Just in Time for Spring... HD Newscasts Coming to Nation's Capital

Cherry blossoms will not be the only things of beauty that viewers in Washington, D.C. area can gaze upon in coming weeks. CBS affiliate WUSA-TV will become the first broadcaster in the nation's capital to present its regular local newscasts in HD. President/GM Darryll Green said parts of his studio and control room operations are literally being rebuilt from the ground up.

WUSA will soon unveil a new set and new graphics built with the 16:9 aspect ratio and HD's attention-to-detail in mind. (News sets that pass muster in analog often look dingy and cheap in HD, where little gets by the vastly enhanced video quality.) WUSA currently airs more than 35 hours of local news weekly, and all of it will be HD-delivered under the new scheme.

Like the rest of the nation, most viewers in the Washington, D.C. designated market area don't have HD sets yet in their homes or offices, but the HD newscasts should provide sharper video on newer analog receivers, as well. Washington, of course, is not your typical DMA, and the daily diet of HD, which is being heavily promoted, could play a significant role in enhancing HD's visibility among the nation's political movers and shakers. Washington may be a local market, but it's also the "hometown" market-away-from home for Congress, the White House, the FCC and other federal agencies.