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What is HD Radio?

cowley about over 5 years ago


Thanks for joining WMNF in a whole new way to bring you independent radio - that's HD radio, a new digital technology.

We're getting lots of questions about HD radio - a brand new kind of listening not everybody is familiar with yet.

If you're new to HD radio, here are the basics. . .

  • HD radios are digital radios.

  • On an HD radio, you can pick up everything you can pick up on your regular radio – plus even more stations, stations you can only hear if you have a digital radio.

  • WMNF’s HD2 station, with USF’s Bulls Radio, is one of those new digital stations.

If you’ve got an HD radio, you can hear Bulls Radio right next to 88.5 – - - on 88.5-2. Bulls Radio is its own separate 24-hour-a-day station, right beside us on the digital dial.

  • Bulls Radio is a college station run by USF students. (They're not part of WUSF 89.7, Tampa Bay's NPR station.)

They play a lot of college rock and new music, some public affairs and live USF sports events. Before now, you could only hear them on the Tampa campus. Now you can hear them throughout our listening area.

  • If you’re at the far fringes of our listening area, and have trouble picking up 88.5, you might not be able to pick up our digital signal or Bulls Radio. At the moment, the regular analog signal is stronger. But listeners in Hillsborough, Pinellas, most of Sarasota, southern Pasco and western Polk County should be able to pick it up fine.

  • In a lot of ways, this is like the early days of FM radio. When FM first started, you had to buy a special receiver to pick it up – and no one thought it would catch on. Now you can’t buy a radio that doesn’t have FM. It’s the same with HD. In a few years, you won’t be able to buy a radio that doesn’t pick up the digital channels.

  • All the details about HD radio, Bulls Radio, using your digital radio and how you can purchase a digital radio - are at

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Does the signal skip over Manatee County or have you chosen once again to ignor us? Perhaps you should check the zip codes of your listener supporters and find out if we really are insignificant.

HD Reception

Thanks for your note. Listeners in Manatee County are only about 20 miles from our transmitter, and you should be able to pick up our new digital broadcast just fine. The digital signal goes almost as far as our regular one, and doesn’t skip over any area. Listeners on the far fringe of our listening area, or who have trouble picking up our regular broadcast, may not be able to pick up the digital channels right now. At present, the digital signal isn’t as powerful as our regular FM broadcast – that’s an FCC regulation for all radio stations. But you should be able to listen to the Bulls Radio channel easily in Bradenton with a digital receiver. If you have more questions about HD reception, feel free to call our engineer at 813-238-8001 x 135 or email We’re glad to have many caring listeners in Manatee.