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WRAL-TV First Station to Apply for HDTV License

Posted Updated

RALEIGH — May 9, 1996 - 6 p.m. EDT

WRAL-TV is the first station in the country to file for a license to operate a high definition, file.

We believe in over-the-air television and we believe this is crucial to the future of broadcast television," said James F. Goodmon, president and chief executive officer ofCapitol Broadcasting, parent company of WRAL-TV. "We have got to be able to compete with satellites and with cable, and so we need to get this technology going."

Capitol Broadcasting has pushed for HDTV for several years. The signal will come from a new transmitter and antenna at WRAL-TV's tower site east of Raleigh.

CBS Television worked with Capitol's management on engineering studies and the licensing process for the station.

HDTV sets are not on the market yet. They are expected to be expensive, but so were the first black and white sets.

It will likely take 10 to 15 years for most broadcasters to install new equipment and viewers to buy HDTV sets.

The first broadcasts will be limited because few programs exist in HDTV. But plans are being made for WRAL-HD to carry special, locally produced programs and CBS programs as they become available in HDTV format.

Two other stations have applied for HDTV licenses, but WRAL is expected to be the first on the air. Goodmon (pictured center), John L. Greene Jr. (right), vice president/special projects, and Fred Barber (left), senior vice president for television, signed WRAL's application to the FCC last week.

In the Triangle area,Time-Warnercable will work with WRAL to provide cable access for WRAL-HD.

Listen to 13-second, 109 KBaufile.

"We're going to be the first station on the air with this," Goodmon said, "and we all are going to work together on it -- the equipment manufacturers, the commission, the programmers; everybody's got to work on this. It's the beginning of a new era for broadcast television.

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