Green Bay CBS affiliate WFRV was the first broadcaster to go digital in the area in 2003. Last week, WFRV marked another first in Green Bay, kicking off an expansion of its HD presence.
The station and its sister station WJMN, now owned by Liberty Media, recently finished converting its master control facility to accomidate high-definition in-house.
Most often, most local broadcasters only pass live network programming directly to consumers while passing standard-definition local and syndicated programming at all other times. Most stations have been reluctant to invest in the necessary equipment to record and play back syndicated programs like Oprah and Entertainment Tonight in high definition, even though some shows have been available to locals in HD for a couple years now.
With the upgrade, WFRV began offering Oprah in high-definition last week, with ET, The Price Is Right (the daytime version), and Ellen joining the HD lineup this week. These shows are also available in high-definition on WJMN.
Also part of the expansion is the high-definition "character generator," the device that produces on-screen crawls and graphics. WFRV has already started offering a widescreen ticker on its morning show.
No word yet on other HD plans in the works, but the milestone is an important first step into local HD in the Green Bay market.