Waco’s Government Channel Goes 1080p

This doesn’t quite sound like your grandfather’s government access channel.

WCCC-TV in Waco, Texas, (DMA no. 94), which was noted some years ago as one of the top three government access channels in the nation by the Cable Access Guild, will continue to go where few government access channels have gone before (or commercial broadcasters, for that matter) and not only transition to ATSC DTV by next month’s deadline, but produce all their content in 1080p.

While an increasing number of homes have 1080p-capable sets, there is virtually no 1080p content to watch yet (except Blu-ray).

A WCCC-TV spokesman said all costs for new digital studios and the conversion were funded by cable operators—as detailed in the recently adopted Texas cable franchise agreement; no tax monies were used for capital improvements.

WCCC-TV began producing new programming in 1080p last June, along with another HD staple—5.1 channel surround sound. WCCC-HD (“Waco City Cable Channel”) is on Grande Ch. 410. (It’s not known exactly what the HD quality is, once Grande sends the channel on to its subscribers, although virtually all cablers compress signals to varying degrees.)

As for the content itself, maybe you’re picturing endless government hearings and city council meetings? Hardly. Some of the new government access shows have included concerts from Waco’s Brazos Nights series (including Australian guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel), Veterans Day and holiday parades, and a couple dozen short segments on area activities. And returning this month are viewer contests on “Waco Up Close.”

Read all of HD Notebookhere.