IRVING, Texas --The first satellite transmission of an all-digital, commercial high-definition television (HDTV) broadcast was sent from Waco to Irving, Texas, on Dec. 14, from 8-9:30 p.m. CST, Global Broadcasting Corporation has announced. The historic two-way HDTV broadcast was the first step in delivering the latest digital technology that is expected to forever change the face and use of television in the United States, according to Global Broadcasting President Howard J. Gunn.
"Tonight's digital programming proved the information delivery power and flexibility of digital television," said Gunn. "The broadcast technology of the future has arrived."
Satellite transmission and local uplinks were arranged by Vyvx, Inc., a leading international provider of integrated fiber-optic and satellite video transmission services, based in Tulsa, Okla. Audience members praised the sharpness, color and depth of the image at the HD Vision Inc. theater at the Studios of Las Colinas in Irving.
"I have never seen a broadcast like this in my life! The pictures were more vivid than those in Life Magazine and National Geographic," said viewer John Eufinger. "I was very impressed, especially since it was live video on a huge screen that was sharper than the movies. The world just got a lot smaller with video like this, available any place, any time."
"The picture and sound, the realism, the facial expressions and the colors were just amazing," added audience member Shannon Adrian. "The interactivity with the audience was a great experience. I don't believe what I just saw; when are you going to do this again?"
"We are seeking rights for additional programming. Our digital receivers can now be placed anywhere in the world, so the possibilities are great," said Gunn. "We can project the most beautiful pictures onto 40-foot screens with stereo sound, and at the same time, the signals can be down-converted to regular analog television for delivery to over-the-air and cable TV broadcasters."
The all-digital programming included a number of broadcast industry breakthroughs that clearly demonstrate how digital television will profoundly impact the viewing audience. The major commercial firsts included: real-time encoding and broadcasting of live wide screen HDTV and Dolby surround sound stereo, HDTV broadcast using standard video satellite transmission from Vyvx, two-way interactive audience participation with the program's hosts, 35mm film to HDTV transfers, and seamless tape roll-ins of several HDTV programs.
Saturday night's historic program originated from Studio A at CBS affiliate KWTX TV Channel 10 in Waco, and was transmitted by satellite arranged through Vyvx to the HD Vision theater in Irving, about 120 miles away. The program opened with a live on-camera audience introduction to high-definition television and Global Broadcasting Corporation by anchorperson Lori Scott. The introduction was followed by a tape-delayed showing of "Over America," a visual salute to the cities, towns and geography of the United States, originally produced in digital high definition by KCTS TV Channel 9 in Seattle, Wash. Ms. Scott then conducted a live interview with Randall Paris Dark, the executive producer of the program and president of HD Vision, Inc. The interview included a two-way discussion between the studio in Waco and the audience in Irving, near Dallas.
"We appreciate that Vyvx was chosen to carry this precedent-setting broadcast, and it is appropriate because of our history of technological innovation in both satellite and fiber optic transmission," said Laura Kenny, Vyvx vice president of marketing. "We are equipped and ready with the latest technology to meet all our customers' video transmission needs."
"What Global Broadcasting Corporation is doing through its digital delivery process will hopefully break the logjam of delivering HDTV to a wide audience," said Dark, of HD Vision, Inc. "We have content, creative new ideas of ways to use this medium, and projects to be shot. Until now, we have had virtually no way to get our high-definition materials to a large live audience without down-converting it to regular analog television, processing it to 35mm film, or recording it onto tape or laser disks."
Global Broadcasting Corp.
Global Broadcasting is a Texas corporation operating in the Dallas Communications Complex at the Studios of Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. The company markets advanced digital video and imaging services over its Virtual Closed Circuit Network of digital video router products, video servers and software management. GBC delivers High Definition Television, advanced Digital Television, lossless JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) medical images and high-quality two-way interactive video and audio programming to entertainment, broadcast, education, medical and business information markets around the world.
Vyvx is a leading international provider of integrated fiber-optic and satellite video transmission services. In addition to international satellite transponder space capacity, the company provides television transmission services via satellite and its 11,000-mile US fiber optic network; syndication distribution services; fixed and transportable satellite uplinks and downlinks; and coordination and transmission services for news, sports, business, special events and broadcast advertising. Vyvx is the international video communications unit of The WilTech Group, Inc., a subsidiary of The Williams Companies, Inc., based in Tulsa, Okla. Information on Vyvx may be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.vyvx.com and at http://www.glblaccess.com.
HD Vision, Inc.
HD Vision is a pioneer in high-definition television production. One of only three such studios in North America, HD Vision operates a production/post-production and broadcast facility near the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport, and provides consultation and training to Fortune 500 companies and to the entertainment industry worldwide. Information on HD Vision may be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hdvision.com.