The High Definition (HD) Digital Radio Alliance, a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the rollout of HD digital radio, recently announced the initial 28 markets that will begin broadcasting HD2 multicast programming under the Alliance’s format-selection program. Alliance members are readying individual HD2 channel launches in each market, and the first are already broadcasting via HD2 technology.
The rollouts mark the first wide-scale launch of HD2 multicast channels in the country, with each market airing new and unique content. The Alliance’s approach also dramatically increases the diversity of radio programming in every radio market. Through the selection process, each market is guaranteed its own mix of new programming. Collectively, some 264 new HD2 channels will carry a variety of music or talk formats. Member broadcasters are responsible for programming each of their multicast channels and all HD2 formats are initially commercial-free. In addition, all current analog radio signals will also be available as HD digital radio broadcasts (on HD1 channels). No subscription is required to hear HD digital radio broadcasts.
The first 28 markets where HD is available are: New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Houston, TX; Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Atlanta, GA; Miami, FL; Seattle, WA; Baltimore, MD; Portland, OR; Cincinnati, OH; San Jose, CA; Indianapolis, IN; Memphis, TN; Hartford, CT; Birmingham, AL; Dayton, OH; McAllen, TX; Tulsa, OK; Albuquerque, NM; El Paso, TX; Springfield, MA; and Wichita, KS.
Some of the totally new formats being introduced in the first wave include: Viva La Voce (Opera), Classical Alternative, Traditional Jazz & Blues, Coffee House, Female Talk, Future Country, Extreme Hip Hop, Deep Cuts Classic Rock, Live Rock, New Alternative, Fusion Hispanic-Anglo Rock, Chick Rock, Indie, New Rock, and In-Depth News.
HD2 Radio technology enables radio broadcasters to segment a single, existing radio frequency so that it can carry multiple, simultaneous, higher-quality AM and FM broadcast streams as well as wireless data. All HD broadcasts are free from the static, hiss, pops and fades that can be associated with analog signals. For listeners, AM-band broadcasts sound like FM, and FM-band broadcasts have digital CD-like quality.
Here are some examples of the markets and their new HD2 channels:
KKSF-FM San Francisco (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: Traditional Jazz
WNUA-FM Chicago (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: Traditional Jazz
WDAS-FM Philadelphia (Urban Adult Contemporary), HD2 Channel: R&B Love Songs
WJJZ-FM Philadelphia (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: AAA/Adult Alternative
WLVE-FM Miami (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: Classical
WSMJ-FM Baltimore (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: Traditional Jazz
KRVO-FM Portland (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: Traditional Jazz
WENN-FM Birmingham (Black Gospel), HD2 Channel: Smooth Jazz
WDSJ-FM Dayton (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: WLW 2 In-Depth News
KRBB-FM Wichita (Adult Contemporary Mainstream), HD2 Channel: Smooth Jazz
WQCD-FM New York (Smooth Jazz), HD2 Channel: Chill