||WRAL-HD Gets Extension on Experimental High Definition (HDTV) Stations
WRAL-HD’s transmitting license has been extended by The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) until September 4, 1999. This will allow Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. (CBC) to continue transmiting an experimental digital television (DTV) signal on Channel 32 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The FCC noted, “WRAL-HD’s efforts will continue to make significant contributions to the expeditious development of DTV, leading to its early implementation in the broadcasting industry.” It goes on to say that the public interest would be served by a continuance of the experimental station.
For the past two and a half years, WRAL-HD has operated as a test bed for all major manufacturers that produce everything from receivers to modems to antennae. Traveling kiosks, which display the WRAL-HD signal, have gone to state fairs, government agencies, universities, shopping malls, civic organizations and broadcast industry venues to demonstrate the new technology first hand to the public.
“In order to speed the transition to HDTV, we must work together as an industry — promoting the new technology, inviting people to see it and answering questions”, says James F. Goodmon, Chief Executive Officer and President of Capitol. “WRAL-HD is doing everything it can to make people aware of HDTV and its superior quality.”
On October 29th, WRAL-HD, in conjunction with Harris Corporation and the NHK, will broadcast a live transmission of the John Glenn space shuttle launch. The transmission will be made available to all HDTV stations across the country.
While WRAL-HD continues to showcase the technology during the course of the year, CBC prepares for the next phase of their digital conversion. A digital tower will be built to transmit CBC’s licensed DTV signal on Channel 53. Completion of the tower is estimated to coincide with the expiration of the experimental station in September of ’99.