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post #1 of 31 Old 02-17-2006, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Just a quick welcome to the new HD Radio area for HD Radio broadcasts.

The area is for chat on HD Radio it's reception, hardware and over all impressions.

Enjoy!

David Bott
Founder - AVSForum


DISCLAIMER: All spelling and grammatical errors done on purpose for the proofreadingly challenged...:)

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post #2 of 31 Old 02-17-2006, 06:50 PM
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Hundreds of AM and FM stations across the country have licensed HD Radioâ„¢ technology. Click on the link below to find the stations in your market that are on-the-air with HD Radio technology and those stations that have licensed the technology and will soon be up and running.

http://www.ibiquity.com/hdradio/hdradio_hdstations.htm

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post #3 of 31 Old 02-17-2006, 06:54 PM
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February 13, 2006

HDRadio.com is new epicenter for the digital radio lifestyle -

-Site launches along with new HD2 formats in 28 cities nationwide as digital receiver prices plummet-

ORLANDO, Fla., February 13, 2006 – HD digital radio has arrived, with revolutionary clarity of sound and unprecedented freedom of program choice. Complementing the new HD2 multicast formats launching in 28 markets nationwide, the HD Digital Radio Alliance today announced the launch of HDRadio.com (www.hdradio.com) the new epicenter of consumers’ digital radio lifestyle. This new Web site promises to be the go-to resource for consumers for all things HD digital radio.

HD digital radio means FM that sounds like a CD, AM that sounds like FM and farewell to snap, crackle and pop. Because digital signals can carry more information, the digital radio revolution also means a wide variety of new programming and new formats on HD2 multi-cast channels. And since it’s radio, it’s still local and free. More than 3,000 stations are currently upgrading to digital broadcasting, with more than 700 already on the air.

But if a digital radio signal revolutionizes radio and no one can hear it, did it happen? That’s where HDRadio.com comes in. The site helps consumers join the revolution with information on what HD digital radio is, what’s on the air in their area, where to buy a digital radio receiver and more.

“HD digital radio is the hottest thing to happen to consumer entertainment since FM, and HDRadio.com has everything you need to create your digital radio lifestyle," said Peter Ferrara, C.E.O. of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. "We think consumers are going to love having this information-rich, one-stop resource. This is all about quality and freedom for listeners. Quality of sound and freedom of choice. And on HD2 channels for the next 18 months to two years, freedom from commercials."

There was even more good news for listeners recently when Boston Acoustics announced that it was slashing prices on its Receptor Radio HD from $499 to $299, making it possible for more listeners than ever to join the digital radio revolution. New receiver products, from desk-top models to digital car radios, are allowing listeners to have digital radio wherever, whenever.

As the digital radio revolution takes hold, HDRadio.com will provide consumers with updates on new programming, new receiver products, new digital stations and where-to-buy information. Stay tuned!

About the HD Digital Radio Alliance

The HD Digital Radio Alliance is a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the successful rollout of HD digital radio. Current members include ABC Radio (in Los Angeles and Minneapolis), Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting, Clear Channel Radio, Cumulus, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media, and Susquehanna.

http://www.ibiquity.com/press/pr/HDAlliance021306.htm

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post #4 of 31 Old 02-18-2006, 12:01 PM
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Thank you AVS Forum for establishing this highly visible new "HD Radio" area on your website. Wonder if you will get any new readers due to "Google" hits? The industry's publicity machine is gearing up with the mass-media. That is how I found about HD Radio in a major metropolitian newspaper. I think it is great to have a place where un-biases commentators can share good and bad news. Thanks again.

(Just a potential consumer) Lionanimal
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post #5 of 31 Old 02-18-2006, 12:34 PM
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Found 17 stations in my market with about half doing multicasting. Great addition to the area, thank you David Bott and the AVS Forum team!

:) :)
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-21-2006, 11:43 PM
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where can i look at schematics of a HD radio to better understand its modulation/demodulation ? the website link i looked at didnt get very technical but i like working on radios/tvs/communications equipment and would be interested in the actual circutry involved.
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post #7 of 31 Old 02-22-2006, 09:59 AM
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I don't think the schematics would mean much. All of the demodulation is done in DSP, I'm sure. They just downconvert the RF to baseband, process the I and Q components in DSP and give a (digital) audio output. All the magic is in the DSP code. understanding COFDM coding/decoding would probably be the most beneficial thing to do.

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post #8 of 31 Old 02-22-2006, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Smith
I don't think the schematics would mean much. All of the demodulation is done in DSP, I'm sure. They just downconvert the RF to baseband, process the I and Q components in DSP and give a (digital) audio output. All the magic is in the DSP code. understanding COFDM coding/decoding would probably be the most beneficial thing to do.

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post #9 of 31 Old 02-23-2006, 04:51 AM
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Man. I love the thought of HD radio. I have an HD Ready Kenwood receiver in my car.... but the tuner is about $400, and I only paid $150 for the Kenwood Receiver. Here are my open questions.

1. When in the world are they going to release some affordable hardware? Home Stereo unit, affordable car tuner?

2. Will HD AM signals have the same inherent weakness to interference to power lines as does Analog AM? Would it be signal dropout instead of noise??

Thanks for creating this thread!!

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post #10 of 31 Old 02-23-2006, 08:37 AM
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“HD digital radio is the hottest thing to happen to consumer entertainment since FM, and HDRadio.com has everything you need to create your digital radio lifestyle," said Peter Ferrara, C.E.O.

Well... everything except a receiver I can afford
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post #11 of 31 Old 02-23-2006, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pduncan
Man. I love the thought of HD radio. I have an HD Ready Kenwood receiver in my car.... but the tuner is about $400, and I only paid $150 for the Kenwood Receiver. Here are my open questions.

1. When in the world are they going to release some affordable hardware? Home Stereo unit, affordable car tuner?

2. Will HD AM signals have the same inherent weakness to interference to power lines as does Analog AM? Would it be signal dropout instead of noise??

Thanks for creating this thread!!
1. There was some hardware introduced at CES that has a better price point. As with everything else, it get's cheaper the more its adopted and the more things start including that technology.

2. Are you reffering to the terrible noise that happen say... when a car passes by or a bird goes overhead? :) Its just about like FM with the noise issue. Once you're "grabbed" the digital signal, and assuming you don't lose the signal, you won't get the noise.
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-23-2006, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknauss
1. There was some hardware introduced at CES that has a better price point. As with everything else, it get's cheaper the more its adopted and the more things start including that technology.

2. Are you reffering to the terrible noise that happen say... when a car passes by or a bird goes overhead? :) Its just about like FM with the noise issue. Once you're "grabbed" the digital signal, and assuming you don't lose the signal, you won't get the noise.
Well..... I'm referring to when you pass over a power line and you get this big HISSSSS until your away from the power line. Anyway, I took the $400 plunge and ordered the HD Tuner for my HD Ready Kenwood... guess well see.

This is actually one of two techologies in it's early stages that really have my eye/ears. HD Radio (I'd love to have that in a surround amp in my living room for less than the $1300 that Yamaha wants...........
and......... #2. ....
SED Televisions. Can't wait for that one to come out. That's gonna be hot!!

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post #13 of 31 Old 02-24-2006, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pduncan
Well..... I'm referring to when you pass over a power line and you get this big HISSSSS until your away from the power line.
You won't hear any of that. The only time you'll get any noise is if your receiver loses the digital signal and fades back to analog. When this happens it will sound especially bad in AM since the analog signal of HD staitons are bandwidth-limited to 5 Khz. At home I have a halogen lamp that buzzes over the strongest AM signals but this doesn't cause any interference with digital AM.

But note: AM stations do not broadcast in HD at night. Interference from distant stations ruins IBOC reception. This is a major major flaw that Ibiquity seems to be ignoring at the moment.

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post #14 of 31 Old 02-25-2006, 06:47 PM
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AM stations don't broadcast at night? What time constitutes "night"? 6pm? 11pm?
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post #15 of 31 Old 02-25-2006, 09:05 PM
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When it's starts to get dark outside. The FCC has a rule for what time some stations have to reduce their power or switch to directional antennas to avoid interfering with remote stations at night. I guess that's when they would want to switch IBOC off. The engineer at my one local AM IBOC station says its coverage is almost nothing when the sun starts to set.

I hope the long term goal is to have stations broadcast pure digital on the center 5 Khz which should eliminate the problem. Realistically, that will require an investment on the scale that television stations went through to broadcast DTV so that's a long long ways off. That's a shame because the difference between AM analog and digital is much more stunning than the difference between FM analog and digital.

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post #16 of 31 Old 02-26-2006, 04:51 PM
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Thanks for the info, that could be a deal breaker: I listen to AM mostly and that's where I need improvement in the broadcast signal. That improvement won't be there for NY Met games that start at 7:35pm! :(
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post #17 of 31 Old 02-28-2006, 04:28 AM
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Well....... I received my HD Receiver yesterday, :) hooked it up ;) and......... nothing, zilch, nada. :eek: Couldn't even pick up one HD station. :mad: I live about 45 miles south of Indy. I drove North toward Indy and I had to go 15 miles North before I could lock into one. So, thanks to Crutchfields generous return policy, they are taking it back.

It's a shame because once I locked into the signal, it was great! Great sound, great clarity, etc, etc. But, I have to say, driving 15 miles away from my home to be able to lock onto the stations is not exactly what I wanted to do! The HD signals in Indy must be at a lot lower power than the Analog Signals.

I noticed what people had been talking about concerning the switch in and out between Digital and Analog. It is annoying at best when your on the fringe. Pretty big lag between the two. It's not seamless by any means.

Maybe I'll try it again in a couple of years when and if the technology really takes off and is refined. If they really get the hook in Home systems, I'll take another look.

People have talked a lot about Satellite radio, but I sure don't want to pay $15 a month for what I'm getting for free now. Did that with cable, already dishing out big buck. Not in the car that much anyway.

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post #18 of 31 Old 02-28-2006, 07:43 PM
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Those who are curious, HD radio is using AAC at about 48kbps. (96k if they don't use the side channels) HD radio injects at about 1/10th the power of the original analog signal. Meaning if the station is 100kW, it only needs 10kW to get as far as the analog carrier.

HD radio also has a few problems, like they've changed the spec about 4 times since being adopted... (fixing issues of delay, improving codec, "tomorrow radio" also known as HD2)

HD radio only fixes a few problems with analog. One big thing is multipath. It doesn't exist in the HD realm.

Those who want to know more, go read propaganda from Omnia, Orban, Harris Broadcast, Broadcast Electronics, and a few other hardware vendors. I have a kenwood reciever, but only because i was doing work for an HD enabled station, and they didn't have any way to monitor it.... HD Radio, unfortunately, i think, is going to not catch and end up in the same position as TV. It's a shame really...

(Also, it costs broadcasters about $200k IF their current hardware is ready to do HD... Not much incentive there for them to buy new TX sets)


Nighttime AM is the thorn in the side as well, there is only 1 station in the US running under an experimental nighttime license. I can't remember who, but it's out east. They're Ibiquity's beta station.
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-01-2006, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pduncan
I noticed what people had been talking about concerning the switch in and out between Digital and Analog. It is annoying at best when your on the fringe. Pretty big lag between the two. It's not seamless by any means.
That's actually something that the stations have to set up properly on their end. It's a pain because they have to delay their analog audio by five or more seconds so some stations aren't bothering with that at this point.

Only one station in my area (the little community college station) has their delay completely botched. Some stations are close and cause a brief echo when digital fades in. Most stations are right on the money and the transition is completely transparent.

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post #20 of 31 Old 03-01-2006, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goobenet
Those who are curious, HD radio is using AAC at about 48kbps. (96k if they don't use the side channels)
I've read that they dumped the AAC codec and are using something called HDC which of course uses some Ibiquity patented technology. I hope Ibiquity focuses on shaking down the broadcasters for the use of this instead of charging by the radio. If not, don't expect cheap HD radios any time soon.

Quote:
HD radio only fixes a few problems with analog. One big thing is multipath. It doesn't exist in the HD realm.
My experience has made me wonder if that's gotten worse! Multipath doesn't exist as it does with FM but instead it exists as it does with ATSC -- dropouts. I work in a metal building downtown surrounded by other metal buildings and some hills. I also have trucks going by my window all day. Several times a day HD reception of the weaker stations (like the 7.5 Kw community college station) will drop to analog for a few seconds and come back. Most of the time it's perfect. The 50-100Kw stations don't have this problem.

At home I'm in a six-mile sweet spot from the radio towers. I'm able to receive every HD station with a one inch wire stuck into the antenna jack. A few of these stations (yes the college stations) were a monophonic mess with this joke of an antenna yet I was still able to pull them all in HD with no dropouts. That makes me suspect I'm having more of a multpath problem at work.

I really wonder if this will be robust enough for car and portable radios.

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post #21 of 31 Old 03-02-2006, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl
I've read that they dumped the AAC codec and are using something called HDC which of course uses some Ibiquity patented technology. I hope Ibiquity focuses on shaking down the broadcasters for the use of this instead of charging by the radio. If not, don't expect cheap HD radios any time soon.
HDC is an "optimized" version of AACPlus, Ibiquity's brainchild. The core is still AAC.

IBOC radio will go the way of AM stereo. I can almost guarentee it. It's too expensive for consumers (a la DTV), and mostly prohibitively (is that a word?) expensive for smaller broadcasters to put on the air. Considering Ibiquity wants royalty fees for broadcasting the technology (upwards of $30-50k/yr), there's very little bennefit there to even think about it. (there are about 3 dozen stations nationwide who had IBOC up and running, and turned it off because it didn't pay for itself)

The only draw to doing IBOC thusfar is that you can run essentially 3 radio stations on your 1 frequency. Thus "doubling" the revenue. The sales team can sell ads on these other 2 sidebands without bumping the ratecard.


Of course, you can't sell what people can't hear. :)
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post #22 of 31 Old 03-02-2006, 02:35 PM
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Is there any reason to think that HD Radio will stay expensive for consumers? The technology to turn a digital signal into audio is just a few dollars.

And if it's so expensive for broadcasters, why are hundreds of stations already broadcasting the stuff? And couldn't FM stations already broadcast one or two SCA's before HD Radio came around?

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post #23 of 31 Old 03-02-2006, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl
Is there any reason to think that HD Radio will stay expensive for consumers? The technology to turn a digital signal into audio is just a few dollars.

And if it's so expensive for broadcasters, why are hundreds of stations already broadcasting the stuff? And couldn't FM stations already broadcast one or two SCA's before HD Radio came around?

HD radio will stay expensive as long as it's not mandated, i'm sure. Once it's mandated to cutover like DTV has been, it'll have to come out of the clouds. "New" tends to stay expensive until there's competition. When there's 4 in the bed, no reason to be competitive... when there's 40, now you've got a game. :)

Hundreds of stations (thousands actually, 1100 or so i've seen according to ibiquity) are already doing HD Radio. They're doing it because of the Ibiquity "Early bird" deal. Reduced royalties for 10 years if you sign up now. That deal is almost dead though. ClearChannel and the like are the driving force, so if they go HD, they set the precident that the world has to like it.

They could broadcast 2 SCA's, usually 1 was like, talking book (blind services) and the other RDS. But remember, they're only allowed a 12% overshot of modulation no matter what. So if RDS takes 10% injection, and so does talking book, that's 20% modulation, which they can only make up 12% of.... It makes them quieter so to speak.... But yes, they could broadcast 2 SCA's. (57Khz, 67Khz and 92Khz usually, 57 is the norm for RDS, the other 2 are available for "other services")
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post #24 of 31 Old 03-03-2006, 11:42 AM
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I've seen so much niche technology (or what was niche technology when I bought it) drop 90% in price over the years, I don't think it will stay expensive for long. There's been no government mandate for MP3 players or digital cameras however they cost less than what CD players and film cameras used to cost. BTW, want a slightly-used 2 megapixel camera? I only paid $800 for it.

I don't see why receiver manufacturers wouldn't mind designing a two dollar chip into their receivers so they can claim "HD Radio" on the box and make their products look better than the other receivers -- there's your competition. This is less technology than what's in the cheapest MP3 player on the market and it's one of the few things that would make a receiver look, and maybe even sound, better than the others.

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post #25 of 31 Old 03-03-2006, 04:04 PM
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The problem with radio is, they seem to always have to recoup R&D costs.... forever. I'm sure there will be a cyberhome equivalent reciever in time, but hell, even the big names are having trouble getting their product to retailers. Harmon Kardon had a nice reciever at NAB a few years ago with HD radio built in, street date of sometime last june... Price was high (about $900 for a mid-grade box), but still not out of the question. HK never made that box, and pretty much has disavowed all knowlege of it even existing. (But i played with it on the show floor in vegas)

Time will tell... I have that same camera by the way. :)
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post #26 of 31 Old 03-03-2006, 05:41 PM
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Another odd thing. The years of experimentation hell with digital television is public knowledge. There's also a lot of good information on Eureka-143. But as far as I can tell, all the tinkering and testing Ibiquity did over the past three or four years is all super-secret. There is this one FCC document but it's mostly "we tested it and it works" with no details. Were there any competing systems? It sounds like Ibiquity had the deal sealed before it even worked.

I do prefer this to how the FCC mishandled AM stereo though.

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post #27 of 31 Old 03-03-2006, 05:58 PM
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Go find documentation about Kinstar am radiators. They're the cats meow when it comes to AM transmission... But again, testing was not quite public, and the FCC really didn't want anything to do with it. (I think the FCC sees the AM band as a waste, hence the push for Broadband over powerlines, which any ham knows will kill AM reception)

Also, when Ibiquity first came to the FCC for approval, it did not pass NRSC testing. So they had to go back to the drafting table... That's when everything got super quiet until they applied for approval again. (As it stands now, they've had to revise the NRSC tests just for Ibiquity, no wonder it didn't pass the first time :) )

Had the FCC been smart and not run by money hungry politicians, Eureka-143 should've been adopted as the "standard" and not Ibiquity's steaming pile of "well, this works"...

It's super secret because they wanted it to be. Someone slept in the same bed as someone high up on the food chain there.


(Also remember that all tuner manufacturers have to pay royalties to Ibiquity as well for each box they sell... This is why you don't see a cyberhome version yet.)
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post #28 of 31 Old 03-14-2006, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goobenet
...
(Also remember that all tuner manufacturers have to pay royalties to Ibiquity as well for each box they sell... This is why you don't see a cyberhome version yet.)
It's the Ibiquity lock on the broadcast technology which gives me pause here, and makes me think that home settop box prices will not drop any time soon. Anyone know how much the royalty is for the tuner manufacturers?
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post #29 of 31 Old 03-15-2006, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgepds
Anyone know how much the royalty is for the tuner manufacturers?
Some people were looking into making PC HD Radio boards and contacted Ibiquity about it. You may not wanna know what the response was...

First, they want $25,000 up front. The royaltiy for each receiver is $6 for anything that retails over $150 and $4 for anything below. If you just want to develop a chip or a board to receive HD Radio, then you still have to pay them $25,000 and you must purchase a development package for $47,500 which includes all of the hardware and software you'll need. They'll charge you a five cent royalty for each chip or board you sell. All of your goods have to go to a manufacturer who's signed the receiver royalty agreement.

Naturally there are two way NDA's and you have to meet with Ibiquity to fill them in on your business plan and they will help you promote your product.

Since HD radio isn't encrypted, I think it's still possible for motivated nerds to reverse-engineer it legally.

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post #30 of 31 Old 03-15-2006, 10:55 PM
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Not encrypted, but does option the broadcast flag. Say hello to our little friend... DRM. :(


Speaking of reverse engineering, since it is QPSK modulated, i wonder if you could take an old run-of-the-mill wegner sat reciever and use it to pick up the carriers... yea, you'd have to hack the **** out of it, but since they talk the same language, it's just a matter of getting it to go into the broadcast frequency...


probably more difficult than it's worth....
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