WABC Quietly Launches HD News

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WABC, the ABC owned-and-operated station in New York, began broadcasting high-definition news last month with absolutely no fanfare.

The station, which has delivered HD pictures from its news helicopter since early last year, began broadcasting in 720-line-progressive scan (720p) HD from its news studio with the late newscast on Dec. 2, 2006. It is now providing high-definition pictures from its studio, newsroom, news desk and weather center, while remotes from the field remain in standard-definition. WABC has also installed a high-definition camera atop the Millennium Building to provide a "great panoramic view" of the city skyline and the George Washington Bridge, says president and general manager Dave Davis.

WABC didn't publicly announce its entry into the world of HD news, in contrast to competitor WNBC, which heavily promoted its September launch of HD newscasts. And the station's own programming guide on its Web site doesn't indicate that its newscasts are now HD.

"It's not a big deal, we're just doing our thing here," says Davis.

WABC is the third ABC-owned station to launch HD news, following KABC Los Angeles and WPVI Philadelphia. Overall, 28 stations are now broadcasting HD news across the country. Another ABC owned-and-operated station, WLS Chicago, is scheduled to launch HD news this Saturday, January 6.

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