December 18, 2008
KATH-HD was launched in Juneau in August in time for the Beijing Olympics on GCI's basic digital cable TV service on channel 652. The expansion of NBC HD service into Ketchikan is a result of a new fiber-optic cable that GCI installed throughout Southeast Alaska this fall.
To receive the new channel; viewers will need a cable receiver that can tune to channel 652, such as GCI's "HD-DVR" cable box. "Not all programs are produced in HD, and some aren't available to us in HD yet." Said Mikko Wilson, KATH-TV's chief engineer who has been overseeing the HD upgrade project. "We are already looking at ways to further expand our HD offering, especially for programs delivered to us through our partner station KTUU-TV in Anchorage." KATH-TV carries KTUU-TV's local Alaskan "Channel 2 News" daily, in addition to their over-night programming. "We're adding more HD programming as fast as we can, all the big live events (like the Super Bowl) and prime-time are already in HD" added Wilson.
HDTV is a relatively new television format that brings a wider-screen image with up to 6 times the picture sharpness of SD and other enhancements such as surround-sound audio. Of the two HD formats, 720p (which is better suited to faster action) and 1080i (which has a more detail), NBC uses the sharper 1080i format which is better for slower content such as NBC's dramas and comedies. It also allows for a clearer view of large sporting events like football, especially when viewed on larger TV's.
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