news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Finally: ABS-CBN Newscasts Move to High Definition

Here is some good news for Kapamilya viewers.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, newscasts on ABS-CBN Channel 2 began to air on 16:9 high definition. The conversion began with the 10:00 a.m. ‘News Patrol’, followed by the network’s flagship newscasts ‘TV Patrol’ (both weekend and weeknight editions) and ‘Bandila’ (both DZMM TeleRadyo and ABS-CBN editions).

Here is a comparison of ‘News Patrol’ in standard definition (pre-April 1) and in high definition (since April 1) in the following videos.

News Patrol in 4:3 standard definition (courtesy of ABS-CBN News)

News Patrol in 16:9 high definition (courtesy of ABS-CBN News)

The full implementation of ABS-CBN newscasts in HD marked the latest step in the network’s ongoing conversion to this new television technology. However, the changeover was not an easy one.

When ABS-CBN launched its 16:9 high definition feed in October 2015, only its entertainment programs were able to adopt this new technology. As such, ABS-CBN News programs remained in 4:3 standard definition, and whenever it was shown on ABS-CBN HD, black pillarboxes can be seen.

However, the news division was given a glimmer of hope in March 2016 when the ABS-CBN News Channel premiered its own HD feed. This enabled ABS-CBN News to utilize some of its newly-purchased HD cameras for live reports.

Despite that, Channel 2’s newscasts remained in 4:3 SD, mainly to compensate for the regional outlets’ slow adoption to HD technology. But as the impending switch to high definition became imminent, ABS-CBN realized the need for a change.

Thus came the launch of ABS-CBN’s high definition newscasts on Easter Sunday. It was an odd move to say the least, but it was perfect timing for the network since its news operations on television and radio resume around this time.

As mentioned earlier, ‘News Patrol’, ‘TV Patrol’ and ‘Bandila’ are now seen in 16:9 high definition, but they are not the only newscasts that made the move. Even DZMM TeleRadyo’s ‘Headline Pilipinas’ was also converted to 16:9 HD.

But not all newscasts changed over to the new standard. ‘TV Patrol”s regional versions continue to air in 4:3 SD, as are a majority of ABS-CBN Regional programs and even DZMM TeleRadyo.

Still, there is plenty of time for ABS-CBN to implement the new high definition standard to DZMM and the network’s regional affiliates. But for now, enjoy watching ‘TV Patrol’, ‘Bandila’ and all ABS-CBN newscasts in crystal clear 16:9 HD.

ABS-CBN HD is available exclusively on SkyCable channel 167 and to premium access subscribers on iWant TV. ANC HD is available exclusively on SkyCable channel 182 and to premium access subscribers on iWant TV.

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21 thoughts on “Finally: ABS-CBN Newscasts Move to High Definition

  1. Patrick Roque says:

    Dapat gumamit ng 4:3 safe zone ang Studio 7, Loop Studio at DZMM. Pangit ang letterbox at stretch. Or else, subtitles sa ibabang black bar.

    • Pagpaensyahan na lang natin sila. Hindi kasi lahat ng footage ay naka-16:9 na. Some regional outlets still use SD cameras so matatagalan pa before ABS purchases more HD cameras para ipadala sa mga probinsya. Also, even ABS entertainment shows and sporting events are stretched and optimized for HD. In essence they’re just taking advantage of the new widescreen format and besides, kailangan na ring mag-keep up to the times dahil marami na ang bumibili at gumagamit ng LED TV at kakaunti na lang ang nanonood sa mala-box na TV of years past. Wala na tayong magagawa diyan dahil forward-thinking na ang approach ng ABS.

  2. Looks like GMA and UNTV are still stuck at 4:3 SD on newscast production, pero may hints soon na magkaka-HD na rin ang GMA.

    ABS-CBN News might be a decade behind first-world news outlets pagdating sa HD broadcasts, just as the saying goes, better late than never. Ang kulang na lang is RNG, even TeleRadyo, and considering na may kamahalan ang HD cameras, abutin pa ng taon ang RNG stations (except Palawan) na magproduce ng content in HD.

    • ABS can wait for their RNGs to become HD-capable. After all full conversion to digital is still several years away. As for GMA, it was misleading to label one of their shows as ‘in HD’ considering na nasa 4:3 pa rin pag ipinalabas. It’s sad that they’re still reluctant in using letterboxes for the purposes of fitting a 16:9 broadcast to SD-only CRTs (which is in decline as LEDs become more available and cheaper).

      They still have a lot of time to make these drastic moves so let’s wait and see what happens.

    • GMA really is #1 in misleading advertising. They lured us to believe na HD na ang News To Go, Balitanghali at Balita Pilipinas Ngayon sa “News TV” to end up getting dismayed and only received new graphics. Their PR department really is a mess.

      Gozon should let go of his old mentality, lalo na sa pagpapalabas ng HD content to fit his TV na de-CRT naman.

      UNTV is still producing news in 16:9, so I basically count both GMA and UNTV as already behind on HD newscasts.

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