So, What was the Deal with the HDTV Broadcast of the Superbowl

I’ve admitted it before and will say it again. I’ve never been on the cutting edge of consumerism when it comes to high tech. I’m a middle of the road kind of guy most of the time and wait until the technology makes some advances and the prices come down on things such as CD players, DVD players and TIVO devices. I don’t have a High Def TV because I’m waiting until the prices drop to what I’m willing to pay which I predict should be in the next two years.
Having said that, I was somewhat surprised when a reader of this blog asked me what was up with the HD broadcast of the Superbowl on WREG. The poster said while he didn’t have a HD TV several of his friends did and they were quite disappointed they couldn’t get HD from 3. The question was raised about whether WREG had issues with their transmitter or even carried the game in HD. A check of the WREG website showed they had HD listed on the programming schedule. for WREG DT Then I saw a couple of letters to the editor in the Commercial Appeal taking WREG to task for issues with the game not being made available in HD to Direct TV viewers. I don’t know what the deal is there. Maybe WREG is holding out for more money.
I did check around a couple of places on the internet and found where some other folks (don’t know which market) had complained about the game being shown on CBS as well and how the High Def looked terrible. One person said part of the problem was that the rain, which we managed to ignore in Standard Def, was a problem in High Def. If that is indeed the case, can you imagine what kind of headache that could create for not only ballgames played outside in bad weather but also when newsrooms eventually switch to HD cameras in the field. Those routine shots of some yahoo doing a stand-up in a hurricane or even a driving rain will theoretically look like crap.
But I’m not sure when that will be cause for concern in the Memphis market. I haven’t heard any talk of just when HD cameras will hit the streets locally. I would have bet that WREG would have unveiled the first HD local news but that was before they were put on the block. But with the costs associated with it, now it could be anybody’s guess.

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3 Comments on “So, What was the Deal with the HDTV Broadcast of the Superbowl”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Part of the problem with HD in Memphis, specifically with 3 and 5, is that they’ve split their signal into several subchannels. 3 carries not only WREG, but also Newschanel 3 Anytime as a subchannel on their HD signal. 5 carries WMC, and also NBC WeatherPlus and The Tube as subchannels. These subchannels cut down bandwidth available to the main channel, and make the picture worse. If you want to read more about his, as well as the whole DirecTV fiasco, look up the Memphis thread on http://www.avsforum.com

  2. Paul G. Fitzgerald Says:

    The problem with WREG-DT not being available to DirecTV customers wouldn’t be such a huge deal if WREG would stop ignoring their loyal viewers’ telephone calls, emails, and letters. I admit I know next to nothing about the industry, but it seems to me that this kind of attitude does nothing but hurt the viewership.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I’ll say it now and I’ll say it again, HD and digital are crap! Weather plays a HUGE roll in digital. Satellite shots were never a problem in bad weather until everyone switched to digital. I want HD but i can’t justify the expense when i don’t see the return. Animated programs look awesome in HD but everything else is so, so. Because stations are allowed to split their signals like every station eventually will, the quality will not be what was promised. That bodes even worse for local stations. GB


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