KOHM-FM Celebrates New HD Radio Broadcasting With Reception

HD Radio becomes reality for KOHM.

Radio just became new again.

In many ways, the new HD Radio hybrid signal recently installed at KOHM-FM radio will make history as the first HD radio signal in the area and allow the station to triple broadcast format abilities across the South Plains said Clinton Barrick, director of programming.

The station celebrated the $160,000 improvement during a reception from 3-5 p.m. today (May 18) on the sixth-floor studio of Texas Tech Plaza, located at 19th Street and University Avenue.

Barrick said that digital radio broadcasting will become the wave of the future. Stations will be able to offer digital radio owners more programming because of the ability to split signals. Stations can have an analog channel and two digital audio channels.

"It’s essentially the equivalent of high-definition television, even though the HD does not stand for high definition when it comes to radio," Barrick said. "It means dual hybrid radio. We’ll have an analog signal as well as digital signals. The digital technology allows us to split the digital bandwidth so that we can have two and even three signals now."

People with digital radios will be able to pick up the classical music and news programming currently on the air, Barrick said. Once the secondary audio stream premiers, listeners will have a choice of music or news on the same digital frequency. A tertiary stream could carry ethnic radio broadcasts or additional cultural programs.

"Instead of an ‘either/or’ situation, listeners can choose between classical music, news, or cultural programs any time they want," Barrick said. "It really opens up the airwaves so that everyone wins. It’s kind of opened a new frontier for radio. The sound quality is better, mainly because of the absence of static, signal fade and interference because digital broadcast is immune to it. People will perceive the sound quality as better."

While HD radio technology has been around since 2002, radio stations are just beginning to use it for broadcasting. About 1,300 U.S. radio stations broadcast in HD radio. Though receiving HD radio requires buying a radio that can receive the digital signal, programming is still free unlike satellite radio.

CONTACT: Clinton Barrick, director of programming, KOHM-FM radio, (806) 742-3100, Clinton.barrick@ttu.edu.