WRAL achieves another first with 4K documentary

Posted July 14, 2014 6:14 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2014 5:30 p.m. EDT

— With it's documentary "Take Me Out to the Bulls Game," WRAL will became the first local television station to in the country to produce a program in the new broadcast technology called 4K, or Ultra High Definition.

"4K may be the next thing, and we wanted to be on the forefront," said Station Manager Jim Rothschild.

4K promises a picture four times as clear as HDTV.

"The color, the resolution and the contrast it can capture make the picture seem even more lifelike than you realize," said WRAL's Director of Engineering Pete Sockett. "It actually almost really pops off the screen."

WRAL's Documentary unit has been working cameras that capture a picture in 4K's ultra high resolution format to record the sights and sounds this season at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The result is "Take Me Out to the Bulls Game," the first locally produced 4K program in the country.

"Going into this project, we didn't know what we didn't know, which is half the reason we did the project," Sockett said. 

"We're always pushing the envelope, always out riding the leading edge of the wave," said WRAL documentary photographer Jay Jennings. "And this is no exception."

Back in 1996, WRAL-TV was first to broadcast a digital signal in high definition. In 2001, WRAL became the first local television station in the world to gather and broadcast all of its news programming in high definition.

With "Take Me Out to the Bulls Game," it will be the first to broadcast in 4K.

"4K may very well be the future," Rothschild said. "There certainly are technological issues that haven't been solved in terms of broadcasting and distributing it. But it looks like it is the next big thing."

Invited guests at the DBAP for the Triple-A Home Run Derby will be the first to preview the program. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" will make it's TV debut later this summer.