Monday, August 25, 2008

HD radio sucks

I just heard an ad for HD Radio, and consequently looked up the Wikipedia article. Bottom line: it looks very much like iBiquity rigged a sweet deal with the FCC to force everybody who uses HD Radio to license their patents.

Better yet, they're all lined up to sell radio stations gear for transmitting encrypted, subscription-based digital channels.

The biggest problem with all of this is that wireless "spectrum" is like the air we breathe: it's a Public Good and we can't make any more of it. Everybody can benefit from sending and receiving radio waves, and it's obscene how little space the government has made available to you and me. We get tiny little slices of less-valuable parts of the spectrum, and the rest gets divvied up to powerful companies who sell us access to it (cell phone companies, satellite TV), use it to advertise at us (radio and television) or use it internally to their own ends (fleet management, etc.).

Fortunately, Google is trying to educate people about the matter generally, and specifically trying to get public access to the spectrum coming up for grabs when analog TV stations shut off early next year: Free the Airwaves!


Anonymous said...

Yup, HD Radio is nothing but a scam, by iBiquty/HD Alliance, to hijack our free airways, then make us pay through RadioGuard:

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