Originally Posted by dennis1
I'd imagine that this subject has been discussed before, but, if so, I haven't seen the thread.
I understand why such a significant part of the networks' primetime schedules--filled as they are with reality shows--aren't in HD.
However, I'm wondering why shows like that flash-in-the-pan hit "No or Deal Deal", or whatever it's called, aren't being broadcast in HD. What's the problem? It would seem that if shows like Letterman, SNL, American Idol, can be produced in HD, it shouldn't be hard to use the same facilities for broadcasting these other shows.
What am I missing?
I think the key thing is that the shows you mention, like Deal or No Deal AREN'T live - they are pre-recorded, and significantly post-produced, rather than being entirely as-live.
For long running shows - like Deal or No Deal (or The Weakest Link and Millionaire over here) - the shows are significantly post-produced - and on a long-running show, optimising and minimising the costs of this is a major aim for production managers and production accountants. There are some very radical solutions being used for some of these shows these days AIUI - and these are practical and cost-effective at SD, but may not be cost-effective (or feasible) at HD yet.
Over here in the UK there is a very strong drive for tape-less post - which is now being utilised pretty effectively at SD - but the major storage increase for HD is an issue. (Though in other cases tapeless can help with a move to HD if the migration is planned early enough)
As others above have posted - the recording and post-production budgets on these shows will increase in a significant manner if the shows move to SD - and if the commission isn't explicitly in HD, then the production company will have no reason to reduce their profit by moving to HD.
(Over here Endemol's Big Brother is a hugely popular show for Channel Four, and it was one of the last major domestic shows C4 had that still aired in 4:3. AIUI this was because Endemol had a long running commission, and the contract didn't stipulate a change in aspect ratio, and as even a move to 16:9 SD could cost money, they didn't move to 16:9, until their contract was re-negotiated. Endemol are a very successul production company, but their success is not achieved by spending money where they don't have to)