Back in January, I wrote WJCT with some questions about their HDTV plans. Here is the response I got then:
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:00:41 -0500
From: Brian Lietz <Brian_Lietz@WJCT.pbs.org>
Subject: Re: Fwd: HDTV....when?
Jonathan, Thank you for your interesting comments. I have tried to answer your questions as succinctly as possible. If you have further informational requests, please send an email directly to me.
>What are the plans for HDTV at WJCT?
To follow the FCC mandate for non-commercial broadcasters. HDTV will be broadcast as available from our network - PBS.
> When will you begin broadcasting?
May 2003 is the mandate.
>What resolutions are you going to support?
PBS's delivery standard is 1080i and initially 480i for local programs.
> What are you doing to ensure that AT&T Cable will support the retransmission of the HDTV digital picture?
PBS is in negotiation with several cable companies. However, the FCC has made no federal mandate for HDTV cable carriage at this time.
>If you're going to do, then by all means exploit it. Don't compress multiple sub-channels of low resolution "junk" programming.
The State of Florida will require WjCT to provide at least one SD (480i) stream twelve hours every weekday for educational programming to the schools our DTV signal reaches.
> Using the bandwidth the FCC gave you and do 1080i frequently
PBS is currently providing an excellent HDTV program service which we will broadcast upon initializing our DTV transmitter and as our programming schedule permits.
>720p more often
720p is a part of the MPEG2 standard that a few networks (ABC for example) have adopted. PBS has chosen to use the highest standard currently available - 1080i.
> and NEVER less than 480i. What a waste if you don't....
We hope 480i is just a transitional format for us. As we purchase more production equipment, we will have the opportunity to do local productions as 1080i HDTV.
I'm am glad to know that our viewing public, like yourself, is genuinely interested in the many opportunities that will come with the transition to Digital television.
If you would like to support WjCT's DTV effort, please send a check to WjCT, Inc. c/o the DTV fund. It will be put to good use and may allow us to start our DTV broadcasts sooner than later.
VP Technology and Operations