HD Radio Launching New Features

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— The first HD Radio tuner to incorporate live pause, data bookmarking and an Artist Experience feature will be a portable headphone stereo due in Best Buy stores nationwide Oct. 24 at $69.

The portable is the FM-only NSHD02, which will carry Best Buy’s Insignia brand. The device comes with earphones and a 2.5-inch by 3-inch capacitive color touch screen that displays Artist Experience images transmitted by HD Radio stations. Images will include album art, other images associated with the artist, and possible promotional content, including station logos.

Radio stations in anywhere from 10 to 20 markets will be broadcasting Artist Experience images by the time the portable becomes available, with multiple stations per market supporting the feature, said an IBiquity spokesman. More stations will add the feature in the future, he said.

The portable will also be the first HD Radio tuner with live pause, which will store up to 15 minutes of broadcast content, including such program service data (PSD) as song title and artist name. Images won’t be stored.

The new bookmark feature lets users capture and store PSD information for later referral.

More HD Radios with one or more of the three new features will likely appear early next year and will include OEM and aftermarket car stereo systems and CE products, the iBiquity spokesman said.

Other features of the 2.8- by 2.1- by 0.7- inch portable include reception of FM HD Radio stations’ multicast channels, eighthour lithium-ion battery, 3.5mm output to deliver HD Radio to car stereos with 3.5mm inputs, and armband.

Best Buy is among the major retailers that have teamed up with the HD Radio Alliance and suppliers to launch a 100-market radio campaign to drive consumers into stores to buy HD Radio during the fourth quarter.


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