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'NBC Evening News' Goes 1080i on March 26

Another HD milestone will be marked on Monday, March 26, when NBC News becomes the first network evening newscast to begin regular HD broadcasts. Reports earlier this month said that "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" would take the HD plunge sometime in March. This week, NBC Universal confirmed it.

The NBC Nightly News will be adding new studio cameras, updated HD graphics and 5.1 surround sound to its HD-ready studio and set in New York. It will also be tapping into an infrastructure recently redesigned for the "Today" show, where the Nightly News will broadcast from the state-of-the-art control room.

While much of the field reporting on Williams' show will remain SD 4:3 for now, some of the most prolific remotes--such as White House stand ups--will be shot in 16:9 1080i, since NBC's Washington Bureau is already equipped with some HD cameras. NBC News said it expects to begin using HD gear in the field later this year.

While the evening move by NBC News is expected to put pressure on CBS News and ABC News to quickly follow suit, neither of the other two networks had any announcements yet regarding their own shows. (ABC's "Good Morning, America" has already gone HD, using Disney-preferred 720p.)