One of the most appealing aspects of HD Radio is about to change. In a bad way. The HD2 stations — the stations that use the extra bandwidth left over from a station's main HD Radio feed — have been commercial-free since their inception.
The HD Radio Alliance just announced that they're lifting the three-year ban they had on commercials on the HD2 stations. Until now, all they could do is mention the name of a sponsor.
At a press conference, the restrictions are have been removed, although there are recommendations the stations should follow. These HD2 stations are considered crucial to the success of HD Radio. There has to be more than just better-sounding radio to drive listeners to HD.
What else is happening in the HD Radio world?
The HD Radio Alliance announced that it expects to sell the 1 millionth HD Radio units this year. That's a major milestone for a technology that tends to be stuck on the backburner.
Let's hope the addition of commercials doesn't negatively effect the acceptance of HD Radio. It's such a good technology that needs all the help it can get to gain popularity. —Leslie Shapiro
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