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August 23, 2014
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Nevada Public Radio Goes HD


HD Radio

News 88.9 KNPR and Classical 89.7 KCNV are now broadcasting in HD.

HD Radio provides better sound and more programs...and it's free. All you need is an HD radio.

Listen to News, Classical, Jazz and Alternative programming in digital clarity.

HD program channels now on the air...

88.9 KNPR HD-1: Digital Simulcast of News 88.9 KNPR
88.9 KNPR HD-2: Digital Simulcast of Classical 89.7 KCNV
88.9 KNPR HD-3: XPoNential - a unique mix of emerging and heritage contemporary musicians, an eclectic blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country.

89.7 KCNV HD-1: Digital Simulcast of Classical 89.7
89.7 KCNV HD-2: Pittsburgh Jazz Channel (Listen Live)
89.7 KCNV HD-3: More news/info to complement KNPR's primary service. (Listen Live)

What is HD?

HD Radio technology allows radio stations to continue to broadcast the good old analog FM signal (for example, KNPR is 88.9), while using the same bandwidth on the assigned frequency to broadcast digital radio.

More programs.

A wider variety of programming is available with HD. Using digital technology, one station can send a digital signal for 3 stations. The first HD station (HD1) is exactly the same as the analog station. So News 88.9 is heard as an analog signal (FM) and as a digital signal (HD1). There are additional HD stations (HD2 and HD3) on the same frequency. Since Nevada Public Radio has two analog radio stations in Las Vegas (KNPR and KCNV), we have the capability to program 6 HD stations.

Better sound.

The quality of the HD signal is better than FM. It has a wider frequency response (lower lows and higher highs) with no background noise (hiss). More noticeable is the fact that HD radio virtually eliminates 'multi-path'. That's when you're driving down the street and as you pass certain locations next to tall buildings you hear a tick-tick, or picketing of the sound. Multi-path is caused when your radio receives both a direct FM signal from the transmitter, and indirect signals that bounce off of tall buildings before they get to your radio. Due to the digital nature of HD radio, the receiver corrects for multi-path so you can drive almost anywhere with no interruption of the sound.

The big advantage for Classical music listeners.

Classical 89.7 has a relatively weak signal. Depending on where you live and where you travel, reception may be difficult or even impossible. To help counter that problem we are simulcasting classical music on 88.9 - HD2. If you can receive 88.9 on your FM radio, you should be able to get classical music on 88.9 - HD2 on an HD radio.

Why buy an HD radio?

Nevada Public Radio has taken the lead in adding HD radio transmitters. We've long been concerned with the quality of our sound for the typical public radio formats...news and classical music. Eventually all radio stations will be broadcasting in HD. If you don't have an HD radio you're missing great radio.

Kenwood, Panasonic, Boston Acoustics, Polk Audio, Sony, Yamaha, Alpine, JVC...all are making and selling HD radios. Most of the first radios were for use in cars. Now you can find a variety of home receivers and tabletop HD radios.

Actually, Classical 89.7 has been on the air with HD since 2003. As an early adopter of the technology, we were refining the sound and reliability of the digital signal. There are links below where you can learn more about HD radios, the models available and where to purchase them.

All HD radios can receive both FM and HD stations.

Is HD radio the same as Satellite radio?

No. With satellite radio consumers must purchase a special receiver and pay a monthly fee. Satellite radio has a wide variety of formats, but there is no local programming. The satellite radio signal is digital, but the sound is of much lower quality than analog FM radio and nowhere near the quality of HD.

HD radio is free. When shopping for an HD radio do not get talked into purchasing satellite radio. Many retailers earn a commission for every satellite radio they sell because consumers have to pay a monthly fee to use the service.

Not just in Las Vegas.

HD technology allows us to add a second and third signal to every station we operate. That means in Elko, Tonopah, Panaca, Ely and St. George, we provide both a news station and a classical station on the same frequency.

More information on HD Radio

Select from several HD radios at:

http://shop.npr.org/visteon-hd-pulse-radio

http://www.hdradio.com/gift/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio

http://www.hdradio.com/

Or contact Phil Burger phil@knpr.org.

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