Fox News Channel Switches to 16:9 Broadcast

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

Fox News Channel is aiming to optimize the on-air product for its growing high-definition audience while continuing to serve the majority of viewers still watching standard-definition, 4:3 sets. So the network has decided to produce all of its programming in high-definition using the 16:9 aspect ratio, and deliver a downconverted, letterboxed version to standard-definition viewers.

The cable network has overhauled its camera positions, graphics and editing to accommodate all-widescreen production, and is using Active Format Description (AFD) technology internally to specify how the widescreen HD pictures are downconverted for display on 4:3 aspect-ratio standard-def sets.


Beginning Sept. 28, viewers of Fox News Channel and Fox News Channel HD will see the same content, including graphics and tickers. Because camera operators no longer have to “safe protect” for a center-cut 4:3 image when shooting in the Fox News Channel studios, viewers will also see new camera angles that capture more of the set. More…