Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New HD Radio Products - CES 2010

What's New In HD Radio On The Go, At Home


By Joseph Palenchar

CES 2010

LAS VEGAS — Here are some of the home and portable radios that dealers will find in the booths of suppliers or in the booth of HD Radio developer iBiquity:

Cydle: The company, an Asian OEM, is bringing out its first branded products, all with FM-only HD Radio and analog FM. The products are an MP3 player, a portable media player (PMP) and a portable navigation device (PND).

The P15 MP3 player features 2GB embedded memory, rechargeable battery, antenna in the headphones and an armband. The P29 PMP features a 2.9-inch capacitive touchscreen, 18 station presets, and a gravity sensor to rotate display automatically into landscape or portrait modes, but only for video viewing. Other features include photo viewer, voice recorder, alarm clock and rechargeable battery. Its target price is $99.

RadioShack Auvio: The retailer's first component HD Radio tuner is a 17-inch-wide component bearing the Auvio house brand and due around International CES time at an expected price of no more than $99 on an everyday basis, iBiquity said. It features digital AM and FM and joins Best Buy's currently available component HD Radio tuner, available under the chain's Insignia house brand.

RadioShack Gigaware: The retailer's second Gigaware HD Radio add-on for iPhones and iPod Touches is an FM-only model like the current model but takes on a different form. The new $69 model consists of a 0.25-inch by 1.5-inch by 1-inch tuner-embedded dongle that snaps directly into the iPhone and Touch multi-pin port. Headphones plug directly into the dongle. All HD Radio controls are accessed via a free downloadable iPod/iPhone app. The only control button on the dongle is an iTunes tagging button.

RadioShack's current $79 add-on consists of a tuner embedded in an in-line navigation controller, which connects via cable to a dongle inserted into the iPhone. A 3.5mm jack on the other side of the controller connects to headphones. It also uses a free downloadable app to control the tuner via the iPod/iPhone touchscreen display.

Both models use the headphone's cable as an FM antenna and feature iTunes tagging.

The new model will ship as soon as it's certified by Apple, iBiquity said.

Sangean: Two headphone-type tuner-only portables, both with HD FM radio, will be the first two HD Radio portables announced with AM tuner. One model features analog AM tuner chip, and the other features analog and digital AM tuner. Both feature LCD displays.

The model with analog AM is available for shipment. Pricing was expected to be $99 or more, iBiquity said. The model with AM HD Radio tuner, due in the fall, will be the first portable with a portable digital AM/FM IC, iBiquity said.

In another development, an HD Radio add-on accessory for iPhones and iPod touches was expected to turn up at the show, joining RadioShack's $79-everyday Gigaware-brand add-on. Both feature FM tuner and iTunes tagging. The accessories company developing the products did not want to publicize the product, however.

Sherwood: The 7x50-watt RD-7405HDR A/V receiver, at a suggested $219.95, features digital AM/FM HD Radio, HD2 and HD3 reception, display of station-broadcast artist and song IDs, 7x50-watt amplification (with no more than 0.1 percent THD into 6 ohms), two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, 30 radio-station presets, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic IIx decoding, 192kHz/24-bit DACs on all channels, and multisource dual-zone capability.

Also at the show, another HD Radio dongle for the iPhone was expected to be displayed by an accessories supplier, but the company did not want to publicize the device.

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