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UNC-TV Will Offer Multiple Channels After Digital Conversion

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CHAPEL HILL — A proposal before theNorth Carolina Legislaturewould fund the move to digital television byUNC-TV.

UNC-TV spreads its signal to other transmitters across the state. Over the next few years, daytime viewers will be able to watch multiple UNC-TV channels with digital multi-casting.

"This new move to digital will allow us to serve more slices of the public at the same time than we currently are able to do," says program director Diane Lucas.

The signal used to broadcast wide-screen high definition TV can be split into four separate channels, all digital.

For example, one channel could be "Just For Kids" with programs like Sesame Street, Barney and other childrens' shows.

"We could offer a channel of regular programming, which we're calling at this time UNC-TV Prime, that would offer programming for adults in the daytime," Lucas said.

Another of the multicast channels would be adult tele-course programs.

"That opportunity enables us almost to probably provide enough programming that a student could get a full degree using distance learning," Lucas said.

The biggest challenge for UNC-TV is to create a North Carolina channel, which would showcase the state, offer expanded news and legislative coverage.

"The channel that we're challenged with is the North Carolina channel," general manager Tom Howe said. "That will take additional resources. But we have all the programming we need right now for preparing children to be ready to learn, full time distance learning channel and a full time traditional public television channel."

UNC-TV, like all television broadcasters, must switch to digital but will continue broadcasting its traditional analog signal until a large majority of viewers have digital receivers.


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