WRAL-TV To Premiere New Studio After SuperBowl/Survivor II DoubleHeader

WRAL-TV To Premiere New Studio After SuperBowl/Survivor II DoubleHeader
WRAL-TV Unveils New Digital Newsroom

The new WRAL-TV newsroom will premiere on Sunday, January 28th, for the 11:00pm newscast.

Sunday night, January 28, will be a big night for WRAL-TV. Not only is the Raleigh station broadcasting both the SuperBowl XXXV in HD and the premiere of Survivor II: The Australian Outback, but WRAL is opening the doors on its new all-digital newsroom. The 11 o’clock newscast will be the unveiling of the state of the art, all-digital studio.

With this newscast WRAL will become the world’s first news operation to gather and present high definition local news on a continuous basis. John Harris, WRAL’s Director of Special Projects, said, “The 11:00pm newscast will mark our move into the new facility, so it’s the official start of the new era.”


The new Weather Center includes its own state-of-the-art equipment.

Everything from the furniture to the state-of-the-art set has changed for WRAL in the new 24,000 square foot all-digital facility. The studio cams and the field cameras are all new, 89 pieces of Panasonic DVCPRO HD equipment in all. The Devlin Group in San Diego, who created the cutting-edge design for WRAL, features the Raleigh station’s new virtual set on their website.

WRAL-TV Vice President and General Manager Bill Peterson said, “This conversion to HD has, quite frankly, never been done before. Virtually every piece of equipment we use in putting together a newscast… has completely changed. What viewers will see, even those with standard sets, is truly one-of-a-kind news operation. They’ll see a clearer picture, more detail and a greatly enhanced newsroom designed to function at the highest possible standard.”


Devlin Design Group coupled with WRAL-TV’s design team to create the new look.

All of WRAL’s news staff has been rehearsing for the change.

Analog viewers will see a picture with higher clarity and quality; digital viewers will see even greater clarity and quality in a 16×9 ratio. The picture will be cropped to the old ratio (4×3) on analog sets, but this will not change the composition in the picture viewers see now. Viewers with digital sets will also enjoy CD quality sound.

WRAL-TV Anchors David Crabtree and Debra Morgan will man the anchor desk for the inaugural broadcast, with anchor Pam Saulsby and a variety of other staffers bringing live reports from the street. The remote footage will not be in HD as of yet. According to Harris, “It’s difficult to push full HD thru microwave trucks right now–so that footage will be down-converted for the time being. It won’t be too long before all those signals are HD as well.”

Formerly, WRAL became the first station in the world to produce an all High Definition newscast. The broadcast originated from WRAL’s set-up at the North Carolina State Fair on Friday, October 13, 2000.

 

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