Brian says in his comment to my earlier “HD Radio Is Coming” post that he wants HC Radio, not HD Radio.
He says that HC stands for High Choice, meaning more programming.
Brian is dead right. Sound quality is way better in HD Radio, but programming choice may be the ultimate value proposition.
What many people don’t know is that the FM digital signal can be broken into many more streams and FM stations may begin to offer multiple audio streams on a single FM channel.
NPR calls this Tomorrow Radio and they’ve put a lot of information out into the public domain about it. I think this description of the technology on Crutchfield’s site is one of the best descriptions.
Multiple audio programming streams on a single FM channel is not limited to NPR stations. I bet we’ll see some interesting stuff develop in this area over the next couple years as HD radios start to penetrate the market.