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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

Pushing Radio to Consumers

I just finished a long weekend trip. I had a rental car this time, so I had the fun of setting up the radio so it was listenable before I left the lot. (Who turns the bass all the way down and the treble all the way up?) This radio included Sirius as well. I don’t subscribe to sat radio, so it was a good chance to check it out again.

I have always liked the depth of programming on many of the channels. It’s a nice change, but I don’t drive enough to justify paying the monthly fee for the service. Plus, I can’t stand the audio encoding. All that swishing of the encoder drives me crazy.

But this is not rant about the evils of sat radio.

While I was driving, I tuned around the FM band. I was in three medium-sized markets on my trip, so I had time to sample lots of stations.

What surprised me was that the car radio had a graphic display for Sirius, but it did not have RBDS. I saw a large numeric display of the frequency, but nothing more. That disappointed me. RBDS is far from a new technology; why isn’t it in every car radio receiver?

While I missed not having RBDS, the fact that satellite radio was included made me think that it would have been nice to have HD Radio available. What great way to introduce consumers to the newest terrestrial radio technology.

This car radio had an auxiliary input jack and a USB power jack. I could have bypassed radio altogether and listened to my media player if I wanted to.

Again, terrestrial radio is missing a huge opportunity to show consumers what is available.

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