Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympics Impress In High Def; Ch. 4 Doesn't

When I bought my HD television almost a year ago, I did it mostly because a lot of people told me that watching the Caps game would be almost like being there. I have to say I have been very impressed and happy with my splurging to get an HDTV. Which makes watching the Olympics in HD even that more enjoyable to watch. In these Olympic games every event this year broadcasting in 1080i (TV lingo which I have picked up). The picture is amazing and makes the sporting events so much fun to watch.

That is until the local broadcasts starts. NBC Channel 4 (WRC) goes back to it's standard screen and while the digital picture is good, it just isn't the same. Normally I wouldn't be bothered by it much, until we had those storms come through the area on Saturday and the local broadcast had to send out the severe weather statement that scrolled at the top of the screen during the action. The broadcast jumped in time when they squeezed the full 16x9 HD picture down to the standart 4x3, ran the storm warning, then jumped back in to the HD delay missing about a second or two in the action back to the 16X9 format.

Now if you were on a normal screen (4x3), you wouldn't have noticed this. But on my HD television, I was a little peeved about it. Why hasn't Ch. 4 gone to high def yet? Channel 9, the CBS affiliate has made the jump to HD and their broadcasts are pretty cool to watch. But this jumping back and forth from standard to HD gets a little tiring (especially when they forget to put it back in HD and we are stuck with a standard format picture).

It's a little thing I know, but with HD being king I am a bit surprised how slowly network affiliates are slow to convert. While I do enjoy the NBC's broadcasts of the Olympic games in HD, I tend to tune out the shows like the Olympic Zone which is done locally by WRC because it's not in HD. It would look so much better otherwise. I would think that with the Olympics upon us, it would have been a great opportunity for Channel 4 to step out of its standard and join the rest of us in 1080i.

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