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HDTV Broadcasting is Here



To All:

Well....A new era in boardcasting is here that will impact how we watch
television, how we do all our jobs in the post production process and
the quality of the television images that we generate.

Wednesday, October 28 was the local LA AES section meeting.  The program
to be presented by Steve Lyman of Dolby and Tom Holman(THX inventor) of
USC/TMH was to be on the subject of Audio for DTV.  About a week before
the meeting I thought it would be fun to see if could demonstrate  5.1
multi-channel sound off  the air. With the beginning of broadcasting and
the deadline of Nov. 1 approaching there was an acute shortage of
receivers or set-top boxes.  I called the Philips Consumer/Tri-media
Semiconductor Group and was able to arrange for them to send a unit with
engineering support.

The only LA station that could commit to support the demo was
KTLA-Channel 5.  They were the first  LA commercial station and they
wanted to be the first to transmit full HDTV.  KNBC beat them with a
transmitter on the air but the signal was unconverted standard def. and
there was no audio.

It was 2pm with the program slated to start at 8pm. KTLA was not on the
air yet and I found that they did not have the necessary hardware to
enable 5.1 channel audio...only 2 channel stereo.  So much for a full
5.1 channel demo.

The equipment was setup and ready and still no transmitter on the air.
At 7:40pm KTLA threw the switch and they were on the air with up
converted NTSC.    They then played back some of last January's Rose
Parade.  This was the first full true HDTV broadcast in Los Angeles.
The display was a 3 CRT Barco front screen projector.  The picture was
judged by those present  as being truly spectacular.  The sound was
encoded Pro logic and was decoded to full surround for the
presentation.  A few minutes after Channel 5 begin broadcasting Channel
2-CBS begin transmission and ran the Panasonic Demo tape in HD.  Looked
Great.

The LA stations Broadcasting in HDTV are:

KTLA (channel 5-Ind,WB)        DTV channel 31
KNBC (channel 4-NBC)            DTV channel 36
KCBS (channel 2-CBS)             DTV channel 60
KABC (channel 7-ABC)            DTV channel 53

Many thanks to those from the Philips Tri-media Group for their
Equipment and Support.  Also to KTLA for getting on the Air just in
time.  This was just like doing a live  TV remote.

Regards,  Bill  (More about the Next Day of Broadcast HDTV and the Space
Shuttle  Launch in HDTV in the Next report)

Bill Hogan        Sprocket Digital        Burbank, CA
bhogan  at sprocketdigital.com            v. 818-566-7700        f.
818-566-4477


---
Thanks to Time Logic's Jim Lindelien for support in 1998.
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