Is CBS6 news now in HD? I was just watching the 11pm newscast and the main anchor's camera filled the entire 16:9 screen and definitely looked like it was HD quality, not SD. Anyone else notice this or know if it is now in HD? That would be pretty big since not many local news stations across the country broadcast their news in HD.
Just wanted to add that the sports desk's camera was also in HD and some of the clips they showed from the Giants game were in HD as well.
The studio and Albany bureau cameras are HD. Graphics (except for weather graphics) are HD. All news video is upconverted SD, including the Giants highlights which although they were recorded from the HD broadcast were downconverted before editing and therefore rebroadcast in upconverted widescreen SD.
According to Production, all studio cameras are now HD. The weather wall camera is in HD and looking at their website it looks like the 7 Day Forecast is in HD now so I'd expect all weather graphics to go HD soon as well. Also the field cameras are shot in SD 16:9 "to be upgraded later."
Also they said they have not announced it yet on air because of all the possible things that could go wrong since they basically had to make all new systems and graphics, etc. They didn't want it to be high profile in case things went wrong so they opted for a soft launch.
This explains why Augustyniak's arms were going into the sidebars on last night's 11pm. That was freaking me out. Apparently, most of the show was HD but not weather (I had it on ias background noise and only paid attention during weather).
I didn't expect to see any of the Albany stations doing HD news for a while. I wonder if any of the others will follow suit this year.
All the news that's fit to...see WRGB Ch. 6 is first in Capital Region to broadcast in the new high-definition format
By CHRIS CHURCHILL, Business writer, First published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008
NISKAYUNA -- WRGB, the Capital Region's CBS affiliate, has begun broadcasting its news programming in high-definition television, or HDTV, the first station in the region to do so. The station, Channel 6, went "high def" on Sunday night, for its 11 p.m. newscast. The move came after years of planning and the clearing of technical hurdles that Fred Lass, director of engineering for the station, described as the most challenging of his 36 years in television.
"Everything you've learned you have to throw away," he said. "You start from scratch."
HDTV is a digital broadcast providing an improved picture that appears almost three-dimensional. Nearly every station in the Capital Region offers at least some high-definition programming to viewers who have invested in the TV sets needed to receive the broadcasts.
But high-definition local news programming is new here.
"It's where the world is heading," WRGB General Manager Robert Furlong said Tuesday. "It's what people are expecting, and it also differentiates us and gives us an opportunity to provide a service that people want."
HDTV viewers can be intensely loyal to the format and try to avoid watching standard definition programming. Some observers believe those viewers might provide an instant ratings boost to WRGB, which, generally speaking, is the region's second most popular TV news provider, after WNYT Ch. 13.
But WRGB's edge might not last for long. Other Capital Region stations on Tuesday said they are also planning to launch high definition broadcasts, though none could specify a launch date.
"We're definitely going to do it," said Rene LaSpina, general manager at WTEN Ch. 10, the ABC affiliate in Albany. "Everybody in the country has plans to do it."
LaSpina and others noted that all television stations are under federal orders to begin broadcasting only digitally by 2009, replacing the traditional analog over-the-air signal. While digital broadcasts aren't necessarily HDTV broadcasts, it's a time of change for the industry that makes stations more likely to add HD programming.
Richard Klein, director of engineering at WNYT in Menands, estimated that about 20 percent of Capital Region households have at least one high definition television and are watching the format.
And he conceded that WRGB might "get a small bump" in ratings from its switch.
But Klein added that examples in other television markets suggest that viewers tend to stick with the news station they prefer.
Nevertheless, Klein said WNYT is making plans to move to high definition broadcasting.
"Whether it's going to be this year or not is not clear at this time," he said.
Sarge Cathrall, chief engineer at Albany Fox affiliate WXXA Ch. 23, said his station has "no plans" to begin HD broadcasting anytime soon. But he added that WRGB's move might pressure other stations to follow suit.
Doing so requires a major financial commitment. Several officials interviewed for this story noted that the cost of the switch can easily top $1 million, requiring new cameras, software, and engineering equipment.
WRGB is owned by Freedom Communications Inc., a California company that owns seven other stations, including WCWN Ch. 45, the Niskayuna station that shares a facility with WRGB.
WCWN broadcasts a WRGB news program at 7 a.m. on weekdays, and that broadcast is also in high definition. WCWN and WRGB are the first Freedom stations to make the switch, Furlong and Lass said.
WRGB has not publicized its move, hoping to work out technical bugs before drawing attention to the broadcast. But some high def aficionados quickly noticed the change, posting comments on a local Web site devoted to the format.
"I didn't expect to see any of the Albany stations doing HD news for a while," says one comment posted on www.albanyhdtv.com. "I wonder if any of the others will follow suit this year." Chris Churchill can be reached at 454-5442 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
I noticed the stretched news this morning on WXXA. I thought it was accident, someone there was doing something wrong. If it was like that last night, too, then it's probably not a mistake. Guess I won't be watching their news anymore.