- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2007

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford said yesterday that it plans to make HD digital radio available on nearly every 2008 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle as a dealer-installed option, giving motorists improved reception and more radio content.

Using digital signals, HD radio provides better reception and CD-quality sound on FM stations and FM-quality sound on AM stations. The format also provides more than one radio broadcast on a single channel, providing listeners with more music and talk.

More than 1,500 radio stations in the United States already broadcast in this hybrid digital format.

Ford Motor Co. — which has rolled out Sync, its in-vehicle communication and entertainment system developed with Microsoft Corp. — said HD radio would offer another new entertainment option sought by tech-savvy consumers.

“We’re trying to stay right on top of that and be on trend and have the items available when they’re ready for the consumer,” said Roger Sears, Ford’s license accessory manager.

The option will be available for about $279 for standard HD radio, or $299 for HD radio with IPod compatibility, Mr. Sears said. There is no monthly subscription fee, and the installation will take about 30 minutes and cost $40 to $50, he said.

Owners of most vehicles built from 2005 to 2007 will be able to have HD radio installed on their vehicles, Mr. Sears said.

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