San Antonio — Clear Channel Communications announced it will aggressively 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 to four year period and that it plans to offer HD Radio in 95 percent of its top 100 markets within three years.
iBiquity, developer of HD Radio, reacted to the news, calling it a watershed in advancing HD Radio. “Today’s announcement increases the momentum of radio’s transition to digital broadcasting and is a major milestone in achieving nationwide HD Radio coverage … 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.