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Home > Programs > HD Channel FAQs

HD Channel Frequently Asked Questions

This guide will help you learn about the difference between HD Radio and FM Radio, and it will assist you with optimizing your HD Radio listening experience. We've included some tips and techniques for obtaining the best reception based on your location.

How do I get an HD radio?

If you'd like to purchase a radio in a store, or test it out before you buy, we have partnered with The Sound Room in Chesterfield. They regularly stock tabletop HD radios and they will give a portion of the proceeds of their sale to the station when you mention that you heard about them through us. We have found that the large chain electronics stores in St. Louis do not regularly stock tabletop HD radios. Many St. Louis-area vendors do carry HD radios for automobiles.

No matter where you get your HD Radio, please give this exciting new technology a listen. You’ll never listen to radio the same way again!

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How is an HD Radio different from a regular FM radio?

HD radios sound better

Regular FM radio has the ability to produce high-fidelity sound under the right reception conditions. FM frequencies require a line-of-site path between the FM transmitter and the receiver. Hisses, pops, static, and fading occur because FM signals are reflected from obstructions such as buildings—or from you when you move around the room where your radio is located.

HD radio differs by using digital technology. This technology minimizes reception problems and offers freedom from the interferences described above. Also, digital technology allows stations like St. Louis Public Radio to squeeze in additional services, thanks to cutting-edge compression technology.

HD radios receive more stations than FM radios

Several years ago, St. Louis Public Radio installed the equipment necessary to broadcast digital signals, in addition to our regular analog signal. Essentially, this allows us to have two signals in the "space" it takes for one. On your HD radio, these three channels are still found at 90.7 on the dial.

Our HD Channels:

KWMU 90.7 -1

This is our flagship channel that you can hear on standard FM radios.

KWMU 90.7-2

KWMU-2 is on-air in HD at 90.7-2. You can also listen to the station here on our web site.

>> Find out more about KWMU-2 programs

Classical KWMU 90.7-3

Classical KWMU-3 is on-air in HD at 90.7-3. You can also listen to the station here on our web site.

>> Find out more about KWMU-3 program hosts

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I'd like to listen to KWMU-2 or Classical KWMU-3 in my car. What's involved?

Installing a new radio seems daunting to some; others like their current factory-installed radios. Professional installers at stores like Hi-Fi Fo Fum or Best Buy can complete a professional installation of an "after-market" radio, such as an HD radio from Pioneer, in a couple of hours. Templates are available for most car models so the finished installation makes the new HD radio look like it was factory-installed.

An increasing number of auto makers are including HD radios in their models or as upgrade options. For those who can't wait, the radios available here are great additions to the listening experience in your car.

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Experiencing a problem receiving St. Louis Public Radio in HD?

First, you must attach the antenna that came with your HD radio. Or, attach your new HD radio to an appropriate external antenna. If you have been listening to your HD radio for a while and begin to experience a reception problem, double check your antenna connection to make sure it is still securely attached. This should take care of your reception problem. If not, please call St. Louis Public Radio at (314) 516-5968.

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Any other suggestions?

Several listeners in outlying areas with some technical savvy have added an antenna preamplifier to increase the 90.7 KWMU signal even more. This approach is most effective when the preamplifier is mounted near the antenna. Some experimentation may be needed and results aren't guaranteed. Consider ordering outdoor antennas and amplifiers from a store that has a return policy.

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Where can I get more information about receiving HD radio?

After reading this FAQ, feel free to contact us with your questions. Also, we'd like to hear from you about your experience with digital reception.

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