AMES — The Iowa State TV channel is going to show up looking its best when it launches.
Cyclones.tv, the 24-7 ISU athletics station that will air on Mediacom, is expected to be HD capable this fall.
Originally, the channel was first to air in standard definition with HD coming at a later date.
“If you are going to start a TV channel you would be silly to not try and get HD if you can,” said ISU director of digital media Tyler Rutherford.
ISU hopes the HD component is ready for launch and if not, Rutherford said it would be up “shortly after.”
There is no firm date set for the first day of programming, but both Mediacom and ISU have stated in the past they want the channel up and running by the ISU season opening football game on Aug. 31, which is scheduled to air on the station.
Mediacom communications director Phyllis Peters declined comment for this story in July, only saying that the company believes that the channel will be up and running this fall.
ISU produces all of its Cyclones.tv Internet content in HD and always wanted to get HD for the TV station, Rutherford said.
One of the biggest challenges was making sure there was enough Mediacom bandwidth to get the HD channel out to its viewers without any issues. The more testing that was done, the more beginning the station in HD became a reality and by the end of May a fall launch for HD seemed possible, Rutherford said.
“There are some things we need to improve on our end, and Mediacom has also got to do the things on their end to make the HD relationship work,” Rutherford said, “and so we are all confident that we have had some time this summer to hammer out some of those technical issues.”
A six-week block of programming is already scheduled out. ISU is tinkering with its lineup to “make it the most coveted and fresh content we can,” Rutherford said.
There will be a block of new ISU content, airing daily, likely in the evening.
“Essentially take when people are going to be watching the channel most,” Rutherford said, “not during the work day, and set up our programming blocks for when people are going to be able to view it.”
Original programming will include a “Cyclones.TV Today” newscast recapping the biggest stories of the day, an Olympic spotlight show and two different documentary-style shows centering on ISU sports icons and famous games called “Cyclones Classics” and “Cyclone Legends.”
The channel will also air live press conferences, coaching shows and replays of classic games.
And the hope is all of it will be in HD from day one.
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