Frequently Asked Questions about HD Radio
WPR's HD Radio Service
HD Radio promises to increase the quality and reliability of broadcast signals while adding additional features.
Questions About High Definition "HD" Radio
Q: Will I need a new radio?
A: To continue receiving the present analog audio, No. To pick-up the new digital broadcasts, Yes.
Q: How much do HD radios cost?
A: HD radios are becoming increasingly affordable as additional models are introduced. "Suggested retail prices" begin around $60, with higher-end units in the $100-$300 range. Also watch for rebates and special promotional offers which can bring the price down dramatically.
Q: Will I be able to hear the station over a wider area?
A: No. Since both analog and the digital signals are transmitted together, the digital coverage will be a bit less than the analog coverage. The main advantages of HD are sound quality, the elimination of noise and drop-outs, and (with FM) the ability to transmit additional audio channels.
Q: Is this just an improvement for FM? What about AM stations?
A: WHA-AM in Madison also uses the HD service. That will provide an even bigger improvement than for FM HD.
Q: Does HD Radio carry different programming?
A: The main HD signal is a higher-quality digital version of the programming heard on the main analog service. HD also allows additional digital channels to be transmitted. These additional channels are usually called HD2, HD3, etc. WPR already provides a 24-hour all-classical music service on the "HD2" channel on several HD-equipped stations.
Q: Why do I get drop-outs or silences on the HD2 Services?
A: This is a sign of marginal signal strength at your radio. It is important to remember that the HD Radio multicast channels (HD2, HD3, etc), unlike the HD1 channel, do not have an analog signal for the radio to "fall-back to" when digital reception is lost. So a listener with marginal reception that is losing the digital signal will experience periods of silence until the signal is regained. The fix is usually to improve the antenna placement to get a better signal.