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GMA Taps into Sony HD Hardware

The studios of ABC News' morning show at its Times Square Studios in Manhattan are using a variety of Sony HD production equipment for the network's new technical configuration. "Good Morning America" celebrated its 30th anniversary on the air Nov. 3 by going HD, thus becoming the first regular daily broadcast news program to cross the HD threshold (HD Notebook, Nov. 2, 2005).

Specifically, two Sony MVS-8000A switchers and HDS-X5800 routers, nine HDC-1500 cameras, and several Luma LCD monitors are helping ABC/Disney to offer a dozen morning hours of live HD origination a week (two hours on weekdays; an hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). But virtually all-remote news footage, at least to begin with, remains in the SD realm.

Sony's multi-format equipment operates in ABC's preferred format, 720p. Six of the cameras use large lens and viewfinder adaptors in a studio configuration, with three cameras serving as field rovers. The routers' software control system (HKSP-R80) aids in changing set-ups from computers, and Sony's BZR-2000 software provides the system's interface (running on the PCs) to establish the router setups.

GMA's previous SD configuration included Sony's DVS-7000 and DVS-9000 switchers, routers and BVP-900 cameras--all of which were replaced by the HD models, according to published reports. The show's anniversary and its HD conversion came at the start of the November sweeps, a crucial month of ratings-conscious programming and promotions for broadcasters to set future ad rates.