||WRAL-HD and CBS Will Begin Prime Time HDTV Programming
Viewers of WRAL-HD will be watching prime time programming in high-definition television (HDTV) this fall, thanks to an agreement with the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, a major manufacturer of television sets, and the CBS network. At least 75% of CBS’ prime time programming will be transferred from 35-millimeter film to HDTV videotape beginning this September. The line-up includes almost all of the CBS entertainment programming such as, “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Chicago Hope.”
Mitsubishi will sponsor the transfers. Robert Seidel, Vice President of CBS Engineering, has worked on the arrangement with the TV manufacturer for over a year. “I believe this opportunity will really open the gate for new HDTV programming,” said Seidel. At the present time, WRAL-HD runs HDTV programming 24-hours a day on channel 32. Special Public Broadcasting System (PBS) presentations, a variety of major motion pictures, and local programming created in HDTV are all part of the current schedule.
“We’re very excited about the move CBS has taken,” said John Greene, VP of Capitol Broadcasting Company. “It’s great to see they’re continuing with the pioneering spirit that has made them a leader in new technology,” Greene said. WRAL-HD, the local affiliate in the Raleigh-Durham market, has been transmitting HDTV signals since 1996 on its experimental station.
The addition of prime time support from the network comes at a good time since the Federal government mandates that the top 30 markets broadcast in digital television by November 1 of this year. WRAL-HD is currently constructing a new digital tower and will make the transition to their new licensed digital station in time to meet Federal rules. At that time, WRAL-HD channel 32 will switch to WRAL-DT channel 53. Additional information about WRAL-HD is available on its website: www.wral-hd.com.