New Zune Player Will Include HD Radio Receiver
May 27, 2009 at 5:30 AM (PT)
MICROSOFT is launching a new ZUNE music player, with some good news for radio -- as the player will include a built-in HD RADIO receiver. Available in the U.S. this FALL, ZUNE HD is the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD RADIO receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser.
ZUNE will extend its video service to XBOX LIVE internationally this FALL. This marks an interesting development in the ZUNE strategy and brings the ZUNE brand to more than 17 million international XBOX LIVE subscribers.
On behalf of radio broadcasters across the country, NAB applauds Microsoft for recognizing the value of free, local radio.
"The ZUNE music player is an integral part of the overall ZUNE experience, and we're proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device," said MICROSOFT TV, Video and Music Business Group VP ENRIQUE RODRIGUEZ. "Delivering on MICROSOFT's connected entertainment vision, this news marks a turning point for ZUNE as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world."
Radio Execs Are Pleased
Leaders of the radio broadcasting industry were quick to congratulate MICROSOFT on its vision in featuring digital radio technology in its groundbreaking personal entertainment product.
"On behalf of radio broadcasters across the country, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS (NAB) applauds MICROSOFT for recognizing the value of free, local radio," said NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON. "Today's announcement gives America's 235 million weekly radio listeners yet another platform to enjoy our free service, and it uniquely positions the ZUNE HD at the forefront of entertainment products."
CLEAR CHANNEL CEO MARK MAYS said, "Congratulations to MICROSOFT for continuing its commitment to give consumers their favorite source of music, news, sports and talk programming: radio. We are particularly enthusiastic about the company's commitment to state-of-the-art radio technology: the HD Radio system, which is now virtually standard across the country."
CBS RADIO CEO DAN MASON added, "Again, MICROSOFT is demonstrating its leadership in consumer products by including HD Radio technology in its ZUNE HD. Across the country, creative programmers are designing innovative programming for over 1,000 new HD2 and HD3 channels, which are only available to HD Radio receivers. This will be a popular feature this fall when the product becomes available."
EMMIS Pres./CEO JEFF SMULYAN commented, "With digital HD Radio technology, the concept of what is 'radio' is evolving. Now, the technology will be seamlessly integrated into the ZUNE HD users' basic experience of their portable device."