Radio Station Gives HD A Spin

1 decade 11 months 6 days ago Thursday, July 19 2007 Jul 19, 2007 Thursday, July 19, 2007 6:17:07 PM CDT July 19, 2007 in News

Listeners of radio station KBIA got a big surprise when they turned on their radios this morning. For one day only, the station switched its regular programing with the programing that's usually on its High Definition, or HD, channel.

HD radio promises better quality audio -- like HD TV promises to viewers in terms of better quality images. KBIA says it's the next generation of radio, but listeners are giving some static over the price.

KBIA launched its HD channel in May 2005 and gave customers the chance to try it out today.

Roger Karwoski, assistant manager and cheir engineer for KBIA, said the radio station ran HD radio today for listeners to "allow them a time to kind of sample the extra programing available." Listeners could get HD programing on their analog radios, but to get the programing on a regular basis listners must invest in digital receivers.

"It's like when we switched from AM and added FM capabilities," Karwoski said. "You still have AM radio stations, but if you wanted FM station then you bought a new radio." But with only one HD station in Mid-Missouri, HD just isn't selling.

Cost is an issue when potential car buyers look at adding an HD radio, car salesman Kevin Osborne said.

"We don't sell very many due to the fact that it being a $500 option and there's not enough radio stations locally that support HD," Osborne said.

But the price of radios continues to drop.  

"When we started this two years ago they were like 500 dollars but already they've dropped," Karwoski said. "They had a promotion going on just recently where you could buy a radio for $70."

Best buy in Columbia offers three HD radios.

"It's kind of a baby, so it needs to grow, and once I think it grows it will start taking off," Best Buy salesman Kevin Walk said.

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