Local News

Triangle Viewers On the Verge of Digital TV Age

Posted November 28, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Digital and HDTV receivers are expected to be big sellers this holiday season.WRAL-HDhas been broadcasting for a more than a year, butWRALand other area stations have been delayed a bit moving to full-time digital television.

The Triangle's new digital broadcast tower soars 2,000 feet alongside WRAL's existing tower. Six Triangle stations will broadcast analog and digital television from the unique design.

"It's easier for the viewers to tune in, and it's also better for zoning purposes if you've got one tower rather than six," explained John Greene ofCapitol Broadcasting Company.

"There are three arms that come out from the top of the tower, and two antennas are stacked on each of those arms. It's extremely heavy. I would estimate about 90 tons at the very top of the tower," said Greene.

One antenna is mounted, and another is ready to be hoisted into place. Things are getting back on track after delays by hurricanes and lots of rain.

"We're awaiting also a shipment of an antenna, but if weather holds good for us, I would say we're four to six weeks away," said Greene.

Retailers report good sales of digital and HDTV sets because viewers want the clearer signal with CD quality sound.

"You'll have NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox all digital, and I think you're getting to the point that there's programming available which is the key to sale, and receiver prices are dropping," said Greene.

Around the first of next year, Triangle viewers will be in the digital TV age with broadcasts from four stations.