RALEIGH — WRAL-TV, the first station in the nation to broadcast a high-definition TV signal, will make history again on Friday when it produces an entire newscast in HDTV -- a format that promises better pictures and sound for viewers.
WRAL's corporate parent,Capitol Broadcasting Companyof Raleigh, announced Tuesday that it will use new Panasonic equipment to produce the world's first all-HDTV newscast on Oct. 13 at theNorth Carolina State Fair.
Then, starting in January 2001, WRAL-TV will begin producing all of its newscasts in a blend of high-definition and standard-definition formats. The enhanced newscasts will originate from WRAL's 24,000-square-foot, all-digital news studio, demonstrating to viewers every day the benefits of high-definition television.
Capitol Broadcasting's pioneering move to high-definition newsgathering is being made possible through a multi-million-dollar purchase ofPanasonic's DVCPRO HD equipment.
Under its agreement with Panasonic, WRAL 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, 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.
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.