Orlando's WFTV debuts high-definition news

Though only one-eighth of Central Florida households own high-definition television sets, WFTV, Channel 9, has begun broadcasting its news programming in HDTV.

The HD newscasts began on June 29 and feature new sets, graphics and weather technology — Early Warning Doppler 9 HD. Because weather is an important component of information programming in Central Florida, the station thinks the HD presentation will grab attention.

The station has combined technology from Baron Services and graphics from Weather Services International.

Estimated to cost the Cox-owned station more than $1 million to upgrade, all newscasts currently use HD studio cameras and graphics, while location video is still acquired in 16:9 standard definition and upconverted to HD. Field gear will be converted to HD at a later date, the station said.

WFTV, an ABC affiliate, is the tenth station in the United States to deliver newscasts in that HD, the Sentinel reported. A key reason for the station going HD was the substantial number of HD viewers on the Central Florida cable system operated by Brighthouse Networks.