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High-def within sight on Fox4

Fox4's conversion to high-definition local productions at last has a halfway definite timetable.

"We intend to be providing HD news before or on the 'transition' date,' " vice president and general manager Kathy Saunders said Monday.

The transition she speaks of is Feb. 17th. That's the date when all stations are required to shift from analog to digital pictures. Hence all those converter box ads, teases and tests.

Whatever the actual date, Fox4 will be lagging roughly two years behind WFAA8, which went HD on Feb. 2, 2007 while also opening its new Victory Park studios. NBC5 converted on Sept. 7th of that year and CBS11 began its high-definition newscasts on Sept. 23rd.

Word is that Fox4 will have HD cameras in the field as well, eliminating the need to upconvert its out-of-studio pictures to full widescreen size. But we'll see.

Saunders also addressed rumors that Fox4 will extend its No. 1-rated Good Day program to 10 a.m., making it a daily five-hour program.

"We are always looking at our options to expand in any sort of day-part," she said. "We don't have any plans at this moment."

Absent a flat-out denial, you can bet it's a possibility.