WSYR-TV launches local HD news

WSYR-TV, the Newport Television-owned ABC affiliate in Syracuse, NY, launched its local news broadcasts in HD Jan. 29 using JVC ProHD cameras in its studio and for ENG work. The new cameras were part of a major overhaul for the station that included the construction of a new control room, as well as new sets and a revamped studio lighting system.

The station maintains a full schedule of live news and local programming, including six hours on weekdays and two hours of news on Saturday and Sunday. According to chief engineer Craig Riker, the station replaced its aging Philips BTS studio cameras with four JVC GY-HD250Us, three on pedestals and one on a mini jib. The studio cameras are paired with JVC RM-LP25U ProHD local remote units, which are positioned near the technical director in the control room for easy access during a newscast.

In June 2010, the station replaced its tape-based Panasonic DVCPRO camcorders with JVC GY-HM700s in the field. Riker said the shoulder-mount form factor and interchangeable lenses were important features for the station’s shooters.

Before the station’s move to HD, ENG footage was shot in 720p, edited in HD on a Grass Valley EDIUS NLE and downconverted for air through its Bitcentral Precis news production system. Now, the station maintains a 720p workflow from acquisition through playout. While the station was used to tape, Riker said there are no complaints about the station’s new file-based workflow.

WSYR-TV is the second Newport station in upstate New York to broadcast local news in HD. WHAM-TV, the ABC affiliate in Rochester, made the transition in September 2010.