||WRAL Featured in Industry Magazine Multicasting Piece
In an article entitled “Suddenly It’s Hip To Spectrum-Split, The second coming of multicasting,” Broadcasting & Cable writers John Eggerton and Ken Kerschbaumer re-visit the medium of digital multicasting. The technology met with a controversial reception when first surfacing in 1997, but the fireworks have subsided to the embracing of multicasting.
WRAL-TV multicasts a 24-hour newschannel (right) & a 24-hour weather channel.
“With compression technology offering the promise of ‘HDTV and’ rather than ‘HDTV or,’ broadcasters are beginning to see ways to do more than HDTV over their digital channels,” wrote Eggerton & Kerschbaumer. “…Today, more than 190 digital TV stations are multicasting, according to Decisionmark, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based firm that closely tracks DTV.”
The two launched their article with the example of CBC’s President & CEO. “HD pioneer Jim Goodmon, owner of WRAL-TV (CBS) and WRAZ (Fox) Raleigh, N.C., is a convert to multicasting. ‘I believe that HD is the primary driver of digital, though SD [standard-definition TV] is great, too. We’re a much better TV station because we can televise a local event or trial on the news channel.”
Between WRAL-TV and dedicates one of its digital channels to 24-hour local news. Local press conferences and even the Mike Peterson murder trial and the trial of former-Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps were aired live on the channel. WRAL also multi-casts many of the NCAA Basketball Championship games in March simultaneously using its digital spectrum. FOX50 (WRAZ-TV) broadcasts Hurricanes and Durham Bulls games and also has a digital channel dedicated to 24-hour local weather.
Currently, multi-casters rely on voluntary carriage by cable, such as Time Warner Cable via which WRAL & FOX50 multicast. Few television sets have the ability to receive multicasting over the air at this time.