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CNN Upgrades Atlanta Studio to HD

CNN this week unveiled its new high-definition news studio in Atlanta, effectively completing the news network’s conversion to HD in the United States.

Atlanta is the last of the four domestic headquarters to go HD. The others include Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York. Rehearsals in the new studio started this week with a launch scheduled next month.

When the studio is launched later this spring, "all the shows we produce out of the studios will now be in HD," said Matthew Holcombe, vice president, network support for the CNN Broadcast Engineering and Systems Technology (BEST) group.

The studio includes a 270-degree rotating anchor desk, multiple set locations, weather center, more than 50 HD monitors, including three 103-inch HD plasmas, HD projectors, a touch-screen and perceptive pixel “magic” walls.

The studio also features more than 2 miles of LED lighting on the floors and in the walls to enable production staff to change graphics depending on the show or news environments. Buried in the wall, floors and ceilings is a further 45 miles of copper and fiber optic cabling for studio.

“This is one big, contiguous studio—it’s a little over 5,000 square feet,” said Holcombe. “The space that we moved into used to be offline production. It was actually two rooms; we removed a wall and made it one large studio.”

“CNN Newsroom,” “Rick’s List,” “CNN Saturday Morning,” “CNN Sunday Morning” and “Sanjay Gupta, MD” will join the line-up of CNN domestic programming already available in high-definition. CNN HD stands as a separate high-definition signal offering a programming line-up identical to the CNN/U.S. channel broadcast in the standard-definition format.

CNN HD is part of the network’s continued rollout of high-definition offerings and innovations. CNN Worldwide’s high-definition plans go beyond upgrades of studios and production centers and include a significant investment in equipment in the field to ensure that its journalists can gather news in high definition. For example, crews are already equipped with a combination of HD cameras, laptop editors, trucks and fly-aways and the CNN Election Express, the network’s mobile HD production unit. HLN primetime programming is currently transitioning to HD and will be completed by summer. The entire network will be converted to HD by fall, the network said.