FCC launches inquiry for HD Radio mandate - Orbitcast

FCC launches inquiry for HD Radio mandate

Kevin MartinThe Sirius XM merger may be over, but there's still many loose ends that need to be tied up. One of those is the mandate to include HD Radio chips in satellite radios.

And the Commission has launched its official Notice of Inquiry on the matter.

The FCC is taking comments (under docket # 08-172) about whether to require HD Radio or any other audio technologies to be incorporated into all satellite radio receivers and/or whether to require SDARS or any other audio technologies to be incorporated into all HD Radio receivers. A bit of tit-for-tat.

The Commission also wants to understand the impact on reception and how much it would cost manufacturers, auto manufacturers and - ultimately - consumers.

Sirius XM argue iBiquity's $15 per radio fee is unrealistically low, while Pioneer has said the mandate would "unnecessarily increase costs to consumers uninterested in HD Radio."


Ibiquity's attempts at forcing themselves where they do not belong is going beyond infuriating. They helped to delay the merger, and now the FCC is taking up an issue that they may not have the legal authority to enforce, should they decide in Ibiquity's favor.

Why anyone would want HD radio is beyond me. While the same station can play numerous artists at the same time, they still have a major issue they will never overcome: INANE COMMERCIALS, the main reason I went to Sirius in the first place.
Doesnt the FCC have better things to do with their time? I am becoming curious as to just how are the powers that be behind Ibiquity, anyway.

Here is hoping that the NAB is forced to pay royalties, as Sirius does, as does just about every other music provider out there.

Wasn't the whole point of this exercise to make things better for customers? Who's crackhead idea is this? If I wanted HDRadio, I'd buy one. If I want an AM/FM, I'll buy one. Do NOT make me pay for crap I do not want.

Wasn't the whole point of "a la carte" the complete opposite of this thinking?


Remember the good old days?


Speaking as someone who has 3 HD radios and 5 satellite radios, I don't want HD to be a mandatory part of a satellite receiver.

What is the NAB *really* trying to do here? They're trying to get AM and FM in everywhere there's a satellite receiver. (I, for example, hardly ever use the FM radio in my car, and I don't even have one in my room at home, but the XM is on - a lot!)

At first, it seems like a great idea... "just throw it in," you say. But think about it: HD radio includes all the hardware and overhead of an AM and FM receiver, because it IS an AM/FM receiver. All HD rigs can also receive analog. That would mean that my XM box suddenly becomes an AM/FM/XM box - with all the attendant problems of terrestrial radio reception: you need an antenna, you need all the parts to go along with it, and this nice, compact receiver just doubled in size.

If the NAB really wants HD to be accepted, they need to target the right set of manufacturers. First, HD should be a free standard, just like the current AM and FM standards are. Then they can sell the chips to all the manufacturers of car stereos and home stereo systems.

It just doesn't make any sense to include HD in satellite systems, but it makes a heck of a lot of sense to include it with every new AM/FM radio. That's what it really IS, and that's where it belongs.

Why aren't terrestrial receivers required to be Satellite radio capable? Besides,who the hell wants HD radio anyway? I hope people don't think that HD stands for high definition radio.

I think that making this a requirement will only hurt satellite radio rather then be any good. I DONT want any HD chips in my satellite radio receiver. Part of the reason I got satellite radio was to get AWAY from XM.

I just sent a letter to the FCC, and you can too!

The URL is in that PDF, near the end. It's well worth it to make your voice known; the FCC really does consider our opinions when making these decisions.

What I sent, in brief, is this: putting an HD Radio inside an XM radio makes no sense. HD radios are still too big and expensive. However, what the FCC SHOULD require is that every radio that has speakers also has an aux-in jack, so that we can plug in our HD or satellite receivers without having to use an FM modulator. I will not even buy a radio any more that doesn't have an aux-in port. It's just that important.

I don't care if they require them in automobiles.

I do care very much about portable radios. The HD chip is a power pig & it is large. It would make something like an Inno or Stiletto a ridiculous piece of trash that no one would want.

TomXP411: I doubt the FCC has the authority to require an AUX IN jack but it sure is a good idea. You would think that any electronics manufacturer would want to include this very useful feature that probably would only cost them a few pennies.

Yes I will send the FCC my opinion.....but I don't believe that the public comment window is open yet.

How can they say that they are pro-consumer on one hand and yet make me pay extra for a service that I'm not going to order???? The payoffs keep flowing!

No, no, no, no, no, and no. If I wanted HD Radio, I would've bought an HD Radio, and not a satellite radio. I don't want it. I don't care about it. And if it ends up being FORCED upon me, resulting in a price increase of the satellite radio hardware, I will be pissed off beyond belief.

Given that satellite radio receiver development is now "open", if a receiver manufacturer wants to put an HD Radio chip into their satellite radio, more power to them. There are plenty of other companies that will likely make them without HD Radio chips.

Leave it up to the manufacturers to include, if they see fit to do so.

You gotta be kidding me. On what grounds should they force sirius xm to include HD radio receivers?! That is complete bs, and unamerican even! Maybe target should include ads for Walmart in its stores.

Listen to all you crybabies. What happened to the "this is a luxury, if you don't like it you can just cancel" tough talk during the merger? Well, if you don't like an HD chip cancel your SDARS service. You wanted the merger, you got it along with higher monthly fees, duplicate channels, massive losses in stock price and now HD radio chipsets in your hardware. Great, good job. We're paying for it, you eat it.

Do my taxes pay for these guys just to sit around and think of people to go after? What a waste of taxpayers money.

"FCC Issues Notice Of Inquiry RE: Hd Radio Inclusion In SDARS"

"The full Notice of Inquiry indicates what will inevitably be a very protracted undertaking that may make the Sirius XM merger look like it was fast-tracked. One of my biggest issues in the merger process was that I questioned the authority of the FCC to mandate such a communistic idea as HD inclusion. One of the most noteworthy comments in briefly reading the NOI, is that the commission seeks comment on whether the Commission has the jurisdiction to mandate the inclusion of HD Radio, SDARS, or any other audio technology in receivers."


Obviously, an HD Radio mandate would help with HD getting in-dash, but would drive up the cost and lower the performance of Satrad receivers. Ironically, the FCC may consider that all HD radios include Satrad - this would be very bad news for HD, as the cost and complexity of HD radios would go up dramatically and would hinder the HD transition without simple $20 HD pocket-type radios, as HD Radio would forever be positioned with Satrad. I'de like to see Satrad receivers with whip antennas and 2 to 5 hours of battery life. Besides, the HD chipsets are 1" x 1" - good luck getting that into the Stiletto. The FCC doesn't even know if they have the authority to make such a mandate - this was never an agreed upon Satad merger concession.

The HD chipsets are having major power and reliability issues, so I see this as a train wreck waiting to happen:


Given the extremely litigious history of iBiquity, the FCC may be just stroking the NAB/iBiquity/HD Alliance. Hope, that all of those visits from the FCC helps to squash the HD Radio farce.

While they are at it, I think that all iPods should have Jenna Jameson's mouth installed to blow me while I listen to my tunes.

C'mon, guys....you can't shove FM/HD down the consumer's throats! If you do, then it should be a two-way street...all HD radios must have XM/Sirius chips.

Goodie, another opportunity for the inept FCC to fuck something us. Expect a decision in 2013 after 42 hearings. What assholes.

I do not believe that HD Radio should ever be mandated. I live in rural IL and the closest HD Radio stations (besides the 2 university pubic radio stations) are 2.5 hrs away in STL. To me, HD radio needs to be better explained to the general public. Many people think it is just like over the air HD TV and it is not. HD Radio is one freakin company tryin to make money by calling its product HD. Common the FCC needs to tell ibiquity to lower their prices before a mandate is ever put into place. And if this mandate is aproved then the FCC needs to require HD Radio's to have Sirius XM dual compatability!!!

No Nate, your taxes go to bailing out 2 fiscally irresponsible struggling satellite radio companies rather than allowing the free market to operate.

PFreak | August 28, 2008 3:54 PM | Reply

"No Nate, your taxes go to bailing out 2 fiscally irresponsible struggling satellite radio companies rather than allowing the free market to operate."

No, PFreak, your taxes have gone to support the HD Radio farce:

"The Wonderful World of HD Radio"

"Perhaps it is because it is the American Public that has been paying a large portion of the development costs for HD radio? Yup, that is you and I. An FCC filing from North Carolina’s Public Radio Stations cites: Just a few weeks ago, the House Appropriations Committee approved an additional $40 million to assist public radio stations’ transition to HD radio technology.”


This is NUTS HD does not work worth a Dam.


If I want to purchase an HD radio I'll do it like I did with Sirius, instead of being forced to purchase an HD that's hidden in my satellite receiver. A handful of radio geeks bought HD radios and were/are dissatisfied with the technology, commercials, lack of content, etc. I don't use geeks as a pejorative. I was a DXer for many years. Outside of your agenda, why should SiriusXM and its consumers shoulder the cost of this non-service? You suggest it as a punishment for the merger. The merger is done.

I find all of this investment by terrestrial radio into a guaranteed loser, very strange. With the exception of a couple of one-note guys who have an agenda on this board, and have an orgasm every time they see HD radio in print. You do see it in print, but you likely won't hear it and the FCC won't force Satellite radio's to be HD ready. All radios might have the Aux switch, but you're not going to force one industry to pay for another's "profit-making" device: the great HD radio. It would be like compelling CBS or Citadel radio to build SiriusXM/AMFM receivers. Rememeber: There are secret frequencies being broadcast. If you stand on your roof with tin foil, a key, and some copper wire during a Southeast Wind, there's a great 70's dance station with 25 minutes of commercials per hour. Wait, that's a Pirate station operating out of Brooklyn, or is it HD. Who can tell?