|KQED Press Kit
KQED Public Media overview, history, division and management information
|Media Usage Policy
photo & document rights,
Contacts for journalists and reporters only. For information about contacting KQED, please visit the Contact Us page. Please send press releases or news story ideas directly to KQED Radio Programs contacts.
Scott Walton, Executive Director of Communications
Meredith Gandy, Publicist
KQED News Tips
Have a news tip or a breaking news item?
Contact KQED News newsroom: 415.553.2361
|KQED Makes Bay Area Digital Television History |
Public Broadcaster to Transmit Digital Signal on May 15
First High-Definition Program will be "Sahara" on May 24
San Francisco, CA, May 15, 2000 -- KQED, the most-watched public television station in prime-time in the nation, will begin broadcasting its digital signal today, Monday, May 15, 2000, becoming the first public broadcaster to do so in Northern California. Bay Area viewers who have high-definition television sets will be able receive KQED's digital broadcast signal on KQED DT30 from sign-on to sign-off; viewers who have an analog set will continue to receive KQED's regular signal on TV9. Viewers of both TV9 and DT30 will receive KQED's full program schedule.
KQED's first digital transmission sets the stage for KQED to broadcast its first high-definition (HDTV) program. On Wednesday, May 24 at 9 p.m., KQED viewers who have HDTV sets will be able to view the national PBS program, Sahara, in high-definition on KQED DT30. Filmed in Super 35mm, Sahara captures the essence of the famed desert, a world of mystery and illusion. The Sahara is a place of extremes, where searing heat, piercing cold, merciless drought and violent winds conspire to test the creatures that make the world's largest desert their home. Viewers who have a regular analog set still will be able to view Sahara on KQED TV9, but without the benefit of crisper and clearer images unique to a high-definition program.
KQED's transmission of a digital television signal -- also referred to as DTV -- is the first phase in transitioning to an all-digital broadcast and production facility. After transmitting its first digital signal, KQED will begin to change its operations and equipment from an analog format to a digital one. KQED's DTV capability will allow the station to digitally broadcast over a variety of formats, including multicasting on up to four channels, broadcasting with enhanced or interactive television and, of course, airing programs in HDTV.
"KQED has reached a historic benchmark today with our first broadcast in the digital format," noted Mary Bitterman, president and CEO of KQED. "This transmission affords KQED the opportunity to harness the power of digital television and use it to further our mission of education, culture and citizenship for the Bay Area community. High-quality programs like Sahara will be doubly so on KQED DT30."
KQED is poised to introduce an unprecedented level of educational services to the people of Northern California with the transition to digital technology. By making the leap from analog to digital, KQED is establishing itself as a major Northern California production center. Under a mandate from the Federal Communications Commission, all commercial and public television stations must make the conversion to digital technology by the year 2003.
Funding for KQED's DTV transmitter was provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and other supporters of KQED's Campaign for the Future Digital Conversion Fund.
Covering more than 3,000 miles, Sahara is as diverse as it is vast. Part one -- "The Dance of the Jinni" -- focuses on sun and sand, fiery heat and titanic windstorms that are all fixtures of the wild Sahara. The fennec fox, the sand cat, the caracal, the desert eagle owl and the dromedaries of the bedouin Taureg all cope in their separate ways with the capricious whims of the jinni -- the legendary supernatural spirits who rule the endless sea of sand. In part two -- "The Nectar of Life" -- the program highlights the wet and cold aspects of the Sahara. Even in one of the most hostile places on Earth, there are moments of relief. In the Atlas Mountains, high above the desert floor, leopards stalk through heavy snow in pursuit of woolly-coated macaques, while rare torrential storms test the endurance of striped hyenas, desert monitors and gazelles.
KQED, Inc., operates KQED TV9, the nation's most-watched public television station; KQED 88.5 FM, one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation; and the KQED Education Network (EdNet), which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and the Internet.