CHAMPAIGN, Ill. & SPRINGFIELD-DECATUR, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The leading television stations serving the Champaign & Springfield-Decatur television market today began broadcasting with NextGen TV, a revolutionary new digital broadcast technology. Today’s launch includes WICS and WICD, WCIA (CBS), WRSP-TV and WCCU (Fox), WAND (NBC), WBUI (CW) and WCIX (MyNet).
Based on the same fundamental technology as the Internet and digital apps, NextGen TV can support a wide range of features that are currently in development. In addition to providing a new, improved way for broadcasters to reach viewers with advanced emergency alerts, NextGen TV features stunning video with brilliant color, sharper images and deeper contrast to create a more life-like experience.
NextGen TV adds a new dimension to TV viewing, with vibrant video and new Voice+ dialogue enhancement that brings voices to the foreground. Movie theater-quality sound lets viewers hear every voice clearly and keeps volume consistent across channels. NextGen TV also can be enhanced with Internet content to enable viewers to get the most out of live sports, live news, and live events in real-time, without looking away from TV screens.
Powered by ATSC 3.0, NextGen TV is the most significant broadcast technology upgrade to date. Features available on NextGen TV will vary by device and station as broadcasters roll out service across the country.
Today’s launch in Champaign & Springfield-Decatur follows a decade of development and months of planning and preparation by the local stations. WRSP-TV and WCCU, which are owned by GOCOM, have converted to ATSC 3.0 transmissions. Those stations will broadcast their own programming, as well as the programming of the other participating stations, in NextGen TV format. All programming of all participating stations will continue to be available in the existing DTV format, which can be received on all modern television sets. BitPath, which is developing new data broadcasting services, led the planning process and coordinated efforts across the eight television stations.
From Honolulu to Houston and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, NextGen TV service is already on the air in more than 50 cities across the country. Champaign, Springfield and Decatur viewers can learn more about NextGen TV by visiting www.WatchNextGenTV.com, which offers a guide listing cities currently carrying the service, as well as links to available NextGen TV set models.
Antenna viewers without NextGen TV sets can simply rescan their TV sets to ensure uninterrupted service. Rescan instructions are available at fcc.gov/rescan. Cable and satellite subscribers do not need to take any action.
“For nearly 120 years, Block Communications has reflected a diversified media group, bringing news and entertainment to our viewers,” said Dale Woods, Vice President of TV Broadcasting at Block Communications. “As broadcast television has fundamentally changed over the last 10 years, our team recognized that the introduction of NextGen TV would do the very same, and our viewers are the biggest benefactors of this innovation. Our excitement about this new standard and the opportunities it presents the business of broadcasting today and in the future has only grown since we joined BitPath in this transition.”
About WRSP-TV, WCCU and WBUI – GOCOM
WRSP-TV, WCCU and WBUI are leading Champaign & Springfield-Decatur television stations owned by GOCOM Media of Illinois, LLC. WRSP-TV and WCCU are affiliated with the Fox television network, and WBUI is affiliated with CW.
About WICS and WICD – Sinclair
WICS and WICD are leading stations in the Champaign & Springfield-Decatur television market. Both stations are affiliated with ABC and are owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI), a diversified media company and a leading provider of local sports and news. Sinclair owns, operates and/or provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets; owns multiple national networks including Tennis Channel and Stadium; has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks; and owns and/or operates 21 regional sports network brands. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital and streaming platforms NewsOn and STIRR. For more information, please visit https://newschannel20.com/ and sbgi.net.
About WCIA and WCIX - Nexstar
WCIA and WCIX are leading stations in the Champaign-Springfield-Decatur television market. Both stations are owned and operated by Nexstar Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST). Nexstar is the nation's largest operator of local television stations and a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its broadcasting, digital and mobile media platforms. WCIA is affiliated with the CBS network and WCIX is affiliated with MyNet.
About WAND - Block
WAND is a leading local television station owned by Block Communications, Inc. WAND is affiliated with NBC.
BitPath is building the nation's first dedicated broadcast data network to provide innovative new services like BitPoint™ and NavPath™ at a fraction of the cost of other systems. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the BitPath network will launch this year covering dozens of cities. For more information, visit bitpath.com.