San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Clear Channel Communications announced it will roll out HD Radio through 1,000 of its radio stations as part of an overall effort to upgrade technology throughout the radio stations.
Clear Channel said it will “immediately begin an aggressive rollout of digital broadcasting equipment” to 1,000 stations over a two-year to four-year period, and that it plans to offer HD Radio in 95 percent of its top 100 markets within three years.
The developer of HD Radio, Ibiquity, reacted to the news, calling it a watershed in advancing HD Radio. “We anticipate this announcement will also accelerate the HD Radio rollout efforts by broadcasters; automakers; HD Radio transmission equipment, semiconductor and receiver manufacturers; and retailers. In many ways, this news is as significant as the FCC's approval of HD Radio technology,” said iBiquity in a prepared statement.
JVC, one of three car audio companies now shipping HD Radio products, said “By having Clear Channel support HD Radio, it makes a pretty strong statement about the future of HD Radio. What I would like to see is that, hopefully, Clear Channel will tout HD Radio over the air. The radio stations currently broadcasting HD Radio don't seem to be doing much to make consumers aware of the technology,” according to Aaron Novak, national product planning supervisor for JVC.
JVC announced it would ship last month [July] an HD Radio/CD receiver, making it the third supplier to deliver an aftermarket HD Radio tuner.
Both JVC and Panasonic are the only companies to offer a CD receiver with HD Radio built in, while Kenwood offers an outboard, add-on HD radio tuner.
JVC's new KD-SHX900, announced at CES in January, has a 256-color OEL display, 50 watt by 4 built-in power and MP3 and WMA capability. The unit is also Sirius-ready. It is expected to carry a retail price of $849.95 .