Tuesday, February 19, 2008

rats, race

USA Today came close to actually calling BS on the broadcast networks yesterday. As anybody with high definition TV can tell you, everything looks better in HD. I suspect that every HD viewer has watched a show for no other reason than that it was available in high def and looked so good. Once I even watched a few minutes of a NASCAR event before snapping out of my HD-induced trance.

I still watch some of my regular shows like "Access Hollywood" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" via the upstairs, standard definition TV and TiVo. Neither show is available to me in HD, so it doesn't matter. For shows that I watch together with my wife and son, it's more convenient to use the big screen TV in the living room. Most of the shows we watch are broadcast in glorious high def except for two glaring omissions.

As USA Today pointed out, neither "Survivor" nor "The Amazing Race" are shown in HD. The paper quotes an "Amazing Race" producer as saying that high def cameras couldn't stand up to the travel on their show. "Survivor's" EP says not now, but maybe someday they'll go HD. Both producers cited the additional cost of new equipment. Repairs could be a problem when in a remote locale too. I half expected them to start worrying about getting beach sand in the camera.

The USA Today writer then points out that several cable shows are high def including the very messy "Dirty Jobs." Best of all, the article points out that the fancy schmancy HD cameras went to the middle of the Bering Sea to film a season of "Deadliest Catch." If it's worth the risk to expose high def cameras to waves crashing over the side of the ship (and it is), they could certainly do something to make the "Race" truly amazing.

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