CES 2017: HD Radio Gets A DTS Spotlight


LAS VEGAS, NEV. — The future of the radio industry could very well have been on display at Booth 5625 in the Las Vegas Conference Center’s North Hall during the just-concluded CES 2017 global tech conference.

That’s where HD Radio and the latest in broadcast technology got their close-up, with Tessera-owned DTS promoting the strengths of its in-band, on-channel minimal-interference signals — and no subscription fees, a swipe not only at Sirius XM but also at the multitude of streaming media platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and now iHeartMedia that have emerged since IBOC first came to light nearly two decades ago.

As 2017 unfolds, the HD Radio ecosystem includes every one of the 36 auto brands available in North America and more than 200 vehicle models, including 34 model year 2017 cars.

In addition, upwards of 2,300 radio stations have converted to using HD Radio broadcast technology, including 98 of the top 100 billing stations in the top 10 U.S. markets.

On display at CES 2017 were new HD Radio implementations from Jaguar, Dodge, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Subaru. Also shared were some of the newest HD Radio data implementations from partners Total Traffic Network and the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium.

The latest HD Radio products for the home, and on the go, were also shared from a host of manufacturers, including Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, Clarion, Sony, Denon, Outlaw, ViewQuest, Sangean, and Garmin.

Perhaps of more interest to the tech-savvy crowd was DTS’s demonstration of its Connected Radio platform. This combines over-the-air FM radio with IP-delivered content to provide consumers with a more rich radio experience.

The global Connected Radio platform aims to provide a range of new features and services, leveraging the existing radio capabilities in a car, and supplementing it with relevant content related to what is playing over the air.

Connected Radio is currently being prototyped with a number of global OEM automobile manufacturer partners.

On display for CES attendees in the Convention Center’s Central Hall: a concept demo of DTS’s Hi-Resolution Audio, which highlights the latest audio content experience for the connected vehicle. The demo was designed to promote the notion that radio remains the most common way people discover new music in the U.S. Quality and convenience were also promoted.

However, DTS may be getting more attention from the consumer press for “sexier” technology rollouts shown at CES 2017 — including its DTS Play-Fi technology. This gives listeners the freedom and flexibility to stream their music wirelessly “in high-quality lossless audio” from smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop PCs over an existing home Wi-Fi network to speakers throughout the home.

DTS Play-Fi technology enables multi-room wireless audio streaming from music services including Amazon Prime Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, KKBox, Napster, Qobuz, QQ Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify and Tidal, in addition to thousands of Internet radio stations and personal music libraries.