HD Heads-Up: January 29

Breaking news: It turns out TV3’s revamped news and current affairs won’t be in wall-to-wall HD, after all. Instead, only the studio cameras, weather and graphics will be true HD — stories will be SD but up-converted going in to the studio. In other words, an HD production with some SD elements. The good news is all field cameras should have been upgraded to HD within the next 7-8 months. And all international footage that’s received in HD will be transmitted in its native format. The first HD-ish broadcasts go to air on Monday, starting with the return of Paul Henry at 6am, Newshub Midday, Newshub Live at 6pm and Newshub Late. Amazingly, amid all the hype and nonsense written about 3 News’ relaunch/demise, nothing has been noted about its HD transformation, which may reflect the battle that’s gone on behind the autocue to convince the powers-that-be of the need to produce a 21st century telecast …

TV2’s X-Files revival won its two-hour slot in the 18-49 and 25-54 demographics on Thursday but divided Kiwi critics on its merits. The Dominion Post’s Jane Bowron dubbed it “a cool comeback by two old hands … getting Scully and Mulder back together again in the new series of the cult drama gives hope to a 50-plus audience, sending the message that they can still be relevant in the workforce, and get their old, dream jobs back.” But the NZ Herald’s Duncan Grieve said, “In refusing to update its style or theories for 2016, the X-Files becomes the show which time forgot. And, based on the risible first episode, one we’ll soon forget again” …

Bowron was less enamoured with TV1’s new medical drama Code Black, which didn’t win its 8.30 Wednesday slot in any of the key commercial demographics. Echoing our own Doug Coutts, she wrote: “Code Black makes you cardiac arrest at the pace of the action, but there’s nothing new to see here. I won’t be watching it again, but I don’t like medical dramas and used up my quota on the excellent Critical. Call me old fashioned, but Dr Finlay’s Casebook is still top of the pops. Why doesn’t the Jones! channel bring that back?” …

While Kiwis await the official launch of season three of House of Cards in this market, on the eve of season four debuting elsewhere, Netflix has ordered a fifth. But it will be the first without show runner Beau Willimon. “House of Cards marked Willimon’s first TV series effort,” Variety reports. “He made his name as the playwright with the political drama Farragut North, which was adapted as the 2011 feature The Ides of March directed by George Clooney.” Despite Netflix and Williamson making amicable press statements about his departure, Deadline Hollywood hears “the circumstances surrounding Willimon’s exit are not as clear-cut, and he is likely not leaving of his own volition”  …

SoHo’s 11.22.63, which will air 9.30 Tuesdays from February 23, has just had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where Variety thought it “an uneven affair, at times feeling as if it’s meandering through history en route to its frantic closing kick – a Twilight Zone episode, stretched and kneaded to wring more out of it, while making up the rules as it goes along.” But The Hollywood Reporter reckons Stephen King’s time travel thriller works “because James Franco goes all-in with his performance as a small-town teacher tasked with stopping the assassination of JFK … Even in its slower moments, 11.22.63 demands attention because King has crafted a story you want to watch unfold” …

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2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: January 29”

  1. Actually someone said something like that to me on Twitter that Newshub is not completely HD but still it’s better than nothing.. at least it’s excellent news about Prime in HD YAY

  2. I’m impressed by how good Newshub looks in HD but it certainly needs to be all in HD as it makes the SD look even worse than before … I wonder why the sports off SKY is not in HD? 🙂

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