Frequently Asked Questions About HDTV - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Frequently Asked Questions About HDTV

QUESTION: How is HDTV different from the way I see TV now?
ANSWER: The first noticeable difference is HDTV's much wider screen. In the current analog system, the width of the picture divided by its height gives you a ratio of 4/3. HDTV, on the other hand, has a width to height ratio of 16/9, which closely resembles that of a movie screen. The second key feature is that HDTV has more than six times the sharpness and clarity of analog TV. The HDTV picture contains 1080 vertical picture elements (pixels) by 1920 horizontal pixels, for a total of more than two million. The analog picture contains a total of 230,400 pixels. Finally, HDTV has six channels of CD-quality surround sound (left, right, center, left rear, right rear, and low frequency effects). This combination of super-sharp video and digital sound promises a spectacular viewing experience. Best of all, it can be received for free!

QUESTION: You say WECT-DT broadcasts over the airwaves on Digital Channel 6.1 Does this mean I can't see it on my current cable system?
ANSWER: That's correct in most cases. You need an antenna to view WECT's HDTV signals, though it doesn't have to be a "digital antenna." Time Warner Cable has added WECT-DT to their digital system on Channel 936. While you're up there, check out our 24 hour a day/7 days a week all weather channel - WECT Weather Plus on TWC 939 (Also available over-the-air on Digital Channel 6.2)

QUESTION: Does this mean you broadcast an HDTV on Digital Channel 6.1 and an analog signal on Channel 6 at the same time?
ANSWER: Yes, we "simulcast" both signals from our transmitter sites. We'll do so until the time comes to switch off our analog signal.

QUESTION: If I want to watch HDTV I'll have to buy a new set, right?
ANSWER: The best way to view HDTV in all its glory is to buy a high definition television with a high definition tuner included, or buy a separate HDTV tuner. You can connect a high definition tuner to your old set, though the picture won't be much better than the one you currently receive.

QUESTION: Where can I find a high definition set, and how much do they cost?
ANSWER: They're showing up all over the coastal Carolinas and, as you've probably heard, they're still quite pricey. But, like VCR's and computers, the cost is coming down. We recommend you do some research and shop around.

QUESTION: Will I be able to watch WECT News 6 newscasts in HDTV?
ANSWER: No, currently you'll only be able to watch network programming. We're installing a digital transmitter and making other internal strides toward being HDTV ready, but it will be a few years before we change over completely.

QUESTION: If the program you're showing isn't being broadcast in HDTV, what will I see on my new high definition set?
ANSWER: You'll see an analog picture in 4/3 ratio.

QUESTION: I live on the outer edge of your viewing area. Will my signal have any of the "snow" or "ghosting" that I currently have to put up with?
ANSWER: No. Because the signal is digitally transmitted, the picture will be perfect as long as you're within the WECT viewing area. This can be affected by your surrounding terrain. If you're outside our viewing area, there will be nothing to see at all.

QUESTION: I'm not sure when I'll be ready to make the change. How long before my old set is obsolete?
ANSWER: Relax. Regulations tell us we must keep our analog signal going until 85 percent of the homes in the market own at least one high definition television set. How long will that be? It's difficult to say. The last report from the FCC and Congress was the desire to recapture the analog spectrum in December 31, 2007.

QUESTION: What HDTV programming is available on WECT-DT
ANSWER: WECT-DT will have whatever HDTV programming NBC provides to us. Most of the primetime schedule, many sporting events including college football, NFL football, and NCAA basketball games will be broadcast in high-definition. And there's more to come! For more information, visit NBC's page about HDTV.
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