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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Fireworks Not In HDTV

For the second consecutive year, the WEBN fireworks will not be in high definition -- for the same reason. It's too expensive.

"We looked at doing it in HDTV early on in our process, and decided against it. We'll re-evaluate it for next year," says Richard Dyer, Channel 5 general manager. Last year Channel 12 bailed on doing the fireworks in HDTV, after two years in high def, because of the cost, says Hank Hundemer, Channel 12 chief engineer.

With most HDTV production trucks committed to major sporting events, the price for renting the equipment for a one-shot event is .... well, in the words of Hundemer... "brutally expensive, painfully expensive, ridiculously expensive. The price was completely absurd."

Maybe next year?


at 8/31/2007 10:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am no engineer, so maybe one could help out and explain this, but couldn't they at least televise it with 16x9 dimensions? It would at least give the appearance of HD, without actually being in HD. I hate the shrunken screen on my TV. When the hell will it all be switched to 16x9?

at 8/31/2007 12:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will it all be switched to 16x9? Probably 15 years down the road.

I think it is complete BS as far as the price goes. These stations have no problem spending endless money on radars and other weather technology and then waste our time when a thuderstorm/snow storm comes through. There are plenty of HD trucks available and Cincinnati Bell/WEBN should require HD coverage. What a joke this has become, we had HD before when there was less HD trucks and it was certainly more expensive then.

at 8/31/2007 12:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's absolutely hilarious. Remember about 10 years ago when everyone was complaining about the new "letterbox" format? "I hate those black bars at the top and bottom of the screen!!!" Of course, this was all part of the push to getting people used to HDTV dimensions.

Now, everyone's hacked off at the sidebars. So much so that this guy would rather have "fake" HDTV then have to deal with them.

On a side note, how about those new TV 5 news promos??


Gimme a break. What flavor is the Kool-aid this week?

at 8/31/2007 12:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just turn your TV on WCPO 9. You can watch the news in HD

at 8/31/2007 12:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WCMH in Columbus broadcast the July 3 fireworks in HD and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Beautiful pictures! It's something to look forward to.

at 8/31/2007 4:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah kiese whats going on with those new 5 promos. We wont waste your time All local stories and No fluff.

at 8/31/2007 6:27 PM Blogger Mark said...

HighDef has been the future for quite some time now. You'd think they would have the gear inhouse by now to do something like this.

at 9/01/2007 4:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's all channel 5 does is waste our time. Hype up the latest non-storm to blowwwwww thru the area. And watch how they will ruin fireworks. BOOMAPPETITE!!!!!!!!

at 9/01/2007 9:32 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why carry the premeire visual event for the city, if you are not going to do it right. Pretty weak.

at 9/01/2007 11:37 AM Blogger Toddy-O said...

So much for heritage.

Powel Crosley would have been first in line to broadcast in HDTV.

He probably had it planned before he died.

John T. Murphy....well, I dunno. (Hand over your heart lady!)

Walter Bartlett would have had this in HDTV.

Expensive? How much money did WLW-T spend to create COLOR television?

at 9/02/2007 9:45 PM Blogger robmadden2 said...

The constant cammera angle changes was annoying. The sky 5 cam sucked. 12 did the firworks way better not so many damn camera angle changes like 5 had.

at 9/02/2007 10:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why carry the premiere visual event for the city, if you are not going to do it right. Pretty weak".

You're not kidding! I guess Mark Twain was right about Cincinnati. What an uninspired presentation. As if not broadcasting in HD wasn't bad enough (in 2007!), the camera angles chosen seemed to be randomly selected regardless of what was going on. Many times all you could see were the buildings blocking the action and the camera was so far away, you couldn't see what was going on. The repetitive zooming in and out was almost as exasperating as the signal breaking up. Dull, dull, dull.

at 9/04/2007 5:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This year the fireworks themselves were better than ever. However, the broadcast of the fireworks were
terrible!! Bad angles, bad feed,
Shots so far away you could not even see the fireworks.
Why did we have to see the full view of the city again and again?
Could the director not see the feed from the helicopter break up over and over?
What a disapointment.

at 9/04/2007 10:51 PM Anonymous John Z said...

Channel 5 took a great Cincinnati tradition and did the worst job they could do. I honestly believe a group of 8th graders doing a video as a school project could have done better. The question is not what were they thinking but Why did they do the fireworks at all since they obviously just didn't care

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