On shopping for an HD Radio….


Yesterday I was in the neighborhood of Austin’s huge electronics store, Fry’s, so I had to stop in.  In it they sell everything from refrigerators to alligator clips.  It’s so big they’ve put a restaurant in the middle of it.  I forgot to count, but there must be 50+ checkout stations.

As I wandered the aisles, I thought it might be interesting to see what they had done for HD radio.  I asked for directions to the display of freestanding HD radios.  There was no display.  There was one radio, an off-brand, at $199.  The salesman said there was a Sony somewhere, “but it was more of an Ipod dock.”  When I picked up the control to try to find an HD station to hear it, he said, “reception in here is really bad.”  I extended the FM antenna which seemed to help.  I got two stations before I gave up.  This little “Sangean?” radio has two 4? inch speakers, and when the tone control preset was set to flat, it sounded terrible.

How many millions of dollars in ads have been used to shill this technology?

Successful marketers BOSE had several end cap displays, for headphones, home theater, and Ipod dock.  Very simple – push a button and the demo starts.  That’s what HD should have. 

–Bob Wood