PBS North Carolina Launches NextGen TV

The public media network’s WUNC joins other broadcasters in airing ATSC 3.0 broadcasts in Raleigh-Durham.

PBS North Carolina is now broadcasting NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) over its channels in the Raleigh-Durham region. In a collaborative effort with Capitol Broadcasting Co. (CBC), WUNC (ch. 4.11) has been added to the CBC NextGen TV broadcast, which includes CBC’s own WRAL (NBC), plus WRAZ (Fox) and WARZ (ind). Other stations in the Raleigh-Durham market also broadcasting NextGen TV are WTVD (ABC), WNCN (CBS), WUVC (Univision), WLFL (CW) and WRDC (MNT).

PBS North Carolina has long been a pioneer in public media in NextGen TV application development. In 2017, the network won first place in the prestigious National Association of Broadcasters Pilot Innovation Challenge for its “Saving Lives One Alert at a Time” campaign, which showed a significant reduction in the time needed to deliver alerts to fire departments and emergency responders across the state.

Chief Technology Officer at PBS North Carolina, Fred Engel, said: “This announcement reflects the next step in our efforts to implement this exciting technology. It will greatly improve audio and video quality, allow for interactive features to better inform and entertain, and better reception. We will also continue to explore the many other capabilities of this technology that will serve the public including public safety communications, remote learning, telehealth and more.”

For PBS NC viewers equipped with NextGen TV receivers, this new technology offers an immersive TV-watching experience with sharper images, increased, movie theater-style sound quality and the potential for internet integration. Perhaps even more important to PBS North Carolina is the enhanced emergency alert functionality that NextGen TV will provide, allowing the station to offer even more in the way of public service.

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