WRAL-TV Successfully Converts Newscasts To Digital

WRAL-TV Successfully Converts Newscasts To Digital

Mission accomplished. WRAL-TV became the world’s first news operation to gather and present high-definition local news on a continuous basis with the debut of its new all-digital newsroom on Sunday, January 28th during its late night newscast.


WRAL-TV broadcast the first all-digital newscast from its new studios on Sunday, January 28th.

WRAL-TV Anchor Pam Saulsby gives a lesson on digital television to explain the new technology.

The newscast began shortly after 11:00pm, after the Ravens dogged the New York Giants in SuperBowl XXXV and the world saw the first Australian Survivor voted off the outback. WRAL-TV anchor David Crabtree joined anchor Debra Morgan for the newscast. Anchor Pam Saulsby and technology reporter Tom Lawrence provided stories on digital and a tour of the new set. Sports anchor Tom Suiter and Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel took their new seats on opposite ends of the anchor desk. Stacy Jackson produced this historic newscast, and Mick Evans directed.


WRAL-TV Directors Chris Bolanz (top) & James Ford work on the first HD Switcher of its kind in the U.S.

Sports anchor Tom Suiter (right) moved to the opposite end of the desk in the new studio, joining anchors David Crabtree & Debra Morgan.

The difference between the high-definition feed from the newsroom and the analog feed from the on-the-street reports was noticeable even on regular television sets. The remaining WRAL newscasts converted to digital on Monday, January 29, from the early morning crew to the 6:00pm precursor for the national news.

Scenes from WRAL-TV’s new state-of-the-art, all-digital, newsroom: WRAL-TV is receiving recognition on many fronts in the broadcasting industry for their pioneering efforts. From blurbs in Multichannel News to being featured on the front page of lostremote.com, WRAL is once again being hailed as a leader in the digital field.
WRAL-TV Firsts:
1978 Sky 5 – Triangle’s first news helicopter
1995 WRAL OnLine – Triangle’s first TV website
1996 WRAL-HD – first experimental high-definition TV station in the US
1997 Doppler 5000 – area’s first live, local Doppler radar on TV
2000 WRAL airs first all-high-definition newscast
2001 WRAL becomes world’s first news operation to gather and present high-definition local news on a continuous basis

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