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KUSA HD news origination takes growing pains in stride

Patti Dennis, vice president/news director for KUSA, has seen a lot of changes in her 21-year career at the Denver station, but one of the biggest has to be the transition from standard definition to HD news and the challenges that it presents.

The last edition of News Technology Update looked into the station’s efforts to take a pioneering role in the origination of local news in HD. This edition, NTU focuses on the biggest challenge Dennis has identified so far in the transition.

According to Dennis, the appetite in Denver for HD programming grows daily as more consumers purchase receivers, but the growing ranks of HD viewers is still in its infancy. Standard definition will be around for the foreseeable future and working in a mixed environment is a constant challenge for her newsroom.

Directors face many challenges in the newsroom. Dennis said they have to know what format material is in, and if the identifying markers aren’t on that (tape), it can make the newscast "sloppy."

Metadata could provide a solution for keeping track of the format of source material, but KUSA hasn’t begun do so yet. Aside from dealing with different aspect ratios and the challenge of knowing what’s what, KUSA has streamlined its news production workflow as its made the transition to HD news origination.

Once footage is ingested in the station’s server, it is available at 15 editing stations, in two Avid Adrenaline suites, six Avid NewsCutter systems and 20 desktop editing systems populating the newsroom.

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