FM Signal Help
June 28, 2011 7:06:00 pm
Houston Public Radio is committed to providing quality classical music programming to the greater Houston community on Classical 91.7 FM. If you're having trouble getting good reception on the new station, we can help!
If you haven't tried 91.7 FM recently, give it another shot. Improvements have been made to the signal. Many who were not able to tune in during the first weeks on the air are now able to hear the music clearly and easily.
Below are a few suggestions for improving your individual Classical 91.7 reception. If you need assistance, please give us a call at (713) 743-0887 or email email@example.com and we'll be happy to discuss these options with you and help you personally access the new programming in your location.
If you are having difficulty receiving Classical 91.7 in your home or office:
Make Adjustments to Your Current Radio or Antenna
- Moving your radio just a few feet or changing the position of the antenna can provide clearer reception. Experiment with your antenna and the placement of your radio — you may find the solution with a very simple change.
- Many tabletop and clock radios have a small cord hanging from the back that doesn't attach to anything — this is the antenna! Try draping it over a piece of furniture, placing it near a window or attaching it to the wall.
- Some radios actually use the power cord as an antenna. Try repositioning the power cord for better reception.
- If your radio comes in clearer when you're standing near it, it's using you as an antenna! This means by adding an antenna (or, believe it or not, a coat hanger!) you can probably get better reception.
Try a New Antenna With Your Existing Radio
- Take a look at the back of your radio. Is there a place to attach an external FM antenna? If so, pick up a cheap two-wire "dipole" antenna OR a "rabbit-ears" type antenna at your local Radio Shack© or electronics store. When those antennas are raised as high as possible, either can make a big difference in the quality of reception.
- If you use a home stereo system connected to a rooftop or attic antenna, a simple adjustment of the antenna may make all the difference. If you are interested in adding a rooftop or attic antenna to get better reception in your home, our engineering team is available to advise you on the best option in your location.
Try a New FM Radio
- Replacing an older or inexpensive radio with a new, high-quality unit could help solve reception issues. Note that this solution will only work in places where the signal is very strong and the problem is with the existing radio unit. This moderately priced clock radio from Sangean tends to get better-than-average reception. Digital tuning allows you to go directly to 91.7 FM, whereas older radios with a knob you turn to change the frequency are often less precise.
- Houston Public Radio's online streaming service allows you to listen to KUHF News, Classical 91.7, or our Global Channel, all in one place. Here is a link to the online player. Just click on "listen now" and you'll be on your way!
Listen on Your Smartphone
- Houston Public Radio has free smart phone apps available for iPhone/iPad, Blackberry and Android. These apps allow you to listen to the stations on your phone. You can download the apps by accessing the "app store" on your phone and searching for "Houston Public Radio."
- In many cases, you can plug your phone into a stereo system or your car stereo by using an auxiliary cable and putting the stereo in "aux" mode.
Listen on an HD Radio
- The same classical music programming you hear on 91.7 FM is also available on one of Houston Public Radio's HD Channels, 88.7 HD-2. This isn't the "normal" 88.7 FM — you need an HD Radio to hear it. The HD Radio signal originates at the Missouri City transmitter, so this is a great solution for those located in the south and west regions. HD Radio is available on some parts of Galveston Island, but may require a more advanced antenna for clear reception. The best selection of HD Radios can be found online. We have identified some good options for you, and there is no monthly fee for HD radio!
- If you listen in multiple places, or your current radio has an "AUX" input jack, there is an affordable, portable HD Radio made by Insignia. Using an auxiliary cable, you can plug this radio into the equipment you already have — that way, you can move the radio from one place to another and listen to classical music on HD wherever you are. Here is a link to the radio at Best Buy: Insignia Portable HD Radio.
If you listen mostly in a single room of your home, a tabletop HD radio might be a good choice for you.
- We've had good results with Teac's HD-1 Radio, available at amazon.com and through a variety of other retailers. This radio comes with a good quality antenna, and works best if the antenna is hung in a high place, near a window.
- Best Buy carries an Insignia HD Radio "Boom Box" that even includes a CD player. This unit gets strong reception, but may not be best for far-lying areas as its antenna is built in, not external.
- If you use a component system (stacked, individual high-quality units) at home, there are component HD Radio receivers you can add to your existing system. These units come with plastic "dipole" wire antennas that are generally very effective, if placed high, in a "T" shape and near a window. The component radios lack speakers, so they must be connected to your home system that already has stereo speakers attached. Here is an example of one HD component receiver.
Listen on a Wi-Fi Internet Radio
- If you have wireless internet in your home and you are unable to receive 91.7 FM, you may be able to listen through the use of an internet radio. These radios allow you to program Classical 91.7's online stream — then listen as if you were using a conventional radio!
- There is no monthly fee, since all of Houston Public Radio's content is available for free online. Internet radios are widely available, so you can search for the one that suits you.
- Here are a few internet radio options:
If you are having difficulty receiving Classical 91.7 FM in your car
- Reception in vehicles has proven to be strong throughout the greater Houston area. Weaker areas include Galveston Island and areas far to the south and west.
- Each car's factory radio and antenna are a little different. While we've found most models receive 91.7 FM just fine, there may be isolated cases where your antenna isn't ideal for that frequency.
- Aftermarket antennas are available for many vehicles that will improve overall reception of all frequencies. Your auto dealer or local car audio store may be able to help you by installing a new antenna that will result in better reception of 91.7 FM.
- Installing an HD Radio in your car could provide Classical 91.7 in areas where the signal is weak by using the 88.7 HD-2 Channel (see "Use an HD Radio" above). We can assist in the selection of an HD radio that will work in your vehicle — just give us a call.
The primary cause of reception issues on 91.7 FM is the location of the transmitter — while the 88.7 transmitter is located southwest of the city in the Missouri City area, the new 91.7 transmitter is located northeast of the city, in the Kingwood area. This means 91.7 FM reception is quite strong in the northern region. Listeners to the south and west of Houston may have less success tuning to 91.7 FM because you are farther from the transmitter site. Within the city of Houston, the signal is generally quite strong in all areas; however, like all FM radio signals, it can be "blocked" by tall buildings or other obstructions located between the listener and the transmitter. For this reason, some listeners in southwest Houston may experience a weakened signal.
Our goal is to provide classical music programming to as many members of the greater Houston community as possible. It's important to us that you have the ability to listen to a clear, strong sound on 91.7 FM.
If you are still having trouble, please call or send us an email — we're ready and willing to provide you with personal, individual help. You can reach us at (713) 743-0887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening!