GM, Toyota Weigh In On Mandatory HD 'Condition'
July 14, 2008 at 5:40 AM (PT)
Two of the nation's top auto manufacturers have weighed in on the proposed merger of SIRIUS and XM radio, writing in opposition to a provision requiring post-union satellite radio receivers to incorporate HD radio technology, reports ARSTECHNICA.COM.
"The proponents of the proposed condition are seeking an unprecedented requirement regulating the choice of entertainment technologies in an automotive environment," a GENERAL MOTORS and TOYOTA exec wrote to the FCC on THURSDAY.
The aforementioned proponents include HD radio investor CLEAR CHANNEL, three U.S. Senators, a host of public radio stations and IBIQUITY, the developer and licenser of HD RADIO. IBIQUITY filed with the FCC on WEDNESDAY, arguing that all interoperable receivers built for the merged entity should include HD reception, with some exceptions. "Only devices that exclude analog AM/FM (satellite-only devices) or devices with a separate satellite control and display should be exempt from the requirement to include HD RADIO technology," an IBIQUITY VP told the agency. As long as consumers see a display that makes terrestrial and satellite radio seem interchangeable, "the condition to include HD RADIO technology should apply," IBIQUITY says.
The proponents of the proposed condition are seeking an unprecedented requirement regulating the choice of entertainment technologies in an automotive environment.
But GM and TOYOTA see the future differently. To their minds, they're the ones most likely to get pushed around by the FCC's final decision on the merger. "HD is already penetrating the automotive sector without a mandate," they write. "Several manufacturers are either currently offering HD or have announced plans to make HD radio standard or optional in future models. Nothing in our companies’ respective agreements with XM inhibits our ability to offer HD RADIO."