Monday, September 08, 2014

GM pulling HD Radio?

I declared HD radio DOA years ago. Strangely it's carcass refuses to turn over. It was only in 2012 that I became absolutely certain. At the Radio Ink Convergence conference the word was that "AM and FM are being eliminated from the dash of two car companies within two years and will be eliminated from the dash of all cars within five years."  That was pretty decisive. Radio HD or otherwise was a dinosaur.

The expectation by most parties was that streaming services would eat radio alive. Pandora, Spotify, and TuneIn, iHeart, Beats Music, MOG, Napster, Mixcloud, WiMP, Sound Cloud, Hype Machine, Rdio.. and so many others are better able to get into a niche market than broadcast radio. Far better actually, many can be curated for the personal tastes of an individual. Radio cannot do that.But despite the announcements or 2 and 3 years ago I had not found my car dashboard to have changed much. But just a couple weeks ago there was a little side story on Inside Radio. Technology issues have forced General Motors to temporary pull HD Radio out of some GM cars.
"As for the other Chevrolet models that are seeing digital radio disappear in 2015 models, engineers are working to get it back into those cars as quickly as possible. But with the car industry’s 12 to 18 month manufacturing lead time, it could mean the issue will stretch into the 2016 model year. GM has been mum so far about its problem, but the Cadillac announcement may ease fears that the auto industry is rethinking its digital radio strategy."
But then just 6 days ago Radio World covered a related story.  GM removed HD from five 2015 models. Consumers still get really irritated about the pauses when switching batch and forth between analog and digital. So for at least a full year the following models will not have HD radios: the Chevy Traverse, Chevy Silverado truck, Buick Enclave and Regal and the Chevy Impala. But in most of those cases they are offering streaming (G4/LTE) connections.

Ibiquity of course offered the same benign press release dismissing the changes as a speed bump and reminding us that HD Radio is now available in 177 models...