- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Mark A. Kellner’s recent column about HD Radio (“Much more with HD radio,” Technology, Wednesday) doesn’t do justice to the capabilities of the technology. HD Radios are being offered and installed as optional equipment in cars and other vehicles. More important, the two HD Radio sidebands on each frequency can be used to broadcast traffic graphics on one and weather graphics on the other for display in cars and boats as well as on computers.

The 1610 through 1710 kHz frequencies on the AM band are reserved for traffic information. These should be used to broadcast HR Radio with voice on the central portion as is done now; traffic graphics and weather graphics should be included on the sidebands simultaneously.

It would be even better to set aside frequencies on the ends of the FM broadcast band like the Federal Communications Commission has done for the AM band to ensure higher quality reception. The FM system should be much like the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) continuous weather broadcast and its emergency alert system, of which there are nearly 500 stations in the U.S.

HD Radio system technology, since it’s digital, should be designed as a national emergency alert and warning system, much like the NWR system is now, only with much greater compatibilities. HD Radio should be placed in schools, businesses and other public places.

HD Radio could help protect life and property while also helping to reduce traffic congestion. Then, the current NOAA-WR system could be used to provide other digital data for specialized uses.

G. STANLEY DOORE

Silver Spring

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