Special promos began airing today on Seattle AM stations KRKO and KKXA notifying listeners about upcoming all-digital testing.
The NAB Labs tests are set to begin Oct. 2 and run through Oct. 6 and the analog will be turned off so an all-digital signal can be transmitted.
Years ago before there were readily available HD Radio receivers, specially-built reference receivers needed to be used to measure HD signal coverage. Now, engineers with typical HD Radio-equipped cars can drive around the market and measure the all-digital performance.
Participants expect the digital coverage areas for both Fox Sports KRKO on 1380 kHz and classic country KKXA on 1520 kHz to increase during the tests. Listeners with analog radios will hear silence during the tests. Those who have HD Radio receivers will hear all-digital AM quality “similar” to FM. Those tuned to KXXA in particular will notice stereo separation and the full audio range of the music that’s airing, according to participants.
In the promos, listeners that have HD Radios are invited to tune in to 1380 kHz Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and to 1520 kHz Sunday during the same period. Station president/GM Andy Skotdal tells Radio World different promos will run during the actual testing that will invite listeners to tell the Everett, Wash., stations how the all-digital AM signal sounds.