TVNZ Cranks Up HD on the QT

TVNZ has quietly started slipping more HD series into its schedules.

This week saw Friends and the new comedy, Better With You, screen in HD unadvertised on TV2 while tonight on TV One Coasters starts in 1080i and on Sunday the network screens the NZ drama, Nights in the Garden of Spain, in HD.

TV2’s 5pm Sunday sitcom, Hank, also has landed unannounced in HD and on January 30 the network will screen in 1080i the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (another movie franchise, Twilight, will have its TV2 premiere in HD, too.)

Shortland Street is due to switch to HD, the next series of Country Calendar is being filmed in HD, and soon to hit our screens in HD are season three of Go Girls, Marcus Lush’s North and Nigel Latta’s Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers.

There are surprising HD omissions, notably the latest series of Intrepid Journeys and TV One’s Sunday night newcomer, Islands of Britain, which would look spectacular in 1080i.

But at least TVNZ is starting to make HD strides after hitherto limiting transmissions to about three hours a week on each of its networks.

Watch for a steady stream of US series to screen here in HD, too, including No Ordinary Family, Pretty Little Liars and Off the Map, while among the returning hits that will air in HD for the first time are Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, Two and a Half Men, Cougar Town and The Big Bang Theory.

Even Friends spin-off, Joey, will be re-run in HD and the late-night resumption of a drama that was cancelled a couple of years ago, Eli Stone.

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