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WHYY Puts DTV To Work

Philadelphia public broadcaster WHYY and the Workforce Investment Boards in several counties are installing computers with built-in digital tuners at 20 regional locations to provide adult basic education material for students who need to complete high school equivalency courses and enhance their workforce skills.

WHYY will broadcast adult basic education on its DTV channel. At sites not reaching the station's current signal, the data course material is loaded on the computers using CD's. The datacasting system allows large amounts of curriculum information, documents, videos and audio clips to be captured from the DTV signal and stored in a computer at a much faster rate then sending it over the Internet. WHYY's broadcast content, including 58 half-hour video segments and over 700 pages of text, can be received and updated quickly.

The system, already in operation at the Chester County CareerLink will expand to area residents at in Chester, Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery counties in training centers, colleges and libraries. WHYY pioneered a similar test program in 2001, placing computers at five child care centers to deliver staff training and curriculum material to employees and continues to develop other long-term plans to use datacasting.