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Two More Stations Offer HD Local News

Two more TV stations have joined the growing list of stations offering local news in high definition. KTVK Phoenix, a Belo station, and Cordillera’s NBC affiliate WLEX in Lexington this week began to broadcast newscasts in HD.

Neither station is the first in its respective market to make the upgrade. KPNX, Gannett’s NBC affiliate in Phoenix beat out the independent KTVK, and WKYT, Gray’s CBS affiliate, became the first in Lexington two weeks ago.

At first, both stations will shoot 16:9 SD in the field and upconvert to HD, as HD ENG can be cost-prohibitive.

GM Tim Gilbert of WLEX released a prepared statement about the transition, noting its history of technology innovation. “We were first on the air in this market, first in color, first with stereo, the first morning newscast, and the first and only station with live Doppler radar,” said Gilbert. “Now WLEX is making history again.”

KTVK is the fourth Belo station to deliver HD local news, joining WFAA Dallas/Ft. Worth, KHOU Houston and KING Seattle. KTVK debuted new studios and sets, new graphics courtesy of Vizrt, new Grass Valley LDK 4000 studio cameras and an HD camera on its news helicopter.

Another station to make the jump to HD local news this week is WSOC Charlotte, the fourth Cox Television station to do so. The other three stations in the group to have made the switch are WFTV Orlando, WSB Atlanta, and KTVU San Francisco.