DTV hangover

Station groups head to Las Vegas looking past digital transmission

The impact of the DTV transition on planning and purchasing is clear in the shopping lists of the country's station-groups interviewed for this special report.

The groups—Ackerley, Capitol, Cox, Emmis, E.W. Scripps, Granite and Meredith—are well along in getting DTV on air. And those furthest along seem to have a similar hangover as residents of Salt Lake City. They spent years building and planning to hit a deadline that the entire industry is focused on. Now that they've met their deadline, they head to this year's NAB conference, April 6-11 in Las Vegas, wondering what's next.

Those groups still involved in the final push to get stations on-air find that other station projects are feeling the DTV pinch. Most seem optimistic that they will hit the deadline, though. Even if they don't, their stations will be on-air within the extension period.

There are some unifying areas of interest for all the groups. Like their network bretheren, they are giving asset management a close look and investigating centralcasting. DVD also is attracting interest an archiving tool. And disk-based cameras are on the list as well.

This year's NAB will still reflect the effects of the DTV-transmission transition. Next year already promises to harbinger the spread of digital technologies throughout the rest of the broadcast facility.