WRAL-TV, WRAZ-TV and WARZ-TV Continue Capitol Broadcasting Legacy of Technology and Innovation with Launch of NEXTGEN TV (ATSC 3.0)

WUNC-TV Set to Launch, pending FCC approval, joins elite group in “most significant broadcast technology upgrade ever”

WRAL-TV, FOX 50, WARZ & UNC-TV logosWRAL (NBC) and WRAZ (FOX), a part of Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC), in partnership with WARZ, began broadcasting NEXTGEN TV (ATSC 3.0) on December 15th, 2020.  Additionally, WUNC (UNC-TV), is also set to launch NEXTGEN TV, pending FCC regulatory approvals, over the next few weeks. The four stations are proud to introduce this revolutionary new digital broadcast technology to customers in the Raleigh/Durham area, alongside media peers. The announcement of WRAL, WRAZ, WARZ, and WUNC means that the Raleigh TV market is now among the first in the nation to have all major networks supporting NEXTGEN TV broadcasts, a huge technological achievement.

With the announcement, Raleigh area participating NEXTGEN TV Stations include: WRAL (NBC), WRAZ (FOX), WUNC (PBS), WARZ (IND), WTVD (ABC), WNCN (CBS), WUVC (Univision), WLFL (CW), and WRDC (MyNet.)

Capitol Broadcasting Company President & COO Jimmy Goodmon sees the launch as a true investment in the future of TV technology, “TV is the greatest wireless technology you forgot about…NEXTGEN TV is the next step in the evolution of free over-the-air television with new benefits like mobile broadcasting, personalization for viewers, advancements in rich, interactive media plus a much improved emergency alert system. It’s next level.”

WRAL and CBC are well-known within the TV industry as innovators in media technology, often credited as “first to air” with new or emerging technologies. WRAL was the first television station in North Carolina with a news helicopter, the first in North Carolina with a satellite truck, the first in North Carolina with a website and aired the first commercial High Definition television broadcast in the United States.

Director of Engineering and Operations for Capitol Broadcasting Company, Pete Sockett, explained the CBC commitment to innovation, “I love being a part of a company that has always been out in front, and this transition is no different.  The fact that WRAL was open to partnering with WARZ-CD, a Class-A, low power station, is wonderful.  It will let us cover our metro quite well for linear programming delivery, but leaves us with bandwidth to start developing other viewer experiences such as delivering Advanced Emergency Information, viewer specific content, and other opportunities via a Broadcaster App.  It is, yet again, a great time to be in this industry!”

On the Raleigh/Durham launch, Madeleine Noland, President of the Advanced Television Systems Committee Inc (ATSC) said, “I’d like to congratulate all the broadcasters in Raleigh for this achievement. ATSC 3.0 is a powerful, evolvable platform. Innovative, community-minded broadcasters like CBC and UNC-TV now have a flexible foundation to deliver amazing new experiences to viewers. With ATSC 3.0, television just gets better and better.”

In addition to providing a new, improved way for broadcasters to reach viewers with advanced emergency alerting, NEXTGEN TV allows a viewer to be immersed in stunning video with brilliant color, sharper images and deeper contrast that will make viewers feel like they’re really there.  NEXTGEN TV adds a whole new dimension to TV viewing, with brilliant video and new Voice + dialogue enhancement, to bring voices to the foreground.  Viewers will feel the power of movie theater-quality sound that enables a viewer to hear every voice clearly and offers consistent volume across channels. NEXTGEN TV is also enhanced with Internet content to get the most out of live sports, live news, live events and more, in real time.

How does it work?
Powered by ATSC 3.0, NEXTGEN TV is considered one of the most important broadcast technology upgrades ever. The launch of NEXTGEN TV is the result of long-term planning by the ATSC Technology Group 3 and includes years of planning and preparation by industry leaders and NEXTGEN TV steering teams.

By merging over-the-air TV with the Internet, NEXTGEN TV is going to change the way viewers watch live broadcast television.  Local stations can now personalize their news, sports, live events and shows with interactive features that give viewers the content most relevant to them.

NEXTGEN TV can support a wide range of features currently in development, such as immersive audio and UHD video -broadcasting to mobile devices, personalized viewing tools, and advanced emergency alerts providing rich media instead of simple text messages. NEXTGEN TV also allows full integration with 5G and other broadband-delivered Internet content.

How do viewers receive NEXTGEN TV?
To learn more and also see a list of available NEXTGEN TV models, visit: www.WatchNextGenTV.com

Features available on NEXTGEN TV’s will vary by device and by broadcaster. Currently, NEXTGEN TV is a feature built into select new TV models from LG Electronics, Samsung, and Sony.

In the future, viewers with NEXTGEN TV, viewers will get:

  • Stunning 4K, High Dynamic Range video
  • Movie theater quality sound
  • Added voice clarity with Voice +
  • Consistent volume across channels
  • Enhanced Internet content on demand
  • Advanced Emergency Alerting functions to keep viewers better informed

Will this impact my current TV service?
All current programming remains available to all WRAL, WRAZ, WARZ and WUNC viewers, regardless of whether their television service is provided over-the air or by a cable or satellite company. Antenna viewers can simply rescan their TV sets to ensure full service.  Rescan instructions are available at: fcc.gov/rescan. Cable and satellite subscribers do not need to take any action.

Does every city get access to NEXTGEN TV?
Across the country, NEXTGEN TV service is beginning to launch, although the broadcast roll out will vary greatly city to city and station to station. WRAL, WRAZ, WARZ and WUNC are proud to join the first wave of early adopters in introducing the new third-generation digital TV broadcast technology.

About UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina:
As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, UNC-TV educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—UNC-TV PBS & More, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, UNC-TV serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit unctv.org and join the conversation at facebook.com/publicmediaNC, instagram.com/publicmediaNC, and @publicmediaNC on Twitter.

Thanks to WRAL-TV for this Capcom story & graphic.

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