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CES Feature Articles

January 07, 2011

Advanced Carrier Services: HD Radio Technology Gets a Boost at CES

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas showcases HD Radio technology products and innovations more than ever before. The event is marked by scrupulous display of consumer electronics (CE) products, new OEM vehicles, and more advanced features designed to enhance user experience, according to iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of HD Radio Technology.

The HD Radio Technology showcase at CES includes the latest CE products for Home, Portable, Auto and iPod/iPhone (News - Alert); as well as the 2011 Ford Fusion, VW Jetta, and Subaru Forester, each equipped with HD Radio Technology.

The HD Radio Booth at CES will feature the rapid commercialization of several HD Radio Advanced Features such as Artist Experience, Bookmark and Live Pause.

Artist Experience is the display of visual images like album art, concert photos, station logos and other imagery on equipped HD Radio receivers. First launched on Insignia NS-HD02 portable HD Radio player, iBiquity will show several new products featuring Artist Experience; including the first OEM implementation, by Volkswagen.

Bookmark is a music and information discovery service that allows listeners to capture and store information about radio content in real time for later reference.  Bookmark service can also deliver QR Codes directly to HD Radio receivers, which enables consumers to directly link to a Web site or other resource using a smart phone app.

Through a new feature called Live Pause, users can for the first time store digital broadcast audio content and Program Service Data (PSD) on HD Radio receivers.

This year’s CES (News - Alert) has welcomed 17 OEM brands, more than 85 vehicle types and 36 standards related to HD Radio Technology.

According to iBiquity, automakers substantially increased their commitments to HD Radio Technology over the past 12 months, and the company expects strong corresponding growth in HD Radio equipped car sales in 2011.

One of the significant announcements includes that from Toyota Motor Sales. The company has announced the launch of HD Radio Technology in 2012 Model Year vehicles.  Toyota will be the first OEM to offer the iTunes Tagging feature on all radios that include HD Radio Technology, according to iBiquity.

Volkswagen is showcasing the first ever factory installed implementation of Artist Experience, the newest HD Radio Technology advanced feature, at CES in the HD Radio booth.

According to iBiquity, HD Radio Technology's growth in the OEM segment is mainly driven by three positive trends. First, many brands have made their HD Radio offerings a standard feature. Second, HD Radio Technology is being installed on many new vehicles targeted to the mass market. Lastly, the sales volume of HD Radio receivers that have become an integral part of in-car entertainment experience continues to rise with the upward trend in overall new car sales.

CES 2011 has become the launching pad of many new automotive aftermarket models featuring built-in HD Radio Technology.  They include the first ever HD Radio built-in head units from Alpine and Clarion, as well as several models which expand the product ranges of market share leaders Kenwood, JVC, Pioneer, and Sony.

Another significant model on display is the JVC KW-NT50HDT, the first ever auto aftermarket launch of Artist Experience.  This model also includes Total Traffic + (a Clear Channel (News - Alert) service) and iTunes Tagging, marking the first time these three Advanced Features are available on a single CE device.

At the CES, Insignia has announced the NS-IPHDR1, the first HD Radio enabled "built for iPad" docking system.  The product also features iTunes Tagging, an innovative feature that enables consumers to tag songs for later preview and purchase on iTunes.

AV receiver providers like Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha (News - Alert) have expanded their HD Radio Technology equipped line-ups.  New models hit broad price points ranging from as low as $300 to $2,000. There are more than 35 HD Radio equipped models from fourteen major brands including ADA, Anthem, Auvio, DaySequerra, Denon, Insignia, Integra, Marantz, McIntosh, Niles, Onkyo, Sangean, Sony, and Yamaha.

iBiquity, in partnership with The HD Radio Alliance, will develop and implement a wide range of marketing and promotional programs in support of HD Radio Technology products during Calendar Year 2011, the company said. These programs are expected to deliver more than $120 Million in market value in support of HD Radio enabled products during the year.

In July last year, iBiquity announced it has certified STMicroelectronics’ (News - Alert) HD Radio Technology chipset embedded in the Alps Electric module, for fulfilling various performance requirements satisfactorily, TMCnet reported.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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