WCPO-TV News In HDTV
WCPO0-TV (Channel 9) became the first Cincinnati station to broadcast local news in high-definition TV today at 6 p.m. I wasn't watching, but I'll watch at 11 p.m. to see if I notice any difference in clarity on my analog set. (Cleveland and Columbus stations started local news in HDTV earlier this year.)
Update on Tuesday morning: What are the other stations going to do? Ch 19 says it will "likely" do news in HDTV sometime next year. Ch5 won't say for "competitive reasons." And Ch 12 won't say until after sale of Clear Channel TV division is finalized in late Sept. or early Oct.
Ch. 9 is shooting news video with 16:9 digital cameras, but not HD cameras. New HD field cameras will arrive early next year. First night Ch 9 had problems with 7-day weather chart, with only 5 days seen on standard 4:3 analog TV sets. They hope to fix that in a day or two. Local news cut-ins during "GMA" will remain in standard def until October, when new equipment arrives. For now Ch 9 can't do cut-ins in HD because of the local news ticker crawl at bottom of screen. "We can't do two things at once," says GM Bill Fee.
Here's the announcement from Channel 9:
WCPO-TV FIRST IN THE TRI-STATE TO BROADCAST LIVE IN HIGH DEFINITION
The first Tri-State television station to launch in High Definition (HD) is WCPO-TV-9; the E.W. Scripps owned ABC affiliate in Cincinnati Ohio . The first telecast was Sunday, August 19th 2007 at 6:00 p.m. Area viewers will now see a more detailed in-depth picture and experience enhanced digital audio no matter what type of television set they have in their homes.
“We’ve always positioned ourselves as the technology leader. Now, once again WCPO is at the forefront of a technology revolution,” says Vice President and General Manager Bill Fee. “WCPO will now be one of the most technically advanced high definition stations in the country. In fact, much of the HD equipment we’re premiering is the first of its kind in the affiliate marketplace. This commitment to providing our viewers with the very best product available is what we’re all about.”
These enhancements include high definition mapping and forecasting, which allows viewers to see incredible detail as it relates to where they live. More detailed mapping also provides added information for tri-state viewers during a severe weather situation as viewers will literally be able to map a line from their residences to the storm front.
Now all news stories will broadcast in 16 x 9 format. “If you’ve ever watched HD you’ve seen the difference,” states WCPO Chief Engineer Joe Martinelli. “Now you’ll be able to experience that difference in local news. The deeper color, the detail. It’s almost equivalent to actually being at the location.”
WCPO has always been a broadcast pioneer. In fact, in the early days of television WCPO was only one of two TV stations in the nation feeding locally originated programming to the networks for re-broadcast. WCPO was also the first Cincinnati television station to use regular mobile reports and taped interviews for local news. In addition, WCPO led the market with live coverage of spot news, using remote vans and a jet helicopter, all under the guidance of veteran newsman Al Schottelkotte.