FastPipe Media » HDTV in Oklahoma

KWTV-DT News Goes HD

I saw on Twitter this morning that KWTV-DT broadcast its first newscast in HD last night. I usually watch the Sports Blitz before going to bed but I missed it. I will check it out when I get home from work today. I wonder if Dolby Digital 5.1 and HD syndicated programming are around the corner. Read about it on News9.com…

Update from Dennis: I also received a note via the HDTVOK Twitter account that KOTV channel 6 in Tulsa, another Griffin property, started broadcasting its morning news in HD today.

Here are images from the inaugural broadcast last night. Click on the thumbnails to view full size. What’s particularly cool is that KWTV is the only local station broadcasting local commercials in HD. In addition, KWTV is now broadcasting Seinfeld in HD and probably other syndicated HD programming.

The only thing missing from its package is Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, which all the other stations have.

This entry was posted in Cable TV, News, Oklahoma City, Sightings, Tulsa. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

36 Comments

  1. doublej
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    It appears Griffin made the switch statewide as KOTV and KQCW had their newscasts and such in HD this morning.

  2. doublej
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    They are supposed to launch new websites tomorrow also, replacing the very outdated and non-user friendly ones they have now.

    From looking at the screenshots it appears they are using the same graphics and on air looks for all 3 stations.

  3. Posted October 25, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Very nice screenshots, Dennis!

  4. Posted October 25, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I’m excited! We are no longer living in the age of dinosaurs!

  5. Newshawk
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    No, KOTV is 480p ED only. Griffin kept the best for OKC and slights Tulsa-AGAIN!

  6. Posted October 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Howdy Folks,

    Thanks for taking note of our changes. We’ve implemented major changes in our infrastructure over the past several months. Dolby 5.1 audio capability is one of them, but we we’re still in configuration mode the last time I checked.

    Best regards,

    John R. Schilberg
    VP Technology
    Griffin Communications

  7. Posted October 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Newshawk,

    No slight intended at all.

  8. Posted October 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Newshawk,

    No slight intended at all.

    KOTV’s production switching facilities are still standard definition, but we’re running them in a 16:9 aspect ratio. They are actually 480i. There aren’t any TV stations transmitting 480p.

    Our master control, syndicated programming and spot playback systems were all replaced with HD systems. Both KOTV & KQCW now are HD in those areas, and we’ll be playing out in HD provided the materials are provided to us in HD.

    I’ll just have to ask for your patience as we move toward HD production in Tulsa. But please stay tuned!

    John R. Schilberg
    VP Technology
    Griffin Communications

  9. ggore
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Good work, it really looks pretty! New logo & graphics are top notch. I’ve noticed KWTV’s local news looked almost HD in quality recently because they are using very good cameras, all that was left was to go widescreen.

    • Posted October 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi GGore,

      Lots of VERY talented folks were involved. Not a single department went without involvement.

      Ahhhhh, yes. They’re really the best cameras for the task. But, they were really only running at idle when we were SD 4:3. Going from a 270Mb SD-SDI feed to a 1.5Gb HD-SDI feed makes a world of difference.

      Glad you noticed, and even happier you like it!

      John R. Schilberg
      VP Technology
      Griffin Communications

  10. tydude
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    well KOCO 5 will be the only news station in OKC has not been broadcast in HD yet but hopefully soon

    • Posted October 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Unless I missed something, KOKH doesn’t broadcast its newscast in HD either.

  11. tydude
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    so its KOCO and KOKH is the only station not in HD but i believe KOCO 5 is getting close of broadcasting in HD

  12. philspice1
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    KOTV looks pretty bad in 480 widescreen to me. The skin complexions on the anchors look especially bad for some reason.

    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      It’s a work in progress.

      Stay tuned as we make minor technical adjustments.

      John R. Schilberg
      VP Technology
      Griffin Communications

  13. doublej
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I think it looks fine as a newscast. I am guessing they have new cameras and are just not able to produce the shows in HD yet. The new control room upgrades are putting out a better product. I imagine it is mostly a digital product now and even at 480i it is showing the flaws that you could get away with in the analog world. They will need better makeup work before broadcast. You could definitely tell if the guys had shaven before the newscast or not.

    If you saw the segment where Lori Fulbright went behind the scenes to master control and the equipment bays. That camera was putting out a lot softer image of Lori than the studio camera was showing of Craig Day.

    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:43 am | Permalink

      Hi DoubleJ,

      Are you commenting on KOTV in Tulsa? If you are, allow me to address a few things.

      “I think it looks fine as a newscast. I am guessing they have new cameras and are just not able to produce the shows in HD yet.”

      Actually, the cameras were replaced several years ago. They’re top of the line Grass Valley LDK-4000s. They are capable of HD, but our production switcher (the device we use to mix and apply effects to the video) isn’t.

      “I imagine it is mostly a digital product now and even at 480i it is showing the flaws that you could get away with in the analog world.”

      KOTV began routing and processing in the digital realm years ago when they installed SD-SDI (Standard Definition-Serial Digital Interface) equipment to replace the old analog composite gear. If you’re watching in HD, you may be seeing the benefits of our newer SD to HD upconversion equipment.

      “If you saw the segment where Lori Fulbright went behind the scenes to master control and the equipment bays. That camera was putting out a lot softer image of Lori than the studio camera was showing of Craig Day.”

      Our field cameras are SD only and our studio cameras are capable of HD. The imaging devices and optics of the studio cameras are a LOT more advanced than the field cameras. That, and difference in lighting, may explain what you saw.

      Thanks for the comments! It’s always great to hear from our viewers.

      All the best,

      John R. Schilberg
      VP Technology
      Griffin Communications

      • Sooner Al
        Posted October 27, 2010 at 4:57 am | Permalink

        Any time frame on when the field cameras will go to HD versus SD? KFOR still has the edge in that department.

  14. Sooner Al
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    LOL…

    I’m not sure seeing Bob Mills in HD is a marketing advantage or not…:-)

    I do like the weather graphics on KWTV-DT in HD. I am also glad the weather segment, at least what I am seeing this morning, is “closed captioned”. I am really not a fan of Gary England so we usually don’t watch KWTV for local weather. We may start watching KWTV for local weather versus KFOR simply because of the closed captioning. Unfortunately KFOR lacks that functionality.

    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Howdy Sooner Al,

      Bob Mill’s spot was quite a kick to see. All the delicate shading and sparkles looked fantastic in HD. Nice fella, too, if you’ve never met him.

      As far as the weather, you really need to met Gary sometime. Terrific guy, 100% committed to weather and keeping folks alive, and has a wonderful sense of humor!

      Glad you like the captioning. It’s something we’re quite committed to.

      All the best,

      John R. Schilberg
      VP Technology
      Griffin Communications

      • Posted October 26, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Actually, the most impressive commercial I saw was the Chickasaw ad about water. I had probably seen it before, but not in HD. That aerial shot at the end is just gorgeous. I would have posted a screen shot, but it wasn’t shown during the initial newscast.

        Dennis

  15. Newshawk
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    While I’m still a bit miffed that Griffin decided to go 16:9 SD for KOTV, if it is due to needing to replace the switcher then I can understand the reason for the delay. I used to work in video production so I recognize that replacing the switcher would cause a major disruption in studio production. You don’t want to do it until you are good and ready. Even then, the potential for problems remains. I honestly thought KOTV would wait for the move to the new facilities to make the switch. Is that project still on track?

    Anyway, I can wait for the switchover to HD news production now-KOTV finally has The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson in HD!

    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Hi NewsHawk,

      You’re right about a switcher replacement being a major disruption. But, that’s only a sliver of the pain. Add to that the monitoring, test gear, distribution, processing, routing, and alllllllll the cables! It’s more like open heart surgery with replacement of all the veins and arteries, too.

      Then there’s the matter of, “How much of this stuff can we move across the street when we relocate to a new building”? Answer = not much, so you end up leaving racks, wiring, power and a lot more behind. We just couldn’t rationalize the hundreds of thousands of $$$$ that would’ve been. Especially when we’ll be moving into new digs by…

      Oh wait. Sorry. That’s not available for public release, yet. You’ll just have to stay tuned. 🙂

      All the best,

      John R. Schilberg
      VP Technology
      Griffin Communications

      • Newshawk
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        You tease!

  16. Posted October 28, 2010 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Sooner Al,

    If I told you, I’d have to, … Well, you know how that goes. 😉

    John R. Schilberg
    VP Technology
    Griffin Communications

  17. ggore
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    One quick question for Mr. Schilberg: I have noticed some of our customers’ sets showing 9.2 and some 9.1. My own TV has a 9.1 but it is blank with programming on 9.2. Are you going to standardize on a 9.1 designation soon? Our 8VSB-to-QAM processing equipment keeps the existing PSIP information intact, so it would be nice if there was consistency across all TV sets.

    • Posted October 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi GGore,

      We have had 9.1 & 9.2 pointing to the same program stream since mid August. Your gizmo may be looking for a different program stream than what we are using now.

      We plan to stay with the current configuration and upon commencement of a future second channel will simply “point” 9.2 to the new stream.

      No, don’t ask what the stream will be. If I told you, I’d have to, … Well, you know how that goes. 🙂

  18. Posted November 1, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    jrschilberg,

    I am kinda of bummed to here you guys will be adding a second channel. I enjoy the fact that KWTV-DT uses all the available bandwidth for the CBS HD. The 2-3 mbps that will have to be used for a second mbps stream I believe will have a negative effect on 9.1 HD picture quality especially during content with fast motion (NFL football) and strobe lighting (Grammys). You maybe able to get away with compressing the video from 18.0 to 15.0 Mbps downstream from the network for a drama series that is shot on 35mm film then converted to HD tape but I don’t think it is a good idea during live events or events taped in HD. If you could to turn off 9.2 and point 9.2 to 9.1 in PSIP during live content or HD taped content so that 9.1 would all the available bandwidth, that would be a viable solution. Saying that and doing that automated are 2 different things I know.

    I also do not watch the *.2 channels anyways with my Netflix subscriptions and my DVR taking up most of my TV watching. I just don’t see the value of them even when using an advertising revenue model for those channels. I am not trying to say that repeats of News Now 53 would have some value but not during the NFL games or Grammys. Now if had you had live look into the weather department during severe weather when you not interrupting 9.1 that would be kinda of interesting but maybe more trouble than what it is worth. Just a few thoughts. I am not in the TV industry or an engineer so some of you might laugh at my comment. You can set me straight. 🙂

    • servicetech
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Realize the 3mbps loss on the main channel is something 95% of the population will never notice. What will be noticed is the additional revenue dollars to the TV station to continue improvements to their broadcast equipment.

      Only about 25% of the population gets TV through an antenna and less than 25% of those people would notice the bandwidth loss.

      • Posted November 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        That is very true service tech.

      • Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Is Nielson now actually counting viewers of the sub-channels? It’s hard to monetize a second channel if no one is counting viewers so that sales people can go out and sell ads.

        But I’m one of those people who probably won’t be able to tell the difference on the main channel. I’ve actually grown to like having the secondary channel on OETA because I use it to record shows in the middle of the night that I otherwise would miss.

  19. doublej
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that they will be adding ThisTv to 9.2 in OKC as they have on 6.3 in Tulsa. I just wish they would get rid of the CW subchannel on 6.2 in Tulsa since we have KQCW in HD on it’s own channel now. The cable companies in NE oklahoma can downconvert the feed for 19.1 instead of 6.2 now

    • doublej
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Shows what I know. I see KOCB has This Tv on their subchannel in OKC. So perhaps RTV or the new station that is starting up in January from Tribune Media called Antenna Tv. I definitely don’t want to see a newsnow subchannel/

  20. ggore
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Yeah, now that I think about it, I think my TV’s 9.1 & 9.2 relates back to when we carried both your UHF and VHF signals when neither was totally reliable at our location. I did a rescan over the weekend and the 9.1 is gone. Duh! Moving on. 🙂

  21. JWVoiceovers
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    KOCB’s 34.2 is “CoolTV” a music video channel. The new Tribune offering, “AntennaTV” will be carried on KFOR 4.2 in January.

  22. tydude
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    hopefully this time next year all news station will broadcast in HD

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