HD Heads-Up: February 13

❏ Prime officially launches its new-look HD schedule today (complete with new logo and graphics) — but only on Sky. It’s hard not to suspect Sky is limiting the long-delayed HD roll-out to its own platform to help drive subscriber growth. Other explanations are hard to come by. Sky didn’t respond to my query and failed to even issue a press release about Prime going HD. Despite high public interest in the upgrade, it simply announced the changeover on Prime’s Facebook page and buried the details in a general email to subscribers …

❏ The Facebook notification acknowledged Freeview viewers won’t have access to HD just yet: “We’re dead keen to get HD rolled out to as many people as possible, as soon as possible and we are still in discussions with our various broadcast providers on how to do this.” The need for this is hard to fathom. While the Freeview satellite platform is SD only, there’s plenty of spare digital terrestrial television capacity on Freeview|HD …

❏ Expect the Freeview transmission issues to be resolved in time for the Rio Olympics in August. As Sky boss John Fellet told the NZ Herald’s John Drinnan, Sky’s investment in Prime is strategic. “Fellet says the value of Prime is in negotiating sports rights. Some big sports events – the Rugby World Cup, for example, or the Olympics – require that the pay TV rights should be allocated only where there is also a free-to-air broadcaster” …

❏ Prime actually switched to partial HD transmissions this week. The broadcaster says it transitioned early for “some vision” for technical reasons. But it’s still not clear how much of its programming will be in full or native HD compared to upscaled HD as of today. I’ve had to update the latest This Week in HD post to reflect this. Series you would think would be in HD, like Antiques Roadshow, University Challenge, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Scandimania are being upscaled while there’s a question mark over American Idol and Big Spring Clean

❏ The HD shows that can be confirmed are predominantly Prime’s shiny American dramas — Limitless, NCIS: New Orleans, Scorpion, Elementary, Strike Back — and a handful of British series, including UnforgottenSimply Nigella and Escape to the Country. However, expect the amount of HD content to escalate, with a Sky spokesperson saying most programming has been ordered in HD …

❏ I’ve also updated This Week in HD to reflect a late-minute confirmation: Tuesday’s The Mad World of Donald Trump (TV One, 9.30). Predictably, The Guardian said: “The Mad World of Donald Trump on Channel 4 achieved the near impossible, managing to paint an even less appealing portrait of the frontrunner in the race for the Republican US presidential nomination than had previously been thought possible, even by leftie Observer and C4 types. As the first post-Nuremberg historians surely sighed about Adolf Hitler, the more you learn about the guy, the less there is to love.” But even The Telegraph thought it “packed a decent punch. It was diligent, damning and hard-hitting” …

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7 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: February 13”

  1. Funny how media companies leave it up to Facebook to announce things …

  2. Wonder why it’s going to take them so long for the FV platform to go HD?

  3. Frankly, who cares? How many still watch linear broadcast TV?

  4. Lots of people that I know thx1138

  5. THX. I record everything.

  6. We also record the vast majority of shows via Sky with the odd exception.

  7. I’ve been cordless for over a year now. There are plenty of high quality sources of TV fodder with better picture and sound than any broadcast 😉

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