In 2004, WEOS was the first radio station in western New York to broadcast in crystal-clear digital HD Radio. Now, in 2008, WEOS has another first. On Nov. 14, WEOS converted its 90.3 FM repeater station to HD Radio. This is the first “FM Translator” class of station in the U.S. that broadcasts in HD Radio.
The station is based on a new way of heterodyning, or “frequency shifting” an FM signal. In essence, it takes WEOS 89.7 FM, analyzes it and shifts it to a different frequency to rebroadcast it as 90.3 FM. The concept of heterodyning has been around for decades, but only recently has WEOS been able to apply it to HD Radio signals. It’s so new that the transmitter has the serial number 0002.
For years WEOS ‘main station, 89.7, was in HD Radio, while HWS’ 90.3 campus signal was not. This was a result of the 1994 move of WEOS from the Winn-Seeley Gym tower to a tower on higher ground near Gorham, a few miles southwest of campus. This higher location has meant that WEOS can reach as far as Canandaigua, Auburn and Ithaca, but the WEOS signal on campus was lacking. When HD Radio became a possibility in 2004, WEOS had it installed on the main signal; however, licensing and technological problems hindered installing HD radio onto the 90.3 campus signal.
Today’s recent technological advances have overcome past licensing and technological hurdles, and now allow for both stations to broadcast in digital HD Radio.
If you have a HD Radio-capable receiver, you will be able to receive 90.3 in the same static-free digital signal that listeners across the Finger Lakes enjoy. Visit www.weos.org for more details.