WRAL-TV News Operation Goes All-HDTV With Panasonic DVCPRO HD


October 10, 2000
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Cindy Sink, Creative Services Manager ( 919) 821-8643

WRAL-TV News Operation Goes All-HDTV With Panasonic DVCPRO HD
World’s First All-HD Newscast Set For October 13th From North Carolina State Fair

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 10, 2000) — Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Company today announced that Capitol Broadcasting Company’s WRAL-TV (Raleigh, North Carolina) has made a multi-million dollar purchase of DVCPRO HD equipment to convert its field news operations to high definition. WRAL-TV and Panasonic Broadcast also announced that DVCPRO HD equipment will be used to produce the world’s first all-HDTV newscast on October 13th. High Definition Television offers viewers greatly enhanced picture quality, a wide screen 16 X 9 ratio versus the current 4 X 3 ratio, and CD quality sound.

WRAL will broadcast the historic all-HDTV newscast at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 13th, from the North Carolina State Fair. News stories will be acquired and played back in the DVCPRO HD format. The newscast will originate live from the fair, but also preview WRAL’s new 24,000-square-foot, all-digital news facility and demonstrate to viewers the benefits of high definition television.

Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting, said, “Local news is all about putting the viewer on the scene, and nothing does that better than high definition television. Our viewers will get a wider view, a clearer picture, more detail and CD quality sound-the only thing better is actually being there!”

While this high definition signal can only be fully appreciated on a wide screen, high definition television set, even the current analog sets will receive a better picture. “Because these new HD cameras are so high resolution-over 6 times the definition of our current cameras-folks who watch it on a standard set will notice a difference. It’s just better TV,” said Goodmon.

Warren Allgyer, President, Panasonic Broadcast, said, “From its start as the nation’s first HDTV station in 1996 to its groundbreaking HD coverage of entertainment and sports and its advanced testing of datacasting linked to local programming, WRAL has made the investment to be on the cutting edge of television’s future. By investing in compact DVCPRO HD equipment to produce news in high definition, WRAL has once again assumed a leadership role in demonstrating the commercial viability of over-the-air HDTV broadcasting.”

“We admire WRAL for its bold leadership and for proving that full HDTV operations can be implemented in a mid-size market. Panasonic is committed to providing WRAL and other broadcasters who are investing in HDTV with the leading-edge equipment to make them successful.”

Under the agreement, WRAL, a pioneer in high definition broadcasting, will purchase 89 pieces of DVCPRO HD equipment and related Panasonic products to become the first television station to produce complete newscasts in high definition. WRAL is currently using Panasonic’s 50Mbps DVCPRO50 format for newsgathering. Starting in January 2001, CBS affiliate WRAL will begin shooting, recording and editing its daily newscasts in DVCPRO HD. The station will broadcast the newscasts in high definition on its digital channel (WRAL-Digital, Channel 53) and down convert the newscasts to standard definition for air on its analog channel (WRAL-TV, Channel 5). WRAL’s high definition signal is also carried on Time Warner Cable’s digital cable service on Channel 255.

The WRAL purchase includes 59 AJ-HD150 DVCPRO HD Studio VTRs, 29 AJ-HDC20A DVCPRO HD Camcorders, an AJ-HDR150 DVCPRO HD video server, three AJ-UFC1800 Universal Format Converters, an AV-HS3110 10-input 1080i switcher, AT-H1915DA 19” HD monitors, 32” DT-M3050W HD monitors and related accessories.

WRAL was the first station in the country to broadcast in the Federal Communication Commission’s new digital television standard. It was granted the nation’s first high definition television (HDTV) experimental license in 1996, which allowed the station to transmit the nation’s first high definition television signal. WRAL continues to broadcast HD on a daily basis on WRAL-Digital and has accomplished a number of firsts in the industry, including a local documentary, sporting events and live news coverage.

Panasonic’s DVCPRO HD is the new cost-effective high definition recording format for news and production that provides an effective path for broadcasting of DTV and HDTV programming while remaining backwardly-compatible with all DVCPRO50, DVCPRO, DVCAM and DV digital formats.

The AJ-HD150 studio VTR delivers high-density high definition recording with eight digital audio channels, and breaks the boundaries of conventional VTR design with its playback compatibility of all professional DV-based formats. The AJ-HD150 will allow WRAL to integrate its archived DVCPRO50 footage into news and local programming.

Fully operational at 15 pounds, the AJ-HDC20A 2.2 million-pixel 3-CCD camcorder offers 46-minute recording in 1080i.The AJ-HDR150 Video Server offers multi-resolution recording, and supports operation in DVCPRO HD, 50Mpbs DVCPRO50/DVCPRO Progressive and 25Mbps DVCPRO resolutions.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast, professional digital video and presentation products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a division company of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the principal North America subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC), one of the world’s leading producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, access the company’s web site at www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

In a related move designed to encourage the growth of HDTV broadcasts, Panasonic announced on September 26th that it has entered into an agreement with CBS Television to underwrite the conversion of analog 35mm film-based programming to HDTV. Under the agreement, Panasonic will underwrite the conversion of 17 prime time shows to the 1080i HDTV format during the 2000-2001 television season.

Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL-Digital, WRAL-FM, Microspace, the North Carolina News Network, DTV Plus, Wolfpack Sports Marketing, and Capitol Sports Management in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WFVT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and the Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, NC; and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball Club in Myrtle Beach, SC; Capitol Broadcasting Company also founded Local TV on Satellite in Raleigh, NC.

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