Thursday, July 10, 2008

WKSU Launches HD Subchannels

Kent State University NPR/classical WKSU/89.7 Kent has unveiled two HD Radio subchannels.

The WKSU-originated "Folk Alley" programming takes the HD2 subchannel, and the station's all-classical feed is occupying WKSU-HD3. The station's main broadcast signal continues its digital presence at WKSU-HD1.

Both programming streams have long been available over the station's website.

WKSU general manager Al Bartholet writes in his "Al Things Considered" blog that the subchannels have been up since Tuesday, and says the station already got an E-Mail note about it from a listener in Medina (so, at least one other Northeast Ohioan has an HD Radio!).

Here at the OMW World Headquarters, we do have one of those now-old Accurian HD Radio units we got in a holiday $99 sale, and we verified the WKSU subchannels this afternoon.

Bartholet notes:

Currently, we have these additional channels only on the main 89.7 tower north of Akron, but WNRK in Norwalk (which was outfitted with a digital transmitter when we built the tower) is next on the list to have digital side streams added and then it is on to the other communities we serve with repeater stations.

In addition to the various car aftermarket radios, Sony's XDR-F1HD gets glowing performance reviews from radio hobbyists - here's just one example of the praise - for its overall performance on both analog and HDR signals...and it's selling for $99 in many places.

This is NOT, as far as we can tell, the same Sony unit sold in some of the consumer electronics stores for quite a bit more...and is a tuner (no built-in speakers, etc.), not a standalone radio.

We still believe that the price of these units need to go down for wider acceptance in the marketplace, but the Sony sounds like a good unit even without considering HD Radio in the mix...