Sony joins HD Radio push with car, home radios

Sony Corp.
said it would soon sell HD Digital Radios, making the Japanese electronics
maker one of the largest manufacturers to back the broadcast radio industry’s
fledgling technology.

Sony said
it would start shipping in July a tabletop radio and a model for cars, kicking
off what it calls a long-term commitment to offering a range of HD
Radio-enabled products over the next several years.

HD Radio
lets traditional radio stations broadcast multiple new digital channels. The
service is free, but consumers must buy a compatible radio.

U.S.
radio operators are working to
promote HD Radio at a time when consumers are already faced with many digital
music options, such as Apple Inc.’s
iPod,
other MP3 players and satellite radio. The industry has pledged to spend
hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing through the HD Digital Radio
Alliance.

Sony said
its table top XDR-S3HD radio would be available in July for about $200, and its
XT-100HD car tuner will be available that month for about $100.