The Best News Source About Television Stations in the Southeastern U.S.

High Definition: Game Changer in Newscasts?

In ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, Graphics, HD, MyTV, NBC on December 29, 2010 at 5:10 am

Since the availability of high-definition cable channels and a higher flat-screen adoption rate among consumers, many stations have made the decision to upgrade their facilities and go HD with their newscasts.

What’s surprising, though, is that dozens of stations in top 50 markets still aren’t. Well, first of all, the upgrade isn’t cheap; you’re talking at least a million dollar investment in terms of camera equipment, control room facilities, etc. And then there’s adjustments to the workflow in a newsroom, with many still depending on Digital-S or DVC-PRO for their needs.

The whole thing has me wondering: is it worth it? Do viewers really care enough to watch in bigger numbers, which increases ratings and therefore brings more advertising revenue to the station? Or is it one of those “mine’s bigger” contests among competitors?

Obviously, going tapeless in a newsroom and moving entirely to hard disk or portable media recorders saves money over costly analog tapes.

But then there’s the realization you’re going to see that anchor you’ve trusted for 15 years up close and personal, pores and all.

I’m compiling a list of stations that haven’t yet made the switch, and will have that posted once I’m through. I also welcome your comments.

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