Wednesday, April 09, 2008

UPDATE: WEWS Goes HD From Field

They tried it as long ago as October of last year, but now, Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5" has become the first Cleveland market station to regularly air out-of-studio news field video in HDTV format.

OMW hears that after all the glitches were worked out, WEWS' newscasts started featuring the full-resolution 720p recorded video yesterday. And we've seen the results on the air.

The move is as a result of the station's investment in a bunch of field HD cameras and in-house and remote editing computer equipment compatible with HD video.

Of course, "NewsChannel 5" isn't the first local station to do HD video outside the building on newscasts.

Still-for-now FOX O&O WJW/8 "FOX 8" has had SkyFOX HD up for some time, and both WJW and Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 have had fixed outdoor cameras for traffic shots and the like - "FOX 8" on top of its South Marginal Road building pointing at the East Shoreway across the street, and "Channel 3 News" with its ability to use HD cameras at Field under its own control.

But WEWS is the first station to offer actual news video in HD. It, and the market's other stations, have been using SD video - usually 16x9. And even WEWS still has to use 16x9 SD in live shots...only the recorded out-of-newsroom video is HD, and we saw video tonight out of Akron that was clearly fed to the station via an SD link.

OMW hears that the Channel 5 folks are working on this - with a new HD-capable satellite truck due to arrive on that end of things fairly soon, and the eventual acquisition of new HD-capable live microwave video systems - whenever the Cleveland market gets its equipment in that whole Sprint/Nextel replacement program.

The video change on WEWS makes the non-HD video look even more anemic...the analog video noise from the Akron story feed was evident to us, and a non-HD satellite live shot from Columbus looked like someone put wax paper on the camera lens...

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