WHDT, virtual channel 9 (UHFdigital channel 42), is an independenttelevision station located in Stuart, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Günter Marksteiner. WHDT maintains studio facilities located on Southeast Waaler Street in Stuart, and its transmitter is located in Wellington. The station's programming is simulcast on translator stationWHDT-LD, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 38), in Boston, Massachusetts (with transmitter facilities located in the Government Center district in downtown Boston), and on WHDN-CD, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 26), in Naples, Florida.

On cable, WHDT is available on: AT&T U-verse channel 44 in standard definition and channel 1044 in high definition; DIRECTV channel 59 in standard definition and high definition; DISH Network channel 9 (transponder 8877) in standard definition and digital channel 9-00 (transponder 5186) in high definition; Comcast channel 16, 17 in standard definition and channel 438 in high definition in West Palm Beach; Home Town Cable channel 7 in standard definition and channel 307 in high definition West Palm Beach.

History

The station was founded on May 25, 2000; WHDT became the first digital television station in the United States, following a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission that the station could provide primary over-the-air service using only a digital signal.[2] On June 1, 2001, the station conducted the first over-the-air broadcast using a progressive high definition format operating at 720p/60 fps, with custom-designed 35 mm frame-transfer cameras.

WHDT established the legal precedent requiring local cable systems to carry the primary programming of all digital television stations in both high definition format and in standard definition analog format. It is the first television station to have its high definition and standard definition feeds carried on cable providers under the FCC's digital "must-carry" rules. The station originally operated as the first broadcast partner of the Deutsche Welle World Television Service. WHDT is one of three stations operated by WHDT World Television (DE), a business unit of Marksteiner AG.

The station's two translators, WHDT-CD in Miami (now WLPH-CD) and WHDT-LD in Boston are notable as those stations were the first and second digital translators to be authorized by the FCC. WHDT-CD has a longer history than its full-power cousin. The station was first licensed as W25AL on September 21, 1987. In 1989, it was moved to Coral Springs as W55BO, which functioned as a translator of Miami CBS owned-and-operated station WCIX (channel 6, now WFOR-TV on channel 4). Ownership of the station was transferred to Günter Marksteiner in 1996. The station continued to carry a full schedule of CBS programming until 1997, when it was relocated to North Miami and began digital translator operations for WHDT in December 2001. In January 2014, the call sign was changed to WLPH-CD, and in March, the station was sold to LocusPoint Networks.[3]

In August 2010, WHDT became the first high definition affiliate of the Retro Television Network. The network's classic television programming was aired up-converted to 16:9 HD format as opposed to being remastered from the original film masters. On October 27, 2011, WHDT announced that it would disaffiliate from RTV and begin carrying programming from WeatherNation TV; it switched to WeatherNation on the weekend of October 29.[4]

On June 15, 2012, WHDT launched The Auto Channel (TACH-TV), a full high definition broadcast service dedicated to automobile enthusiasts,.[5] WHDT is the first broadcast affiliate of The Auto Channel network.

On July 13, 2015, WHDT began carrying SonLife Broadcasting Network (SBN), the Christian television network of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.

On April 1, 2016, the station affiliated with Gun TV upon that network's launch the same day.

Digital television

Digital channel

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[6]
9.1720p16:9WHDT-TVMain WHDT programming / Newsmax TV / Gun TV & WHDT World Television Service

As part of the digital television transition, UHF channels 52-69 were removed from the broadcast spectrum. Consequently, WHDT moved its digital signal from channel 59 to channel 42 after WXEL-TV shut off its analog signal on channel 42 on June 12, 2009. Because WXEL-TV continues to use its former analog channel number 42 as a virtual channel through the use of PSIP, WHDT was assigned 9 as its new virtual channel.

Programming

WHDT produces high definition program content for syndication and for broadcast. Its programming includes evening news and weather, documentaries, independent films, classical music concerts, equestrian sports, automotive news and motorsport programs, aviation, fishing, cooking, travel and syndicated entertainment shows. The station maintains a full high definition schedule, including paid programming.

News operation

WHDT presently broadcasts ten hours of locally produced news each week, exclusive of rebroadcast of news highlights on weekends. The station's "WHDT World News" airs each day at 5 pm and at 11 pm ET; the weekend edition is a compilation of notable segments from the weekday broadcasts. The newscasts are produced by WHDT World Television Service, with offices in Boston, Chicago, Sacramento, Miami, West Palm Beach, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.. The hub newscasts originate from Boston and Chicago and feature local and national stories as well as extended interview segments, a brief weather segment from the National Weather Service with a forecast for the West Palm Beach area, an entertainment segment (Hollywood News), and political, financial and science reports from contributing editors.