The BBC is to broadcast all news programming in wide-screen from Monday (2 October), coinciding with the relaunch of BBC Breakfast News.

The move is part of the BBC's overall conversion to

The BBC is to broadcast all news programming in wide-screen from Monday (2 October), coinciding with the relaunch of BBC Breakfast News.

The move is part of the BBC's overall conversion to widescreen and makes the corporation the first terrestrial broadcaster to transmit all its news output, across both analogue and digital channels, in widescreen format.

Currently, only BBC News 24 is broadcast in widescreen but from Monday, digital viewers will receive all news programmes in 16:9 while analogue viewers will see a modified 14:9 picture. Current affairs programmes such as Panorama and Correspondent are also set to switch to widescreen, while others plan to follow suit shortly.

The switch to widescreen kicks off with the launch of Breakfast News and its new-look set, which it will share with Working Lunch, plus new widescreen titles. BBC News Resources designed the titles for Working Lunch. The main news bulletins at 13.00, 18.00 and 21.00 were given widescreen titles last year.

BBC head of production development, news technology Chrichton Limbert says the switch to widescreen will not pose too many problems as it is simply an extension of what is already being done for News 24.

However, he estimates that it will be 18 months before all cameras have been replaced and longer before all freelancers are shooting in widescreen.

Consequently, every edit suite and news gathering vehicle is equipped with an aspect ratio converter to allow incoming and outgoing feeds to be converted as required. This is necessary, Limbert said, as the BBC will still need to provide 4:3 pictures to regions and other broadcasters that have not yet switched to widescreen.

BBC widescreen manager Mal Woolford said: 'Other genres, such as drama and science, have been commissioned entirely in widescreen for some time.

On BBC 1and 2 we expect to transmit about 60 per cent of peaktime programmes in wide-screen this year and we are heading towards 50 per cent of all new programmes through the day.'