Monday, April 14, 2008

NAB: Portable HD Radio

HD Radio (iBiquity) has a fairly large booth in the north hall this year. In it they have two dozen HD tuners set up (nice!).

Unfortunately the only "portable" tuner isn't very good. It's not a walkman-style tuner, but more a fairly easy to carry battery powered little box. However, I fiddled with it for about three solid minutes and couldn't figure out how just to TUNE the damn thing.

That's pretty bad user interface design. :-(

2 comments:

PocketRadio said...

"HD Radio"

"Until now, portable HD Radio receivers have been unavailable because the chipsets needed by this technology required too much power to be practical for a battery-operated device. However, in January 2008 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas iBiquity unveiled a prototype of a new iPod-sized portable receiver. It is based on a new chipset developed by Samsung. Although portable, it is still a relatively power-hungry device (it will run on an average set of alkaline batteries in about two hours, according to an iBiquity engineer)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio

"Sirius Satellite Radio"

"Sirius Stiletto 100 - the first portable Sirius radio that allows subscribers to listen to live Sirius programming... The unit's batteries give the user approximately 30 hours of life."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius_Satellite_Radio

Good-luck with "portable" HD Radio.

Aaron Read said...

The first "portable" CD players also burned through a pair of AA alkaline batteries in about two hours (at most), too.

I wouldn't count out portable HD Radio based on battery life alone.

By the way, I learned later that the unit in question was indeed a prototype and it was broken. All well and good, but if that's the case it shouldn't have been out on display at all. Or at least it shouldn't have been left unplugged and had a small sign that said "nonfunctioning demo" on it. There's nothing wrong with that; it gives an idea of what the ultimate product will look like and how much it weighs. But to have no indication on it at all was pretty unforgivable in my book.