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Thirteen/WNET New York Activates DTV Signal

NY PubCaster Began Transmission of its Digital Broadcast Signal at 8:30 a.m. Today (July 11, 2001)
Thirteen/WNET New York, America's most-watched public television station, began transmission of its digital broadcast signal at 8:30 a.m. today. Thirteen is one of the first public broadcasters in the country to go digital and has the first full-powered digital signal in New York City. Thirteen's digital channel, WNET-DT, airs on channel 61 in the New York metropolitan area.

With its digital channel active, Thirteen is now able to broadcast High Definition Television (HDTV) programming from its own HDTV production pipeline as well as from PBS and other public television producers.

Thirteen's digital channel will also give it the capabilities to multicast and datacast. With multicasting, Thirteen will be able to run multiple streams of programming simultaneously; with datacasting, Thirteen will be able to transmit program-related information to enhance the viewing experience. Thirteen will explore the use of these capabilities in the future.

Thirteen's launch of its digital signal is in compliance with a federal mandate that all American television stations transition to digital broadcasting. Thirteen will now maintain its normal analog broadcasts on channel 13, while simultaneously airing a series of HDTV fare on channel 61. In 2006, all American broadcasters are scheduled to turn in their analog channels.

Thirteen's digital transition was made possible through the station's $27 million Digital Campaign. The Kresge Foundation provided major support to Thirteen's Digital Campaign by making a $2 million challenge grant. This Kresge Foundation challenge grant enabled Thirteen to leverage significant support from a diversity of funders. Contributions of $1 million and above were made by The Starr Foundation, Josh and Judy Weston, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, New York State, Sony Corporation, Tektronix, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Greene, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen, The Abby R. Mauze Trust, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, William Reilly and Frank Stanton.

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