High Definition TV Comes to Heartland on CH12 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

High Definition TV Comes to Heartland on CH12

The best improvement in home television since color is here in the Heartland.

The new word to add to your high-tech dictionary is "Hi-Def TV" or high definition TV.  The federal communications commission mandated all stations convert their signal to digital/hi-def. So now, you can see all your favorite CBS shows like CSI in crystal clear images.

KFVS parent company Raycommedia spent tens of millions of dollars on equipment at CH12 to bring-up all it's many TV stations around the country to the new hi-def/digital standard.  The Cape station was one of the few nationwide to meet a May 1st deadline for bringing it on-line.

"CBS has pretty much led the rest of the networks with High-Def programming.  Right now most if not all prime time CBS programming is in High Definition.  Some day-time programming is also Hi-Def, as are CBS sports programs, and more coming on line all the time," says Paul Keener, KFVS12 Marketing Director.

To bring in that Hi-Def signal, KFVS installed new elctronics at the station, and out at the transmitter site, including a separate tower.

It's very noisy inside the transmitter building at the base of the tower.  The main transmitter hardware is inside a 6-foot-tall gray box sitting squat in one corner of the all-concrete building.  It would take a degree in Electronic Engineering to explain or understand how it all works, but one thing you notice right away is the massive water-cooling system it requires to keep the temperature manageable during operation.

Despite the impressive layout and expense, viewership is lean.

"We know that there a very few people watching our Hi-Def signal....uh, we wanted to meant the dealdine none the less," adds Keener.

The Naing's of Carbondale are glad, though, that KFVS is transmitting hi-def.  More than glad, they were amazed.

"We were just surprised becasue we were just looking around our little satellite, and all of a sudden, we get local channels, which is a big surprise becuse we didn't think that anything around here would be able to come in and we were just shocked, because now a lot of TV that we watch is not cable or satellite, it's local channels. So now we get to watch, you know, a lot of the shows we like, but it's in High Definition, so it's a great, a really good surprise," says Eric Naing, the son of an avowed technology hobbyist.

So, with a classy new wall-mounted screen, and a pricey digital tuner, what else was needed to bring in the signal?  A 15-20-dollar rabbit-ear antennae from Radio Shack.

"So we were really surprised when we got this little tiny antennae, and we started to pick up your channel mostly, just really shocked," says Naing.

Eric says his house is the new favorite place for his friends to be, now, because you can immediately see the difference in the picture quality.

"...super-clean.  I didn't know it was possible.  It's really, really great having Channel 12 in High-Definition," beams Naing.

So to get the high-definition TV shows, you need a high-definition TV, a digital tuner (which is supposed to be standard equipment on all TV's by 2004), and the U-H-F antennae like the Naing's have.  One other thing:  to get hi-def programs on KFVS (at least for the time-being) you  have to tune your U-H-F antennae to channel 57.  Don't ask -- the explanation is requires a high definition.

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