Current Online

Last year, there were 7 public TV stations; this year 10

Originally published in Current, Oct. 18, 1999

Three more public TV stations will be broadcasting digitally next week for the second annual PBS Digital Week, making a total of 10. In all three cases, they were the first stations to go digital in their states.

Kentucky ETV's Louisville outlet, WKPC, put its digital signal on the air Aug. 19 at the start of the Kentucky State Fair, with the governor symbolically flipping the switch.

KTCA's sister station KTCI put its DTV signal on-air Sept. 16 in a ceremony at the state capitol and a showing of a short HDTV program made for the occasion, "Minnesota Moments." Because KTCI's digital channel 16 is adjacent to its analog channel (17), both can be broadcast from through the same antenna, making it easier to go digital with KTCI before the main channel, KTCA, according to Dan Thomas, v.p. of engineering.

New Jersey Network's Trenton station went digital Oct. 6 with a ceremony at its studio.

PBS's Digital Week 2.0-Oct. 25 through Nov. 3-will start with a "digitally enhanced" version of Wonders of the African World with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Viewers with DTV sets will be able to receive the entire companion web site through the air, along with an additional interview with Gates and other material not included in the series.

And it will end with a high-definition triple-header, "The Blues: In Performance at the White House," with B.B. King; "Newport Jazz '99"; and The Kennedy Center Presents: "A Tribute to Muddy Waters, King of the Blues." The B.B. King and Muddy Waters specials come from WETA, Washington, and the jazz show from Festival Productions.

In addition, PBS Online will relaunch its DTV web site,

Last year, public TV had seven DTV transmitters going in time for PBS Digital Week 1.0 -- in Washington, D.C.; Jackson, Miss.; Kansas City; Portland, Ore.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Seattle and Milwaukee.


To Current's home page

Current Briefing: Public TV and the digital transition.

Earlier article: PBS's first Digital Week, in 1998, featured the HDTV odyssey of glassblower Dale Chihuly..

Outside link: PBS Online explains digital TV to consumers.

Web page posted Oct. 20, 1999
The newspaper about public television and radio
in the United States
A service of Current Publishing Committee, Takoma Park, Md.
Copyright 1999