Interesting story in the 7/8/2008 USA Today about “digital radio” in cars. Seems that Hyundai’s new Genesis Sedan and several Volvos will soon have an HD Radio as STANDARD equipment. Very cool. If more car companies begin incorporating HD as STANDARD…life would be happy happy joy joy.
My experience with automotive HD is probably not a typical experience for “real auto-radio consumers”. Being a radio insider qualifies me as (and I quote) “that wise-guy over there who claims to have a knack for knowing just what the HD thing is”. Accordingly, when I placed an order for a BMW X5 last November, I specifically ordered the HD Radio Option. ($500…certainly NOT standard equipment.) My car salesman mistakenly commented that HD was the “Satellite Radio thing”. When I corrected him, he then thought HD was “the surround sound thing”. I had to give him a little primer on just what HD actually is. While I was delivering my best “HD Radio Is Not Satellite Speech”, he was pretending to listen but was actually thinking about…potato chips…I think. Several months later when the car was delivered, I had to do a quick Self-Zen-Instruction on how to operate in the HD mode since no one at the dealer had the slightest clue.
You see where I’m going with this. The people who should “get it”…don’t. We all know why this is, (we insiders have a “knack for knowing” remember?) Hopefully the automobile marketing department(s) will be able to explain it so their customers (drivers) understand it and actually (gasp) listen to HD. I hope Hyundai and Volvo “HDfamiliarize” (new word) their employees. If not, maybe we “know it all” radio people should go bring them up to speed. Go Kick some HD Radio tires so-to-speak. Or at the very least share some Potato Chips.
USA Today also has TWO other articles in the same paper about HD Radio in General. One good…one not so good. But crucial publicity non the less.