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Old school Radio makes a move to Digital

In a move to combat the growing threat from satellite radio, iPods and internet, the radio industry has formed an alliance to step up the rollout of digital radio.

Speaking on Tuesday at the launch of the new alliance called the HD Digital Radio Alliance, top radio executives said that the aim of the new alliance is to offer newer and interesting content using “high-definition” digital radio technology minuses the static, hiss and fades associated with analog radio signals.

Although the HD radio is free, listeners have to buy expensive digital receivers; currently out of more than 10,000 radio stations in US only 600 offer digital broadcast.

With at least seven radio companies onboard including radio giants Clear Channel Communications Inc. and Viacom Inc.’s Infinity — the alliance hopes to bring down the price of digital receivers as the service becomes popular.

Further the group will also coordinate the rollout of HD digital radio, which also includes the allocation of airing programs on new “multicast” channels. Multicasting offers radio companies to split up the frequencies into niche channels to offer alternate programming.

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