WRAL-TV Debuts All-Digital High Definition Newsroom


January 25, 2001
For more information, contact
Cindy Sink, Creative Services Manager ( 919) 821-8643
William Pritchard, Panasonic (201) 348-7182

WRAL-TV Debuts All-Digital High Definition Newsroom
-The World’s First HDTV News Gathering Operation-

January 28, 2001
Super Bowl 6pm
Survivor II 10pm
WRAL High Definition News 11pm

Raleigh–Ushering in a new era in television broadcasting, WRAL-TV announced today the debut of a groundbreaking High Definition Television (HDTV) newsroom operation on Sunday Jan. 28th during WRAL’s 11pm newscast. The historic news broadcast will follow CBS’s HDTV coverage of the Super Bowl and the debut of Survivor II. WRAL, who aired the first all high definition newscast on October 13, 2000, will become the world’s first news operation to gather and present high definition local news on a continuous basis. The conversion to the new broadcast standard utilizes 89 pieces of Panasonic DVCPRO HD equipment, including field cameras and studio equipment, in a new 24,000 square foot all-digital facility. 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.

“This conversion to HD has, quite frankly, never been done before,” said WRAL-TV Vice President and General Manager, Bill Peterson. “Virtually every piece of equipment we use in putting together a newscast, from field cameras to editing to the control room, has completely changed. What viewers will see, even those with standard sets, is a truly one-of-a-kind news operation. They’ll see a clearer picture, more detail and a greatly enhanced newsroom designed to function at the highest possible standard.”

While this high definition signal can only be fully appreciated on a wide screen high definition television set, the high resolution of the new HD cameras–over 6 times the definition of current cameras– provides detail and clarity noticeable even on current analog sets.

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. 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.

Panasonic consumer digital television products are marketed in the United States by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, while digital broadcast and professional video products are supplied by Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Company. Both companies are divisions of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (MECA). MECA is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (NYSE/PCX:MC) of Japan, one of the world’s largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Consumers seeking information on PCEC products can call Panasonic’s Customer Call Center at 800-211-PANA or access Panasonic’s home page at www.panasonic.com . Media interested in consumer products press releases can access them via Internet Keyword: Panasonic Press Room, or through New Directions Public Relations’ toll-free fax-back system at 888-734-7490. For further information on Panasonic Broadcast products, access the company’s web site at www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

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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