WHYY-HD, an Arts and Information Service

WHYY has a second radio channel called WHYY-HD, the region's first high-definition radio channel devoted to arts, news and information programming. The nonfee, commercial-free channel can be listened to on HD Radio receivers available now. The service can also be streamed on the Internet at WHYY.org. WHYY-HD signal carries WHYY FM's existing program schedule with enhanced digital sound quality.

WHYY-HD includes classical music programs such as Performance Today, broadcast weekdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. The program features classical music concerts from around the world and classical music news, interviews and issues. Sacred Classics, broadcast Sundays at 8 a.m., regularly features masterpieces of choral music spanning the centuries and is hosted by Stephanie Wendt, an accomplished pianist and former student of Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music.

WHYY-HD also broadcasts news and information programs from the BBC World Service, including the global call-in show World Have Your Say, broadcast live each weekday at 1 p.m., and Outlook, broadcast weekdays at 2 p.m. The program explores the events, personalities and issues that affect life around the world.

The channel also features Fresh Air First, broadcast weekdays at noon. WHYY-HD listeners in Greater Philadelphia will hear this early broadcast of the popular national show, produced by WHYY, which is not broadcast until 3 p.m. on WHYY-FM. The complete program schedule for WHYY-HD is available at WHYY.org.

"The HD radio platform enables WHYY to extend its reach to deliver the best in arts and culture programming and international news and information," said William J. Marrazzo, WHYY President and CEO.

WHYY-HD enables listeners to enjoy the benefits of CD-quality sound, improved signal reception and greater programming choices. The digital technology uses the radio spectrum more efficiently to transmit AM and FM analog signals simultaneously with new, higher-quality digital signals.

The digital signals can carry new programming and data services such as station, song and artist identification, stock and news information, local traffic and weather.

WHYY-HD complements WHYY's other electronic platforms, including WHYY-FM, WHYY-TV, Y Arts, Y Info and WHYY.org.

HD Radio Fact Sheet

What is HD Radio?
HD Radio features upgraded audio quality, along with the ability to broadcast multiple channels and wireless data services. HD Radio technology marks the most significant advancement in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo more than 50 years ago.

What does HD Radio sound like?
For listeners who have an HD Radio receiver, the benefits are:

  • FM Radio with near CD-quality sound
  • Increased listening options with multicasting
  • No more static, pops, crackles or fades
  • Transmission of additional information, such as song titles and artists
  • Increased listening options with multicasting
  • AM radio that sounds as good as traditional FM

What is difference between HD radio and Satellite Radio?
HD Radio technology is not a subscription service, like satellite radio. It is the same free, over-the-air broadcast radio that consumers have always known. It is not something that consumers have to buy into. Everyone can choose to continue listening to their current radios, but eventually all AM/FM radios will incorporate digital technology. It is a natural evolution of the medium.

How popular is HD Radio?
HD Radio broadcasting is picking up steam across country. To date, 2,500 U.S. radio stations, covering all major markets and reaching 90% of Americans, have committed to transforming radio by upgrading their stations.

What is HD Radio multicasting?
In addition to duplicating analog programming with an HD Radio broadcast, stations can subdivide the digital portion of their signal. This allows a station to "multicast" - that is, broadcast two or more programs simultaneously. WHYY listeners will have a choice of listening to the simulcast of WHYY FM in HD or the Experience: The WHYY Arts & Information Service. By offering multiple channels, WHYY and other public radio stations will dramatically increase their ability to serve more listeners with different interests simultaneously.

How can I buy a HD Radio receiver?
Radios are now available for sale in stores across the country, and home models are scheduled to become available before January 2006. Prices continue to decrease, as more manufacturers enter the HD Radio receiver market.