tell you that they do their job because it's not really like work. It's like getting paid to practice a hobby.
"Why do you listen to radio?" Depending on how listeners are asked this question, the replies can be wildly different, as was shown in a recent study. The results go beyond the actual question to reveal other important aspects of radio.
The technology, called tagging, works with a radio that includes the tagging capability. That makes sense, right? The idea is that a listener hears a song he likes, presses a button (or some similar simple action) and the song is tagged for immediate or later purchase.
So which conventions did you attend? If you’re going to lament that you can’t attend any conventions, remember that I have heard all the common complaints from people who don’t attend conventions.
The mid-July 2007 further notice of proposed rulemaking from the FCC concerning EAS has begun the process of bringing the system into the 21st Century. However, the FCC action raises more questions than it answers.
The HD Radio "Discover It!" campaign appears to be creating awareness of HD Radio, but it seems to be missing the mark when it comes to consumer interest.
Many doubt that the merger proposal will pass, but if it actually does, what will be the real harm to terrestrial radio? If terrestrial is as good as it thinks, there will be no ill effects.
Some say that HD Radio won't save radio broadcasting, and that we should focus instead on better programming. Why not do both?
It seems that the current trend in new product development is based on incremental improvement, not sweeping change.
The FCC has brought a ubiquitous digital radio standard a little closer to being a reality.
A pirate LPFM station in Goldfield, NV, operated by Rod Moses, has shown radio pirates how to circumvent the FCC rules.
Set adrift in the sea of gadgets and gizmos, my main quest was to gauge the presence of HD Radio at the CES convention. The good news: HD Radio has finally made a mark.
We can protect the migratory birds, but it’s important to prevent an unnecessary rulemaking from becoming a tremendous burden to all broadcasters.
Broadcasters, Ibiquity and the HD Digital Radio Alliance are all trying hard to make HD Radio a success. This is all good, but the truth is that for HD Radio to succeed, broadcasters should not have to do anything.
Simply asking "who was first?" doesn't always yield the correct answer. The truth is that KDKA and Marconi just marketed themselves better than the others.
It is encouraging to hear that more receivers are becoming available, although many of them will not be ready for the upcoming holiday season.