Saturday, September 20, 2008

color, cut, clarity

Apparently the clues were out there if only I had the slightest idea to look for them. Instead I flipped past a locally produced show on WBIR tonight and did a double-take. Did my eyes deceive me or was "Heartland Tonight" on my screen in glorious high definition? The episode followed a barge up the Tennessee River to Knoxville. It almost didn't matter what the show was about, I couldn't stop watching.

I was under the impression that our local stations only aired HD programs that "passed through" from the networks. I didn't know any of them had bought the equipment to broadcast their own shows in HD. When I saw John Becker at Boomsday, I asked him when WBIR would go HD. I was thinking of their annual telecast of the fireworks as well as their news programming. John's quick retort was "do you have two million dollars?" Switching the local news to HD will require all new cameras, sets, lighting, etc. The prerecorded shows I saw tonight were shot on location with smaller, more affordable HD cameras.

What's that? Did I say show or shows? Yes, "Heartland Tonight" was followed by another local HD show. WBIR pre-empted a rerun of "Chuck" to air "Tennessee Shines," a bluegrass music program recorded at the Bijou Theatre. The same performances aired live on WDVX radio last month. The great-looking TV show is a feather in the cap of Doublejay Creative, a relatively new company founded by married couple Adrian and Larsen Jay. Another new project of theirs gives flowers to hospital patients.

While searching out links for this blog entry, I discovered the HD clues that were out there in cyberspace. The second paragraph of a press release from the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation mentions that "Tennessee Shines" would be in high def. Better still, the program listings on also announced the big news. I guess I expected a lot more hype for a major development in Knoxville television history.

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