CNN Going All-HD by May

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Atlanta — CNN’s daytime
programming is finally getting
the high-def treatment.

The news network this spring
will debut a high-definition
studio in Atlanta, marking the
final phase in its conversion
of all domestic programming
to HD. The third-place cablenews
network launched its HD
service in September 2007, but
initially only its New York studio
was equipped for high-def.

The new 5,000-square-foot
HD studio, on the seventh floor
of the CNN Center in downtown
Atlanta, is scheduled to go on
the air in April or May. Shows
produced in Atlanta include
CNN Newsroom, Rick’s List With
Rick Sanchez
, CNN Saturday
Morning
, CNN Sunday Morning
and Sanjay Gupta MD. The
current Atlanta newsroom, on
the fifth floor, is roughly 1,500
square feet.

Construction on the studio
began about a year ago, said
Matthew Holcombe, vice president
of network support for the
CNN Broadcast Engineering
and Systems Technology group.
He declined to put a price tag
on the project but said that
overall, CNN has made “a huge
investment” in HD.

All of CNN’s domestic newsgathering
now will be in HD,
including almost 20 HD production
trucks in the field and
studios in Washington, D.C.,
and Los Angeles. However,
feeds from CNN affiliates may
still be received and aired in
standard-definition.

The Atlanta HD studio is
rigged with five Sony HDC-1400
cameras on robotic pedestals,
as well as one handheld steadycam
and one jib camera. Other
features include a rotating anchor
desk, 103-inch HD plasma
screens, touch-screen walls
— and more than two miles of
LED lighting.
So is 3D next?

“We have talked about it,”
Holcombe said. “It’s certainly
something that is on the radar
and has generated excitement
in the industry. But we don’t
have a clear road map.”

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