HDTV in Tulsa's future

Monday, December 3rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The look of Tulsa television will be changing soon - as high definition TV moves into our area. Six in Your Corner reporter Diane White explains more about this technology and what it will mean for you.

We're giving viewers a behind the scenes look at KOTV - here in the nerve center where engineers make sure you get the news and programming you expect. During the next six months, the engineering staff will complete a multi-million dollar conversion as KOTV and Tulsa TV join the world of high definition TV. “You can see what they call - the little dots, pixels, fuzzes in the picture. But when you go to a digital set - there's no lines of information - the picture quality is better."

Picture quality that is now a selling point. Brian Goforth, New HDTV Owner: "There's no comparison to a regular TV to these TVs - and I think the technology is going toward HDTV." So Brian Goforth decided to spend the extra money on a big screen TV that offers high definition. "We've never had one before and this was an opportunity we thought at this point to get something we're going to keep for a long time - and something I think we're going to enjoy for along time to come." More people are shelling out another $300-$500 to buy an HDTV set - which offers a higher definition in its picture. "What they mean by that is the broadcast signal it comes down is almost life-like film.”

Something Tim Boyd at Ultimate Electronics demonstrates to customers daily. "Standard, high definition." The difference is in the lines - analog television has 480 lines - while digital is more than double. "Three dimensional almost more like it's actually in the picture or in the game.” But an HDTV won't work - unless local broadcast stations have digital technology. That will happen soon.

By May 2002 all local Tulsa stations will have this new technology in place. They spent millions to make it happen. "Just the transmission equipment costs between $1 and $4 million and overall the conversion to digital television can cost anywhere from $9 to $14 million over a period of time." But broadcasters and retailers both agree it's will be worth the expense. Don Dobbs, KOTV's Director of Engineering: "For the broadcasters that's the technology that we will use to deliver entertainment into the home for the next 50 years." Tim Boyd, "Once they're available and we'll be able to watch it like it was filmed - it will be incredible.”

You can see a visible difference - and viewers will be able to watch it on channel 6 by next May. You’ll spend more for an HDTV - about to $300 to $500 dollars more for the set, another $800 for the tuner box, but retailers say the prices continue to drop.