Trivia

Hard

The First Station In The U.S. To Broadcast Digital TV Was Located In?

Raleigh, North Carolina
Los Angeles, California
Chicago, Illinois
New York, New York

Answer: Raleigh, North Carolina

Not only might you be surprised to see where the first digital TV broadcast took place, Raleigh, NC, but when: way back in 1996. Although HDTV and the digital broadcast system it is built on is now a mainstay of broadcast TV today, it was entirely a curiosity back in the 1990s.

In fact, the first broadcast, sent out by WRAL-TV, a CBS affiliate in Raleigh, was so experimental and ahead of the curve that it preceded the sale of HDTV sets in the U.S. by 2 years (sets wouldn’t become available until 1998). The broadcast was a critical demonstration of early digital transmission technology. From the station’s historical account of the event, courtesy of WRAL:

On May 9, 1996, WRAL-TV filed the first application in the nation for a license to operate a high-definition television station. On June 19, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted WRAL-TV the first experimental HDTV license in the country. The new station, WRAL-HD, operated on channel 32 at 100 kilowatts with an antenna 1,750 feet above the ground.

Thirty-four days later, on July 23, 1996, WRAL transmitted the first digital signal. It culminated 20 years of dreaming and planning by broadcasters around the world. It took an army of engineers and equipment experts those 34 days to get to transmission capability.

In order to make the deadline, everyone worked almost around the clock, doing in 34 days what normally should have taken eight to 10 weeks to accomplish: installing a brand new Harris HD transmitter.

Television history was made as WRAL shared the first public demonstrations of the new high-definition technology in the nation. Over 200 members of the media and the television industry watched their first HDTV show at the WRAL studios. The demonstration was a joint exhibit by WRAL and the HD Model Station in Washington, DC.

On July 24, the FCC granted an extension of the experimental license to continue operations and testing of the HDTV signal. For these experiments, WRAL-HD was operating at 100 kilowatts of effective radiated power from an antenna that was placed at 1,736 feet on WRAL-TV’s main tower near Garner, N.C.

Putting aside that early experiment in broadcasting, the first formal broadcast (that, thanks to early HDTV sales, was seen by more than a few people in the Carolinas) was the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95) and John Glenn’s return to space in October of 1998.

Trivia

Easy

What Is The Only Day Of The Week That Derives Its Name From Roman Mythology?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Movie Theater Staples Was Originally Banned In Early Movie Theaters?

Trivia

Hard

In 2012 Taco Bell Airlifted A Truck Filled With Tacos To?

Trivia

Hard

In What Field of Study Is “Spaghettification” A Technical Term?

Trivia

Hard

What Is The Name of Wikipedia’s “Official” Theme Song?

Trivia

Hard

Which North American Animal Helps, Indirectly, Protect People From Lyme Disease?

Trivia

Hard

Who Graces The Most Valuable Baseball Card In The World?

Trivia

Hard

The Lowest Level Programming Language Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Icons Of Horror Also Had A Cooking Show?

Trivia

Hard

The Black And White Gangster Film Kevin Watches in ‘Home Alone’ Is Called?