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Trade In Old Radios for HD Radios on eBay Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 October 2005
iBiquity, the company behind digital high-definition radio, has launched a trade-in program on eBay. Owners of traditional analog radio sets can use an estimator on the website to determine the value of their current radio and print a pre-paid shipping label to send the radio to the trade-in center. However participants in the program will only receive a check once they actually submit proof of purchase of a new HD Radio product (purchased on eBay or any other retailer). Those who complete the trade by January 31, 2006 will also be eligible for a $20.00 mail-in rebate. HD Radio’s In-Band On-Channel (IBOC) technology allows broadcasters to transmit digital audio and data alongside analog AM/FM signals. iBiquity claims this helps reduce interference and eliminate static and hisses heard on traditional radio broadcasts, delivering CD-quality audio in its place. Since the technology allows other forms of data to be sent along, HD Radio can also deliver song information or the news and weather to an HD radio set. Furthermore, stations can make better use of bandwidth by multicasting, which involves adding side-channels to complement the main-channel programming.

So far consumer adoption of HD Radio has been painfully slow. iBiquity announced in September that over 500 stations are broadcasting with its technology and another 2,500 are in the process of converting, but how many people do you know are actually listening? Most consumers are looking to add satellite radio to their cars despite subscription fees. The upgrade program on eBay makes HD Radio more accessible to those who are interested enough to seek out HD Radio on their own but it is not likely to drive mass adoption. That should come once carmakers start offering HD Radio receivers factory-installed – BMW is set to be the first to give buyers that option in 2006.

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