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News Channel 3: The First Valley News In High Definition

KESQ News Channel 3 is the Desert’s News Leader! Now you can see another example of why more Coachella Valley viewers watch News Channel 3 local news than any other news shows.

On Sunday, April 20th, News Channel 3 became the first and only station in the Palm Springs television market to broadcast its local news in high definition. Viewers who have digital, high-definition sets now see clearer, sharper local news programs on KESQ-TV.

The most dramatic change is in the shape of the picture. News Channel 3 is now broadcast in wide screen. That means viewers who have wide screen TV’s will notice that our news shows are over twice as wide as they are tall. This is called “aspect ratio” or “16 X 9 Video.” This viewing format looks very much to the shape of wide screen movies. Old-fashioned video is broadcast in an almost square picture format. It’s called “4 X 3” aspect ratio.

People with analog TV’s or standard shaped screens will notice a somewhat clearer picture, but they won’t be able to enjoy the full benefit of HD local news unless they have a wide screen, HD-capable TV.

In addition to studio video, you’ll notice that News Channel 3 video shot in the field is also wide screen. We shoot all local video in wide-screen format and you’ll notice the extra picture detail if you have a wide screen TV. Before implementing HD local news, we added 11 new, high-definition capable cameras to our news department at great expense.

Beginning early Sunday morning, April 20th, our technical and information technology crew worked many hours to adapt our local news video editing equipment to accept the higher quality video format. Our Sunday evening HD newscast culminated many weeks of planning and preparation, because we had to get all the work done between 11 p.m. on Saturday night and 6 p.m. the next day….when our next local news show was scheduled to air. It went on the air flawlessly.

Local live shots are also broadcast in wide screen, and you’ll soon see even better live shots. You’ll see a dramatic improvement in the near future when we fire up our new, digital mobile units.

News, sports, weather graphics, and locator maps also had to be re-created in higher definition wide-screen format.

We still have some work to do to improve our weather presentations. We’re using a temporary digital camera to shoot our weathercasters. We’re in the process of installing a permanent digital camera, rebuilding, and re-lighting our weather set. When we’re done, you will see even better quality local weather presentations.

Some viewers want to know why some of the news stories we broadcast still have standard shaped, 4 X 3, pictures. We obtain video from many sources including ABC, CNN, the Fox television network, and other stations. Most local stations still shoot video in standard format. So when we use outside video, it appears to have black side panels. We are looking at ways to make the side panels more attractive, but we’re pretty much stuck with using some 4 X 3 video until more stations begin shooting local news in wide screen. There is a small but growing amount of wide screen video coming to us from outside sources, so expect more of this over time.

KESQ News Team

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