Highlights for HD
This Saturday, July 23, 2016, will mark the 20th anniversary of WRAL launching HD. The station began the transmission of full-power digital test signals on the same date in 1996, with authorization granted by the FCC. Capitol Broadcasting led the
WRAL-TV led the nation in the development of High Definition broadcasting. On October 13, 2000 WRAL made history by broadcasting the entire 5:00 PM newscast LIVE in HD from the State Fair. The historic newscast was broadcast from a special stage at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. The broadcast came just days after WRAL announced it was purchasing equipment from Panasonic to allow the station to gather all of its news stories in the 1080i format. WRAL was the first in the country to convert its entire news operation into HD. This video documents the historic moment from a behind-the-scenes perspective.
In 1996, WRAL was the first station in the nation to start broadcasting in HD even though most viewers did not have an HD television set.
WRAL led the nation in HD television development. WRAL-TV obtained the first experimental HDTV (high-definition television) license in June of 1996 and became the first commercial television station in the nation to broadcast a HDTV signal a little over one month later. In 2000, WRAL converted its entire news operation to HD, including the cameras onboard the news helicopter, SKY 5. This promo informs the viewer of the benefits of watching HD, even though many did not have an HD television set in 2000.
Capitol Broadcasting Company helped establish the first HD digital cinema in the country at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. WRAL, the first HD station in the country, commissioned Art Howard (former WRAL news photographer) to travel across North Carolina to gather images with a high definition camera showcasing the diverse wilderness of our state. WRAL News anchor Bill Leslie hosts this fabulous presentation produced in 2000.
WRAL Parade of Sail (2006) was a live HD broadcast featuring 13 tall ships from around the world sailing through Beaufort Inlet in eastern North Carolina. The broadcast required enormous technical expertise to integrate eight live cameras located in a variety of locations including aerials from SKY 5, two sailboats in the parade of ships, remote coverage from reporters, and a set for the hosts. The music heard throughout the broadcast was composed by WRAL News anchor Bill Leslie. The event was hosted by WRAL News anchors Bill Leslie and Debra Morgan. Guests included Rodney Kemp, historian, and Don Holloway, Tall Ships Event Coordinator. WRAL News anchor David Crabtree provided onsite interviews with people who came to see the ships.
The following ships were featured: MEKA II, Ada Mae, Compass Rose, Serenity, Three Belles, Cisne Branco from Brazil, Jeanie B, Margaret, Phoenix, Virginia, Wolf, Alliance and A.J. Meerwald. One photographer was onboard the Meerwald and another photographer was onboard a chase boat.
The broadcast was nominated for an EMMY award for technical achievement. Bob Gubar served as director.