Growing Resistance to HD Radio

After feeling like I’ve been shouting into the wind alone for so long about this, it’s great to see others taking a critical perspective on HD’s fundamental flaws. Check the following blogs for lots of information about this tainted technology, especially since these folks are also doing an excellent job aggregating news coverage of the issue:
Is HD Radio a Farce? – A good collection of information on what’s happening both within the radio industry and among consumers, who, by and large, seem to be holding their noses once they get a whiff of those “secret stations between frequencies.”
HD Radio on the Medium Wave (AM) Band – An excellent, if somewhat disorganized, collection of coverage about the increasing problems with AM-HD interference.
Stop IBOC Now! – A coalition of broadcast engineers who are opposed to the deployment of a “new and improved” technology which may, in effect, destroy at least one of the broadcast bands. There’s been rumblings of dissatisfaction within the broadcast industry for a long time now about the prospects of HD Radio, but this is the first quasi-organized campaign of people who intimately understand the technology and are well-aware of its shortfalls.
In related news, the “HD Radio Alliance” has committed to spending another $230 million to market the technology to the public. This brings the running-total of marketing expenditure for HD to $680 million. Note that this is not a direct cash outlay – the Alliance (some of whom have already turned off their digital transmitters) is counting airtime that they’ll use to play pro-HD spots as part of their expenditures.
Meanwhile, in Canada, the Digital Radio Co-ordinating group, a large part of which includes the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has issued a report recommending that Canadian stations not adopt the FM-HD protocol. (Many Canadian stations have already gone digital with an alternate system). According to the DRCG,
Based on the evidence currently in hand, the DRCG considers that it would be risky for Canadian broadcasters to proceed at this time with an unrestricted roll-out of HD Radio services in the FM band, in the manner implemented in the US. There is no ground-swell of radio listener interest in this technology so far and the lack of inexpensive receivers, as well as unique new programming services, continues to make it difficult to market HD Radio to the public in the US.
The report also takes special note of iBiquity’s proprietary control over the HD standard: “iBiquity remains a ‘gate-keeper’ with respect to who may produce products bearing the ‘HD Radio’ label, as well as with respect to any future enhancements to the system. Time will tell whether this departure from the norm with respect to broadcasting standards will make it more complicated for regulators in different countries to adopt HD Radio as a digital standard, voluntary or otherwise.”