In what is believed to be Canada's first IBOC-based HD Radio station, a fair number of Toronto area folks with HD Radios have reported that Corus' Vinyl-FM (CING) in Hamilton has quietly begun broadcasting a much higher audio quality signal using HD IBOC technology. As of yet, no word from either the CRTC or Industry Canada, as licensing is required.
Unlike FM, where additional audio channels (SCMO) are only available with special receivers or multiplexor attachments, HD radios can receive alternate audio channels. Six years ago when the CRTC opened the door to IBOC, my reading of the announcement is that they also opened the door to the use of these additional audio channels, normally known as HD2, etc.
Informal discussions have brought forward the idea that HD2 could be the saviour of AM radio. Were simulcasting of AM allowed on an HD2 channel of an FM owned by the same company, that would provide an excellent alternative to nested FM repeaters for covering downtown and other areas with tall buildings.
Of course, it is a tough road to hoe, getting HD radios into a majority of Canadian hands, at least in urban areas. I suspect that it would have to start with car manufacturers including HD in all FM radios.
What do you think? Is it too late?