WUSA-TV Tests Broadband HD

January 31, 2007
WUSA-TV, the first station in the nation's capital to offer local HD news many months ago, is now moving towards providing free HD streams over its Web site, WUSA9.com, with a beta-test last week using the president's State of the Union address.

The Gannett outlet plans to add HD video to its site on a regular basis very soon, and already has lined up Toyota as an online sponsor. WUSA-TV said the live presidential feed in HD, which was not widely promoted, drew more than 400 "viewers," according to "TV AM."

WUSA-TV said it provided all Gannett stations with links to its HD stream. (An estimated four stations wound up displaying the link on their own Web sites.) The broadcaster said from what it could determine, virtually none of its local viewers experienced any technical problems with its broadband stream, which used Akamai Technologies software.

WUSA said there were a few problems reported among viewers of one or two of the other Gannett stations that were affected, but the specific reasons had not yet been determined. A WUSA exec said apart from very good HD video, "The audio was spectacular." Technical issues aside, its primarily copyright and other content issues that are holding back HD video at WUSA9.com, according to the broadcaster.

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