Monday, March 06, 2006

Sirius HD Radio admits Major trouble with dashboard

HD Digital Radio Alliance CEO Peter Ferrara said Friday at the R&R Talk Radio Seminar in Washington, DC that the lucrative deals both XM and Sirius struck with automakers to get their receivers installed in new vehicles are hurting the ability of broadcasters to convince automakers to start installing HD Radio receivers in their line of models.

"Detroit is a problem," Ferrara said during the session, which focused on new technologies including HD Radio, Internet streaming and podcasting. "We've got a long way to go, but now we have their attention. And they recognize that broadcasters are behind it. The alliance has helped. Discussions with Detroit are moving forward."

iBiquity CFO Pat Walsh added that as consumers become more aware of HD Radio — a technology his company developed — prices for the receivers will come down. "We have watched this happen before," Walsh said, noting that early Sirius and XM receivers were pricey but eventually came down to more affordable levels. "The magic of consumer demand drives down the price, and we are just at just the beginning of the curve," he said. "Consumers will learn it and get it over time."

Walsh also urged broadcasters to seize the opportunity to jump onto the digital bandwagon, saying, "There is a huge opportunity here to take your content into the digital world. HD Radio gives you a platform to compete with these other technologies."

— Joe Howard, R&R Washington Bureau Chief



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