The Gannett NBC affil has completed its technical upgrade and begins high-def news broadcasts with tomorrow’s 10 p.m. newscast.
Gannett’s Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX will begin broadcasting its news programs in high definition on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 10 p.m., which it says will make it the first and only station in Arizona to do so.
“The decision to investment in HD is about giving all of our viewers the best possible viewing experience,” said John Misner, president and general manager of KPNX. “12 News has always been a pioneer in technology and the move to HD is further evidence of our commitment to serving our community.”
The upgrade to HDTV required the station to upgrade its 3,500 square-foot studio with a new HD news set. The high-tech look features 22 plasma monitors, a curved projection tower with interior lighting and a multi-purpose set for interviews, local news specials and programming. The working weather center provides space for four weather forecasters.
“Whether you have an HD television set or not, our audience will see some dramatic changes,” said News Director Mark Casey.
Behind the scenes, the change to high definition means a total re-engineering of the KPNX studios. The station’s helicopter, Sky 12, was also converted to HD to provide high-definition aerial video to viewers. Besides the new on-air set and HD cameras, it will be using a new HD graphics system and an entirely new on-air graphic look.
“Instead of waiting for more homes to purchase HD sets, our choice is to lead the transition,” Misner said. “Most of NBC’s prime-time programming, more and more sporting events—including the return of the NFL to NBC are being presented in high-definition. The timing couldn’t be better.”
The station’s Web site, 12news.azcentral.com, offers a special section where users can find detailed information about digital and high-definition television. The KPNX high-definition broadcasts will be available on digital channel 12.1, on Cox Cable channel 712 and Qwest channel 312.