WHDT, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 42), is an independent television located in the 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 onWellington. The station's programming is simulcast on low-power translator stations WLPH-CD, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 44), in Miami(with transmitter facilities located in North Miami) and WHDT-LD, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 38), in Boston, Massachusetts (with transmiter facilities located in the Government Center district in downtown Boston).
On cable, WHDT is available on AT&T U-verse channel 44 in standard definition and channel 1044 in high definition, and on Comcast channel 17 in standard definition and digital channel 438 in high definition in West Palm Beach.
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. On June 1, 2001, when the station conducted the first over-the-air broadcast using a progressive high definition format operating at 720p, with custom-designed 24 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 six stations operated by WHDT World Television Service (DE), a business unit of Marksteiner AG.
The station's two translators, WLPH-CD in Miami and WHDT-LD in Boston are notable as those station were the first and second digital translators to be authorized by the FCC. WLPH-CD has a longer history than its full-power cousin. The station was first licensed as W25ALon 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-DT in December 2001.
In August 2010, WHDT made the claim of being the first high definition affiliate of the Retro Television Network. However, none of the network's classic television programming was aired in true HD or remastered from film masters for HD presentation, and only more recent programming such as outdoors and automotive programming sourced from RTV sister network Tuff TV that aired weekends on the station was broadcast in the format.
On October 27, 2011, WHDT announced that it would disaffiliate from RTV and begin carrying programming from Weather Nation TV; it switched to the national network on the weekend of October 29. On June 15, 2012, WHDT launched The Auto Channel Television Network (TACH-TV), a broadcast service dedicated to automobile enthusiasts, which airs on the station daily from 12:00 to 6:00 and 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Wikipedia)