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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

WVXU-FM in HD, Next

WVXU-FM (91.7) began broadcasting in high-definition today, on the two-year anniversary of the former Xavier University station being taken over by Cincinnati Public Radio. You'll hear it on WVXU-HD1.

At Monday noon, HD radio owners will hear on WVXU-HD2 -- a long awaited day for fans of the "Future of Rock 'n' Roll, based on comments on this blog last month when I announced the HD partnership with WVXU. Equipment was being installed at the Longworth Hall station today to get get the signal to WVXU. After hoping to get it up yet this week, it's been decided to launch the HD debut at noon Monday, says Kevin Reynolds, Cincinnati Public Radio community relations manager.

Cincinnati Public Radio made Ohio history in 2003 with classical WGUC-HD, the first Ohio HD station. It added a 24-hour jazz station on WGUC-HD2 last year.

As I wrote last month, hooking up with is a smart move for Cincinnati Public Radio. It fills a void in Cincinnati radio, and allows the public radio operator to reach a new audience and demographic. As great as the old Oxford-based WOXY-FM was, until the station was sold in 2004, it was always tough to get decent reception over-the-air in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Some of you said you'd buy HD radios to hear WOXY. Have you got one yet? Heading out to buy one soon?


at 8/22/2007 3:41 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Just got this email from HD radio owner Rich Emery:

Hi John --

I see that WVXU has begun broadcasting in HD Digital, with their primary channel containing the usual WVXU fare...

This afternoon, I checked out the new WVXU with my HD Digital radio, and found a problem with the first channel carrying the regular WVXU signal. When first turned on, my radio catches the analog signal for a few seconds, then shifts to digital. There's a distinct drop in volume on the primary WVXU content after this shift to digital -- a drop that doesn't occur on WGUC or any other area stations broadcasting in HD Digital.

Thought you might want to check this out yourself, and maybe contact WVXU to see what's going on. I also sent them a message from their website after encountering the problem.

-- Rich Emery.

at 8/22/2007 4:04 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

And just got this email message from Kevin Reynolds at WVXU/WGUC:
John...I showed this email to our Chief Engineer and he's aware of the
problem... They are still working on setting the proper levels with the
new equipment, so there may be some fading issues until they get it all
set correctly.

at 8/22/2007 5:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, the "HD" in HD radio does not refer to high definition as it does with television.

at 8/22/2007 7:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least Time Warner can't screw with this.

Any word on the Big Ten Network or NFL Network.

If they drag their feet on this like ESPNU, it may be 2010 at the earliest.

at 8/22/2007 8:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm shopping for an HD radio. Just not sure I like the JVC that everyone seems to have in stock. I wish there was more selection of HD radio's for the car.

at 8/23/2007 9:15 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will I notice any difference in my analog radio?

at 8/23/2007 10:50 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, HD radio DOES mean High Definition. It's a digital signal, so the audio is more clear, and defined.

at 8/23/2007 12:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nice site to see more HD radios is Click on Car Adudio & Video and go down to HD Radio. They have desktop home units and car units.

at 8/23/2007 12:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a place to review different HD radios:

The D in HD Radio isn't really for's just that since HD has become the standard terminology for clear, quality digital broadcasting (TV, DVD, etc.) it's been adopted for use in radio as well. You can read more about HD Radio at:

Kevin Reynolds

at 8/23/2007 12:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

HD radio is a red herring. If you really want to move into digital radio of the future - buy Sirius satellite radio. No commercials. More than a hundred choices. Music for whatever is your taste. Lots of talk formats. Plenty of sports. And it goes with you whereever you travel.

at 8/23/2007 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have I gotten a HD radio to hear WOXY? Nope. I've bought two.... one for the house and one for the car.... and there's a third one on the way.

Oh, and WVXU/Cincinnati Public Radio gained a new supporter effective with the next pledge drive. Smart move indeed!

Welcome back to the Cincinnati airwaves, WOXY!

at 8/23/2007 3:20 PM Anonymous Jonathan Passantino said...

As Mr. Reynolds said, theres nothing 'high definition' about IBOC (in-band on channel) digital radio. This is nothing but a marketing term, created by Ibiquity.

In fact, in many situations, the clarity and channel separation of the analog broadcast is better than the digital counterpart—especially if its being broken into 2, or even 3, multicasts.

For an HD2 channel, you can expect the sonic equivalent of 32-40kbps AAC+. Anyway you slice it, there's nothing 'high definition' about that.

(Note you won't see the words 'high definition' anywhere on Ibiquity's Web site, just as you wont see 'CD-quality' from XM or Sirius anymore.)

at 8/23/2007 3:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of all these anonymous anti HD Radio, pro satellite radio comments posted on various blogs across the country. Who is doing this and how much are you paid by XM or Sirius?

Fact is, the audio on HD isn't compressed nearly as much as the satellite companies' signals, so the fidelity is much better. In addition, once the HD Radio receiver is bought, there are no additional monthly fees. Commercials? When the satellite services were first chartered, neither provider aired commercials. Now, fully half the channels on each include them. If you think they won't be spreading to the remaining channels, I've got a Riverfront Banks project to sell you.

And finally, what all these pro-satellite bloggers fail to recognize is that it's much more than technology, or cost, really. It's content, stupid! is a unique, valued local service that simply isn't available on any other broadcast source.

Kudos to WVXU!

at 8/23/2007 5:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No sense taking sides between satellite and HD radio... both are too little, too late. Ask anyone under the age of 25 (i.e. the demo that counts--according to the sales reps) and the only programs that are important are those that can be downloaded onto their iPod. young people are ignoring radio/TV and print. HD and satellite will suffer the same problem as terrestrial radio and TV: "Who will lose the least listeners/viewers each month?" not who will gain.

at 8/24/2007 10:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a chance somebody might revive WNOP? I would rush out and
buy an HD radio for that. I'd even be a volunteer DJ though I don't have
a radio voice

at 8/24/2007 1:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're looking for great jazz, we've got that too...WGUC-HD2 is 24 hour a day, CD-quality sounding, jazz!

Kevin Reynolds

at 8/24/2007 11:43 PM Anonymous rob j said...

WVXU is making their station better by including WOXY because there already is some overlap in audience.......i know many, myself included, who go to one for music and the other for news.
and yes, i am one of those who bought an HD radio just for this partnership.

at 8/25/2007 5:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really curious to hear the HD Radio feed of WOXY's broadcast after it launches. I will bet that it will sound better than the exisitng webcast and that will push me towards buying one of these radios.

I had a rental car last week that happened to have Sirius in it. I couldn't believe how awful it sounded. Some of the stations were better than others, but most I clicked on were somewhere between AM and FM quality. The fidelity was atrocious and made me wonder why people actually pay to listen to music that sounds so bad.

at 8/29/2007 12:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only had XM for three months, and dropped it primarily for the same reason: poor audio quality. The other was the fact that I had no local information, no personalities that I felt I knew on a local level, the same music unless you're looking for all metal or dance, and a monthly pricetag.
The HD stations I have heard sound better than anything else in broadcasting. But as mentioned above, it's content. That, and local relationships that may save broadcast radio/

at 11/27/2007 11:34 AM Blogger Tom said...

A little late to the discussion, but I agree with those that put the importance of local content to the great combination of WVXU and WOXY. Truly unique and unable to be duplicated by Satellite. I have recently found the perfect HD Radio for car and home. Found here:

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