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BMW Blends Digital Radios Into Upcoming 3-Series Convertibles

January 2, 2007

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BMW will soon offer a digital radio option within its 2007 3-Series Convertible, a move that continues the company’s front-running embrace of the technology.

According to information released by the automaker, the factory-installed receivers will support multicasting, a compelling capability that enables multiple station streams over the same frequency. The HD Radio option will be offered for $500. Over one-thousand stations currently broadcast in HD within the United States, and 500 deliver multicasting capabilities. That number is projected to surpass 3,000 within the next few years, and in-dash installations will play a critical role in the growth curve.

For BMW, the latest announcement follows similar moves involving the 5, 6, and 7-series models. Other automakers are likely to jump on board later this year, and various terrestrial radio conglomerates will continue their aggressive expansion of the format.

Meanwhile, BMW also packages Sirius receivers and trial subscriptions into its automobiles, though digital radio does not require a monthly fee. BMW was also an early mover on integrated iPod systems, a feature that is now offered by most other carmakers.

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