With a flip of the switch, WIYY-FM 97.9 (98 Rock) in Baltimore, Maryland, made history recently as the 1,000th station in the United States to broadcast with digital HD Radio technology.
“In just over a year, the number of HD Radio stations on the air has nearly doubled, and we expect to finish 2006 with 1,200 stations,” said Robert Struble, president and CEO of iBiquity Digital Corporation, developers and licensors of HD Radio technology. “Equally exciting is the corresponding growth in HD2 multicasting, which provides listeners with increased content and program choices, and the rapid influx of new HD Radio receivers, that expands the range of product categories and price points. From a consumer standpoint, there has never been a better time to experience HD Radio.”
“Our motivation in upgrading to HD Radio technology was to provide listeners with the best radio experience possible, including CD-like sound quality, crystal-clear reception and innovative multicast programming,” said Ed Kiernan, vice president/general manager WBAL/WIYY Radio. “We are thrilled to have earned the distinction as the 1,000th HD Radio station on the air, and we look forward to using our new digital capabilities to increase the variety of programming and services we offer on free radio.”
HD Radio technology transmits digital audio and data alongside existing AM and FM analog signals, allowing listeners with HD Radio receivers to enjoy dramatically improved sound quality, with virtually none of the static or hiss often associated with analog radio. FM broadcasters across the country are also using HD Radio multicasting capabilities to increase the range of content on the radio with new channels of programming that include formats such as: Deep Cuts Classic Rock, Female Talk, Classic Jazz, Disco, International Hits, Xtreme Hip Hop, Christian Rock, Hispanic Raggaeton, and in-depth news. Over 400 multicast stations are now on the air, with more rolling out each day.
Recent weeks have also seen a notable increase in HD Radio product introductions, highlighted by some of the following:
- Cambridge SoundWorks’ 820HD table top radio and 850HD component tuner
- Directed Electronics’ new table top radio and automotive converter
- Niles Audio’s AM/FM tuner with HD Radio card
- RadioShack’s Accurian table top radio
- Sangean’s HDT-1 Radio Component Tuner and HDR-1 Tabletop Radio
These products join current offerings from companies such as: Audio Design Associates, Boston Acoustics, JVC, Kenwood and Polk Audio.
National HD Radio retailers include: Amazon.com, Crutchfield, RadioShack and Tweeter. There are also hundreds of other regional and specialty retailers who carry HD Radio products, including: ABC Warehouse, Harvey Home Entertainment, HiFi Buys, Ken Cranes, Mickey Schorr Mobile Electronics, Showcase Home Entertainment and Sound Advice.
About iBiquity Digital
iBiquity Digital Corporation is the developer and licensor of the HD Radio(TM) system, which is powering the AM/FM digital radio revolution. This transformational technology allows AM and FM stations to broadcast digital signals in tandem with their analog signals, providing broadcasters with a platform to offer multiple channels of programming on the same frequency (multicasting); crystal-clear, CD-quality sound; text services such as real-time weather and traffic updates; and scrolling text and graphics content. Over 1,000 U.S. stations are on the air, available to 90% of Americans, with more than 400 offering multicasting channels. HD Radio technology is now being tested in many countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Switzerland, Thailand and the Ukraine. iBiquity’s investors are global leaders in the technology, broadcasting, manufacturing, media and financial industries.