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Beasley Says Chips in Phones Is The Right Thing to Do

High ranking radio broadcasters have rallied around a single message when it comes to getting FM chips into the fastest growing consumer product on the market..the smartphone. NAB Radio Board Chair Caroline Beasley took that message a step further Tuesday when she said, "it seems like government has a responsibility to provide access to information in an efficient way and that would be putting chips in cell phones." Beasley made that statement while sitting on a panel with two FCC Commissioners, Robert McDowell and Mignon Clyburn (who Beasley is pictured with here). It was followed by a round of loud applause from the audience.

The objective of the radio industry is to get the chips in the phones so that if a cell tower did go down during an emergency, the icon on the phone representing local radio stations would still function on the phone. Not only that but the chip delivery means the stations are not running through an online app (a stream) therefore not using the dwindling data pipes, another sidebar selling point broadcasters are using. Most consumers, these days, do not leave the house without their phones. In fact, it seems, most people do not go anywhere without their cell phones. That scenario appears to be accelerating with the next generation. Teens text each other more than they talk to each other. They share and discover news about their friends through social media, typically on the cell phones.

The Monday announcement of a new HD chip that is smaller and cheaper seems to have given the radio folks some positive momentum. What remains to be seen is whether the carriers, especially AT&T and Verizon give a hoot. And, whether broadcasters can convince carriers to part with that real estate. Most likely, if the carriers believe they can make money from the chip, they will sign on. There are two other key questions about the chip. How many broadcasters really care enough to carry the water? Will those mom and pops delivering the hurricane coverage or the tornado coverage take the time to call their local Senator or Congressman? What else can they do or should they do? Do they even know what they should do? And, finally, does John Q. Public care? Maybe not until an emergency hits and the phone goes dead. And the TV goes dead. And the power goes off.

Beasley's statement about government responsibility was probably fueled by the fact that she had just finished handing out 10 Crystal Awards to radio stations all over the country (listed in the story below). The award recognizes the great work local radio stations do all over the country serving local communities. Nearly every station that took home a trophy said, "this is what we do, we serve our communities." The issue didn't seem to get much of a charge out of the two commissioners on the panel. Commissioner McDowell stated as "handsets evolve, consumers are demanding thinner and smaller. The real estate is quite a battlefield and there is a limited amount of space. Perhaps a little reading between the lines...this thing is being fueled by the radio industry, not the consumer.




(4/22/2012 10:13:27 AM)
@saul levine: Explain why Volvo and BMW have oustanding Technical Service Bulletins against HD Radio. Here is their trouble-shooting guide:

http://tinyurl.com/cwb5x9

Struble's kludge has far too many flaws, and will never work nearly as well as analog. Struble duped all of you!

- HDRadioFarce
(4/19/2012 3:27:51 PM)
KKGO FM, LOS ANGELES, HAS OFFERED HD PROGRAMMING FOR SEVERAL YEARS, AND WE
ARE VERY HAPPY WITH THE SERVICE, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADD TWO ADDITIONAL
FM QUALITY PROGRAMS TO TWELVE MILLION
POTENTIAL LISTENERS. HD WORKS VERY WELL AND THE AUDIO QUALITY IS OUTSTANDING. I RECALL
THAT ANALOGUE FM RADIO INITIALLY HAD SOME
TECHNICAL FLAWS WHICH WERE EVENTUALLY
RESOLVED.

- saul levine
(4/18/2012 1:39:53 PM)
What about chips for AM radio in cell phones?

- Rick Crandall
(4/18/2012 11:18:53 AM)
How many of you own an Android smartphone? Most Android phones already come with a built-in FM tuner (all of mine have). Did you even know that? If so, how often do you use it? Perfect illustration of how important the FM-in-phone issue really is.

- Bill Goldsmith
(4/18/2012 2:48:12 AM)
Don't people have portable battery powered radios, anymore? There are 100s of millions of analog radios.

- Me

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