WIS News 10 transitions to HDTV, widescreen

Anchors Judi Gatson and Dawndy Mercer Plank with Chief Meteorologist John Farley on the new HD set
Anchors Judi Gatson and Dawndy Mercer Plank with Chief Meteorologist John Farley on the new HD set
Behind the scenes in our new state-of-the-art control room
Behind the scenes in our new state-of-the-art control room

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - WIS-TV has been home to many firsts when it comes to serving the Midlands. First to provide viewers live, local news broadcasts "in living color," first to bring the area important stories and major events live from locations across the Midlands, first to implement satellite news-gathering technology, and first to cover local news from News Hawk, the station helicopter. 

On Thursday, November 4 at 5:00pm, WIS added yet another first to its impressive roster as the station unveils the area's first local news produced entirely in high-definition (HDTV). Following several months of construction work on an entirely new set, running miles of new wires and cables, and the installation of expensive new HD equipment, WIS will bring "Coverage You Can Count On" to the Midlands from a state-of-the-art broadcast facility.

WIS is the first broadcaster in the Midlands to air all news studio broadcasts in the wide-screen, high-definition format. "Viewers should notice an improvement in picture quality even on standard TV sets," said WIS Vice President and General Manager Donita Todd.

Todd says one of the most important aspects of the upgrade is in the station's weather equipment. "Now, our on-air weather graphics will show an incredible level of detail," said Todd. "We have the most sophisticated, high-definition weather system in the market. The equipment gives our First Alert meteorologists new technology with precise forecasting tools. You are going to be able to see clearly if your neighborhood will be impacted during a storm."

WIS News Director Brad Neuhoff is also excited about the new technology. He says it will give News 10 an advantage over other local stations. "There is a safety aspect to tracking storms and with the more sophisticated high-definition weather system we will able to give viewers even earlier First Alert warnings. We can see approaching weather systems in the highest resolution and detail while they are forming outside of the viewing area—giving us a greater ability to show the viewer what to expect and when it will arrive."

Viewers will notice the impact of high-definition in the news coverage as well, noting that all station field cameras have been upgraded to the wider 16x9 format. "The success of WIS News 10 is all about the station's commitment to bringing viewer-centered news coverage to the Midlands," Todd said. "This is a big investment in our equipment and it will bring our audience the best viewing experience available, combined with our dedication to keeping them informed."

WIS News 10 in high-definition is available to viewers in several different ways. Viewers with an HDTV set and a digital tuner can view the newscasts over the air on digital channel 10.1. Cable viewers can see WIS News 10 in HD on Time Warner channel 1120. The station's HD newscasts are also available to HD subscribers of DirecTV and DISH Network.

WIS is part of Raycom Media, Inc., an employee-owned company and one of the nation's largest broadcasters. Raycom owns or operates 46 television stations in 18 states. Raycom stations cover more than 12% of U.S. television households and employ 3300 individuals in full and part-time positions. Raycom Media is headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.

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