Stations Ramp Up Local HD News in Pennsylvania, Alabama

NBC13 (WVTM) in Birmingham, Ala., will transition its local news to 1080i on Oct. 17, starting with its 10 p.m. newscast, initiating what the broadcaster said is Alabama’s first local HD programming. The station in the nation’s 40th largest DMA will join several dozen other local U.S. broadcasters in mostly large markets in making the transition to local HD.

NBC13 said it also will upgrade its weather facilities to take advantage of HD technology, as well as add digital video and editing technology—including a new graphics package, lighting configurations for two HD sets, and an HD video switcher. (One of the sets already is in use.)

Besides being the first to go local HD, NBC 13 said it was also Alabama’s first TV station to go on-air, and the first with local news, as well as the first Birmingham broadcaster to jump to color (a few decades ago).

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh (DMA no. 22), fellow NBC affiliate WPXI has left its longtime home on Television Hill and is finishing its move into new facilities as it readies its local news HD launch this weekend (Oct. 6). The new studio facilities are now located off I-279 at the McKnight/Evergreen Road exit.