Can Sony Make HD Radio A Winner?

This does it.

Now consumers are now going to rush out and buy new HD radios.

Sony just announced it is planning to sell a table-top radio. AM/FM/HD, clock with sleep timer and alarm, wireless remote and auxiliary input jack. Store 20 AM and 20 FM stations. Your low-low price: 200 bucks.

Question: when was the last time you spent $200 for a table-top clock radio? What locale will have to freeze over before you pay it now? Can you think of 20 AM and 20 FM stations you'd like to store in its memory? Or any memory? Your memory? Are there 20 AM and FM stations in the entire nation worth storing in memory. Hey, the input jack is neat.

But wait, there's more.

Sony is also planning to offer an HD car radio tuner that connects through the Sony head unit's bus interface. You can see the artist names and song titles along with the station just like satellite radio. Just $100.

Question: when was the last time you installed an after-market radio in your car? How about now -- did after-market suddenly get any better? Do you really want to see the artists and songs from HD stations when you can have the same thing on a satellite radio? Oh, the price, I forgot. Well, you get what you pay for, I guess.

I'd like to think Sony, the company that brought us Walkman and Trinitron knows what it is doing. Let's forget about the record business and their attempt to manufacture an MP3 player that the iPod destroyed.

Sony is crazy and the radio industry is crazier to think this is going to help their HD problem.

Hello! There's no good programming on HD. Hell, there's no programming -- forget good.

No one wants to own an HD radio let alone listen to one. They're not exactly flying off the shelf of Radio Shack or Best Buy. Wal-Mart is going to prove again why it has lost the Midas touch with its decision to sell HD radio. Now Sony is going to embarrass itself in front of everyone. Have they forgotten the legacy of the Walkman?

Hello! Not even old people want to own HD radios and I'm telling you -- don't put them in the school stores on college campuses unless you want to use them to teach the next generation how to dust (not a bad idea, by the way).

Let me see if I get this right.

The next generation doesn't listen to radio as much as it does their iPods, cellphones and Internet streams. Right? They laugh at the thought that anyone believes creating more radio stations is a good business decision (to target them).

Even radio lovers like Baby Boomers don't want to fork out the money for HD -- not even to hear the shell of a format previously known as WCBS-FM's oldies station relegated to HD2 status in New York. That's in New York City -- the nations biggest city.

Radio Shack can't sell them and they've been trying the longest.

Best Buy can't move them, either.

Wal-Mart, the company that just admitted that selling designer clothes was a mistake, is the next genius retailer to have this flash of brilliance. (They could have asked me -- or how about anyone if selling designer clothes in Wal-Mart would work, by the way).

Sony, the once mighty audio and video manufacturer, is now riding in on its horse and yelling, "Sony to the rescue".

Oh, and even the radio station owners don't believe in HD enough to spend any money on content. What's on HD is cheap and generally sounds cheap. Even the moniker "HD2" says second rate. Did you ever like being "number two"? If so, well ... I won't go there.

So, the old consumers don't want HD.

Young consumers think the concept is laughable.

Big retailers can't sell it.

And radio companies won't invest in it.

Sounds like a winner to me.

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