JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) --Remember the big switch back in 2009? Well that was one of the first major steps toward an important change coming in a few weeks.
News at KAIT is going High Definition or HD as it's commonly called.
For you the viewers, what's going to change?
General Manager Tim Ingram describes the change like this. "A much more crisp picture. It's going to be something that they are used to seeing like on the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards and Prime Time. You could say prime time is coming to Region 8 News."
When news goes HD we will be only 1 of three stations in the state that use HD for their news product.
All of the studio cameras are now HD cameras but there is no point in that if we don't have HD in the control room.
So we're getting a whole new control room. The present switcher will be moved into there along with monitors and a new audio board.
Probably the biggest physical change you'll notice will be the new sets.
Ronnie Weston our Operations Manager has built many sets over the 43 years he has been here. But the boards he is setting aside are going into storage.
Weston, "This will be the most extensive set we've ever built. The quality of it will have to be flawless because of the HD signal being so clear. "
Actually a set design company is designing the set and will install it as well. But in the meantime we have to clear out all the old sets and the Weather Center. Sarah Tipton was cooking up waffles as part of a set going away party but said she is looking forward to the change.
Tipton, "Right now it's (weather center) chopped up in two bits and you actually have to walk quite a bit of distance to use the equipment to the green wall back and forth."
The new Weather Center will be more compact and accessible and viewable.
Tipton, "On certain shots you'll be able to see the entire weather center in just one place."
Friday will be the last day for the main anchor desk and the interview set. On Saturday we will move onto temporary sets in the building.
Weston, "One of them is the main news set and sports off to the side. One is in a totally different room, what will be our future HD studio and we built a temporary weather center and chroma key wall in there."
Tim says with all the changes we still don't have a firm date for the complete change over.
Ingram, "Rollout date is still a moving target at this point. We want to have it done by the first of November hopefully we'll bet that by a week or two."