Monday, May 22, 2006

WKYC Flips The Local News HD Switch

As expected, Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC/3 did indeed start broadcasting local newscasts in high definition today...beginning with the 6 PM edition of "Channel 3 News".

The station did a slight revamp of their existing set, adding bright, colorful parts like the sign that now says "WKYC NEWS HD" at the top, and what may be an upgraded video screen in the middle of the main set. The weather area also got a makeover, with new "WeatherPlus" graphics.

WKYC appears to have the capability to shoot HD video in the field, as at least one story in the 6 PM newscast featured that video. But another story, a later breaking news piece that was bumped to the top of the show, was in SD. We couldn't tell for sure, but it appeared the live shot parts of both stories were in 16x9 widescreen SD. Perhaps, for now, WKYC's reporters can come in and edit pieces in HDTV in-house, but can't yet transmit that video from the field.

Weather segments featured the HD camera on forecaster Mark Nolan, and the graphics behind him were in SD with "HD" sidebars. Non-HD field video, from network sources and whatever was shot locally in SD, did not have the sidebars.

The move makes WKYC the second HDTV news operation in the Cleveland market, as WJW "FOX 8" has been using HD cameras in its South Marginal Road studios for months. WJW's field news pieces are still shot in SD...

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