Originally Posted by tluxon
Can someone explain to me why when I capture video clips from my Comcast DVR and open them up in Mpeg Video Wizard, MVW says it is 1280 x 720 (16/9) at 59.94 frames per second? That's HD.
Now perhaps Comcast is upconverting a 16:9 SD feed, but the video looks every bit as good and even better than many of the HD captures I made of the Olympics this spring (which I know had all kinds of converting were going on).
Am I the only one who thinks it's just as good as much of the watered-down HD we're getting these days?
Although this show is shot in widescreen SD, the studio is HD capable. The HD cameras do the downconversion to SD internally. HD cameras are able to make better fine detail in SD than native SD cameras can. The quality of this SD is much higher than is transmitted to the home in SD mode, and much higher than DVD. One might wonder why the show isn't just shot in HD if it's in a HD studio, but there are other HD costs that would be impractical for a summer show. American Idol is the only HD reality show, and being the #1 show makes HD practical.
The taped shows are upconverted to HD from digital component video at Fox, and then sent on the Fox HD network. Detail that would normally be lost through SD transmission is preserved on the HD network. The widescreen SD is "stretched" horizontally to 4:3 for the Fox SD network.
While we all would like everything to be HD, the choices on this show were probably 4:3 SD or 16:9 SD. I think most here would choose the latter, especially when the PQ is better than one would expect from SD.
This image captured OTA from last night's show is a bit blurred because it was a handheld shot, but it does have an interesting element:
Studio 36 is the same studio used for American Idol. No big surprise since it's produced by the same people.