Why Not HD? The Zoo

The Zoo is back on TV One (7pm Sundays) looking spectacular in widescreen.

But with the rising number of local shows being made in HD, from Birdland to Politically Incorrect Guide to Parenting to the next series of Outrageous Fortune, why is The Zoo still in SD?

Wildlife shows are HD naturals — just witness the Blu-ray of Planet Earth — and there’s no doubting The Zoo’s popularity: it’s just started its 11th series and the premiere won its time slot with viewers aged five-plus and TV One’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds, as well as topping several other key demos.

Given the producers, Greenstone Pictures, only switched from the 4:3 format to 16:9 with the previous series, why did they not opt to shoot in HD then — and are they likely to soon?

Not according to Greenstone’s managing director, John Harris. “We don’t plan to film on HD,” he told ScreenScribe.tv. “We are pleased with the picture quality we currently achieve using the Sony XD camera.

“Also, there is a significant additional cost to shoot HD, and many of the 90-odd countries which screen The Zoo don’t have the capacity to broadcast HD, anyway.”

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