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Fine-Tuning High Definition

July 13, 2012, 9:55 PM by Perry Groten

Fine-Tuning High Definition

By now, you're probably used to seeing the razor-sharp images on your television screen as you watch our newscast.  It's already been one year since KELOLAND TV began the transition that would make us the first full-High Definition station in Sioux Falls.  But the work is far from over.
The summer of 2011 marked the dawning of high definition at KELOLAND TV.  The change covered every corner of KELOLAND, from the newsroom to the control room and from the studio to the streets where our field cameras rolled.  It was a $1 million plus upgrade that would revolutionize the way Sioux Falls viewers watch their news.

"We have the best cameras, we have the best studio, we have all the graphics, everything's running very nicely.  So the on-air product is what we're really proud of," KELOLAND TV Vice-President & General Manager Jay Huizenga said.

The transition included hours of training on the new equipment needed to broadcast in HD.

"We had a lot of people still trying to do their jobs, especially news photographers and video journalists that were still trying to do their jobs during the day and learning the new equipment on the side," Huizenga said.

But the summer's hard work paid off.  In the fall, KELOLAND News debuted its new studio making it the first full HD broadcast in the Sioux Falls market.

"It seems like it's been many years. It was a long, hard year for a lot of people here and a lot of engineers and a lot of operational staff," Huizenga said.

But a year later, HD remains a work-in-progress.  The transition that began last summer won't be complete until 2013.

"There's still a lot of boxes still, to this day, coming in the back door that we unpack and put somewhere because we're constantly in upgrade mode and we'll probably be in upgrade mode for another year," Huizenga said.

Most of the upgrades are taking place behind-the-scenes; a matter of tweaking the technology that's already in place.

"The infrastructure upgrades that we're doing, how we gather the news, how we store the news, how we edit the news, how we get the syndicated programs into our building and how we use those and feed those out," Huizenga said.

While you won't see most of the upgrades on your TV, you will hear one.  KELOLAND TV is adjusting the volume during commercial breaks to make sure the ads aren't too loud.

"You've probably in the past noticed when you're watching a television show and a commercial comes on that it's louder than the television show.  They actually passed a bill in Congress that you can't have that anymore.  So there's equipment that we have now that regulates the levels," Huizenga said.

The rules on the sound levels required for all TV stations take effect at the end of the year.  That's just one more upgrade that's part of the transition that began a year ago, that now involves fine-tuning high definition.

"And all these things we're doing is to make the viewing experience better," Huizenga said.

Another change involves our sister station, My-UTV, which is now available to subscribers to Direct TV.

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