50 Years: KBTX Focuses on Technology During 2000's

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

It was the story of the millennium. Every news station paused, then jumped into action.

"That hit the very heart of Bryan and College Station in a lot of ways," KBTX General Manager Mike Wright said. "In a lot of ways we didn't know what to do at that time, I mean who did?"

In seconds, KBTX was broadcasting wall to wall coverage, not only national, but as always live and local.

September 11, 2001 isn't the only event that stands out during the decade. Hundreds evacuated to the Brazos Valley before and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the gulf coast.

What you may not realize is, these breaking news stories made it to your living room differently than they had in the past.

"Technologically speaking it's an exciting time for this community and for KBTX," Wright said.

In the last seven years, KBTX made the switch from shooting on beta tapes to capturing pictures on a disk.
Every story gets put on a server and the quality of what you see at home is even clearer.
In 2003, KBTX started broadcasting CBS programming in high definition.

"The picture is cleaner, more crisp," KBTX Chief Engineer Kris Swearingen said. "Standard definition doesn't have as much data in the stream as high definition."

The look of KBTX has also changed.
After months of construction, in 2000 a new set was finished. The same set you see every night.

From television sets to computer monitors, the biggest change at KBTX in the 2000's was the focus on www.kbtx.com.

"In 2000 it was pretty much just pictures and words," KBTX Internet Technical Advisor Rodney Harris said. "It's endless, I mean there is no limit on what we can put on the website."

And even while you're on the run, Mobile KBTX offers news, weather and sports right on your cell phone.

For 50 years, magic had been created on East 29th street. While technology and the faces have changed over the years, the people you know and the news you trust remains the same.

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