By Diane Walker -
For the first time, you can watch all of your favorite Olympic sports in high definition. Now, HD is no longer a service just being offered by the network.
NBC12 is the first Richmond station to bring you local news in HD.
High Definition TV produces top of the line pictures and sound razor sharp images -- mimicking a movie theater wide screen -- in your home.
So, when severe weather strikes and you're watching 12 in HD -- you see more! "It's a bigger picture, it lets us show more," says NBC12 Meteorologist Andrew Freiden. "We have a better vision of the whole tropical basin instead of having to do little parts."
You see details never seen before in the new high resolution maps. Our meteorologists can zoom in on street level to inform you of threatening weather.
"To track storms in peoples' neighborhoods, it's much easier for you to sit in front of the TV and say, 'Oh, there's my street on TV,'" says Freiden.
Clarity, wide screen pix, digital sound are all there. But, getting here has taken years, many millions, and forethought. Being Richmond's first local news broadcasting in HD was a must do.
"As the market leader, the viewer has a heightened expectation," says Don Richards, General Manager of NBC12.
Maintaining a functioning control room, to keep us on the air -- was the challenge -- while simultaneously building a new one and installing new HD equipment.
"Basically, we've rebuilt the whole infra structure of Channel 12," says Michael Park. The new switcher "can convert anything we give it to high definition whether it be 16 by 9, standard definition or up, it'll convert it."
Eventually reporter stories in the field will be viewed in HD. For now, the border wings indicate when your TV image switches from HD to standard.
"This was the perfect time to launch it," says Richards. "It all kind of came together. We thought the Olympics are coming, a lot of people have HD television -- what a great time to premiere this product."
Once you've watched HD television, the difference from standard is startling. It's kind of like putting on a new pair of glasses, says Freiden. You can still drive with your old glasses. But, it's a lot easier to see, where you're going if you have new glasses.