Originally posted by Shink
To my eyes, the "live" shows always look better than the shows that are "filmed."...
I'm not so sure it's the "live" factor as it is the "non-filmed" factor. While film has the potential for HD resolution, few film producers go there, and instead, through choice of lenses, shallow depth of field, color gamut choices, emulsion development choices, and transfer issues, rarely realize that potential on film. The result is that much of filmed content has a muddy, soft look to it, such as shows like "The West Wing" and "Gilmore Girls".
Time was that this was still a superior choice over NTSC video, but the worm has turned, and HD video can and often does put conventional film techniques to shame. It doesn't have to, "Charlie's Angels" (the first movie) and "Fastlane" (produced by the same folks) are examples of film processed in ways that makes images appear just as glorious or more so than HD video images can appear. It's not a technical limitation as much as it is an artistic choice, and there is still a lot of inertia to continue to do film in a way that makes it feel inferior to what can be done with HD video, even budget equipment.
As far as the live/taped thing, back in the day of analog video I always felt that live video had better color rendition than recorded video, and that was probably the case, due to the restrictions of recording analog video, which were less-forgiving than the cameras of the day. Today, things are quite different. HD (and most SD) is typically recorded directly as encoded MPEG-2 files, meaning that there are no restrictions on recording and no inherent limitations, or benefits of being live, because the file that is recorded is the same as the file that is transmitted live, which is the same as the file when played back from tape. And the same bandwith reduction rules apply to both processes by the time it reaches your set, so live vs. taped HD looks fairly identical (because they are identical), all else being equal.