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Dawn Of A New Age

September 12th, 2005

For WILL-TV, at least. As of 9:28 this morning, we officially signed on our digital transmitter!

It’s been a long time coming: more than two years since we had originally expected to begin digital transmission. Numerous delays and setbacks–most of which were out of our control–led to us filing for several extensions of the due date for our federally-mandated digital transition.

Rather than risk disappointing the relatively small number of early adopters who have been patiently (and sometimes not-so-patiently) awaiting our sign-on, we decided on a “soft launch,” quietly testing the equipment over the past couple of weeks to ensure that we would be ready to go on September 12. As of this writing, all appears well.

Unlike some of our commercial brethren, our digital service has begun at full power, and we are multicasting two simultaneous program streams. WILL-DT is a standard-definition, digital simulcast of our regular analog channel 12. WILL-HD is a pass-through of PBS’ HD satellite feed, which offers a mix of high-definition and digital widescreen programming.

The digital channels are not yet available on cable and satellite, but over-the-air receivers can find them at “virtual channels” 12.1 (HD) and 12.2 (DT). (The signal itself is found on what would be channel 9, but one of the quirks of digital broadcasting is that we can give our services “virtual” designations.)

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