Lost in Transmission
Beasly's DeMuth says he went to a local Circuit City and couldn't find digital radio, though on the retailer's Web site, there was information about it. He believes, though, that there will be more products on the shelves this year, and in the fourth quarter, he plans to visit after-market retailers in different areas to see who is carrying it. Depending on what he finds DeMuth plans to try and develop cross-promotions with retailers.
How prolific HD Radios will be in the coming year is in question. With so few stations actually providing digital broadcasts and low consumer awareness, few manufacturers have been releasing product.
"We've gone through most of our mobile audio line and made them compatible with HD Radio tuners," says Michael Bergman, vice president of new technology for Kenwood. The company has been one of the most committed, introducing an external HD Radio receiver that it began shipping this year. Kenwood is also working on an integrated head unit that also is able to receive Sirius Satellite Radio's "pay-for-radio" service. Bergman said that product is not yet ready to ship, but is expected "imminently."