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Friday, August 12, 2005


HD Radio-Stands for High Destruction

Here is a reprint of my widely circulated e-mail from May 12, 2005-

Alan, and others,
"HD radio" IBOC, far from being the savior of radio, will probably help destroy radio.
Here is why the current system of HD Radio for AM and FM should be scrapped.
Briefly and without getting too technical:
1- HD, as it is now proposed, is not compatible with current AM and FM broadcast signals. It creates substantial interference to the current analog signals of stations, and makes 800 million radios in the USA obsolete.
2- The currently proposed HD system itself is obsolete. Better, much more compatible systems already exist.
3- With the USA as an exception, the rest of the world has selected another system.
4- The cost of HD is prohibitive for all except large stations. The continuing licensing fees to the patent rights holders and startup expenses are huge.
5- It significantly trespasses on your neighbors property (frequencies) and will probably be tied up in federal court for decades. HD blocks out nearby adjacent stations.
6- HD is unnecessarily complex and unstable. Reception is limited and poor except under ideal conditions. The HD signal is delicate and not robust.
7- The HD radios have to be specially built for the USA and are expensive.
8- HD coverage area is less then half of the analog coverage area of a station. When you loose the HD signal the radio flips back to the current analog signal. An annoyance with little compensating benefit.
9- Replacing even 300 million radios will take decades, cost listeners billions of dollars, and the interference to the analog signal is there even on the new radios, when they flip back to analog.
10- There seems to be little interest, demand or support from the public at large for this new HD system. The expense, complexity, loss of listening area, and increased interference to current stations will turn the public against HD.
11- The public already has several better ways to listen to music, (more innovations are on the way) doesn't need HD interfering with their current radios, and will not want to invest billions in the new HD radios when they can listen better, other ways, for less.
12- The RIAA intends to sue HD to prevent the transmission of recordable digital signals. They have already sent HD-IBOC ibiquity a letter of intent warning from their lawyers.
13- Profiteers, have already started a campaign to con the public and line their pockets.
I am in favor of a better standard digital broadcasting system then the current HD scheme can provide. There are several better alternatives already available, or in development.
Sincerely for better broadcasting,
Richard Franklin

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