By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Columbia, Md. - Lexus has expanded its selection of vehicles offering HD Radio with iTunes tagging as standard equipment.
The digital radio technology will be standard in all four trim lines of the 2013 LS flagship series. HD Radio is already available as standard equipment in the 2013 Lexus GS, RX and LX, and it's available in the Lexus ES.
With the addition, 28 automotive brands have publicly announced plans to incorporate HD Radio technology in more than 140 models by the end of the year, with more than 60 models offering HD Radio as standard equipment.
The 28 brands are Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI USA, Porsche, Ram, Rolls-Royce, Scion, SRT (Chrysler), Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
In the Lexus LS, the standard audio/navigation system features a 12.3-inch split-screen display that's large enough to display a large map simultaneously with other vehicle functions. The standard Lexus premium audio system features nine-channel amplifier, 10 speakers, CD/DVD player changer, DVD Audio and Video compatibility, MP3 sound enhancement, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, and three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM. Bluetooth capability includes automatic phonebook download and streaming audio.
The system also features apps to conduct local searches through Bing, make voice-enabled restaurant reservations through OpenTable, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com, tap into internet radio services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio, search business reviews on Yelp, and check in on Facebook places. A one-year trial subscription is included to access the suite of apps.
The optional 15-channel Mark Levinson Reference Surround System provides a 5.1-channel home theater surround and 450-watt output with less than 0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).
More than 2,150 AM and FM stations are broadcasting HD Radio signals, and the stations are delivering more than 1,400 additional digital-only FM HD2/HD3 multicast channels, iBiquity said.
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