A quick look around the just opened Flatbush, Brooklyn location of
HD Radio proved to be one of the highlights of the recent Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show here, with four suppliers showing new receivers.
In addition to new HD Radio products from Visteon and Directed (see TWICE, Nov. 6, p. 6) Peripheral and Metra unveiled tuner/adapters. These adapters could generate sales of 500,000 units over the next few years from OEM integrators alone, predicted Chris Cook, director of strategic business for Aamp of America, which owns the Peripheral brand.
While satellite radio subscribers are expected to exceed 14 million this year, traditional radio enjoys approximately 260 million listeners per week, and could ultimately form the bigger market. Said Cook, "To me HD Radio is going to be the biggest hit based on the number of consumers that listen to radio."
At SEMA, Peripheral and Metra both showed suggested-$199 solutions.
Peripheral's HDR2Car is an AM/FM HD radio tuner that connects through the satellite radio port while retaining the satellite radio function. It enables HD Radio station information to display on the car radio's screen and it becomes the default tuner for analog AM/FM stations. Peripheral said it uses a high-quality analog tuner so even analog AM/FM stations will sound better. The HDR2Car is expected to ship late in the first quarter next year.
Metra's new adapter connects to a factory radio with either a CD changer or satellite radio port. It displays HD radio information such as artist and song titles on the radio screen and allows control through the CD changer or satellite radio controls. It is expected to ship Feb. 15. The unit comes in a version for import cars including Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Honda and a version for domestic vehicles from GM, Ford and Chrysler.
There are currently 1,048 HD Radio stations on the air with 1,200 expected by the end of the year. This means that 80 percent of Americans can listen to an HD Radio station at present, according to iBiquity, the inventor of HD Radio.