KUOW's 2003 Signal Project
New Opportunities for Public Service
In 1985, KUOW’s transmitter and antenna systems were brand new vacuum tubes and coax cable, considered “state-of-the-art” at the time. This equipment served the station and listeners well for nearly 20 years, then slowly over a period of time, the equipment began to deteriorate due to age and damage, and we began to experience frequent problems with our signal. Fulfilling our mission of providing quality public service programming to our listeners was becoming more and more challenging to accomplish.
In 2003, thanks to the financial support of individual members, local foundations and corporations, the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP)—a government agency within the Department of Commerce—we replaced our outdated transmitter and damaged antenna system. Now, with our new equipment, KUOW can be heard more consistently across our region and we are able to provide additional services to the community.
The most exciting new service our equipment upgrade is providing to listeners is digital broadcasting: HD Radio™. HD Radio is similar to HD TV technology, delivering KUOW in crystal clear quality sound to listeners. Today FM radio sounds like a CD and in the future AM radio will sound like FM. Through HD Radio, you can hear KUOW free of the static, hiss, pops and fades you may experience with analog radio reception. If you can currently hear KUOW even marginally, chances are good that our digital signal may significantly improve the quality of your reception.
The upgrade of our equipment to HD technology also allows us to offer more great public radio programming to our listeners. In June of 2004, KUOW2 was launched – a fully integrated second broadcast service (not simply a program “stream”) – and today provides programs currently not heard on 94.9 FM as well as KUOW-produced programming at times that may be more convenient for you. Like KUOW, KUOW2 is broadcast in HD Radio technology as KUOW2, if you have a HD Radio receiver in your car or home. KUOW2 can also be heard online at kuow2.org or on KUOW HD2.