CityNews to change newscast to portrait mode, asks viewers to rotate TVs

Calling it an industry first, CityNews announced today it will begin producing its local and national newscasts in portrait mode — 9×16 instead of 16×9.

The switch to portrait mode will allow the news segments to more easily be ported to platforms of the future — Facebook video and TikTok in particular, the company said in a statement.

But what about those of us who still like to watch the news on our big-screen HDTV?

Citytv recommends those people rotate their television screens 90 degrees for the duration of the local newscast.

“We considered doing a pillarbox format for broadcast, but you lose more than two thirds of the screen real estate that way,” said Citytv spokesperson Ngay Cathangtu.

Mathematically, a vertical HD image on a horizontal 16×9 screen would use up 607×1080 pixels, or a third of the 1920×1080 screen, so City’s suggestion makes sense. Unlike cellphones and tablets, televisions and cable boxes don’t come with automatic orientation detection that allows it to adjust video accordingly.

With a newscast that does pretty poorly in the ratings here, there’s not much for City to lose by trying this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.