December 19, 2007

Channel 4HD's miserly HD content

Given how little genuine HD is being broadcast on C4 HD, I'm starting to wonder how much UK TV stuff is actually shot in HD. I heard a year or so ago that the BBC and C4 were shooting everything already in HD, but that doesn't look like it's the case by a long shot. The story last week that the BBC is having to rebuild sets (eg EastEnders) for future HD filming suggests that there's nowhere near as much in HD as people may have guessed. I would have thought the likes of Spooks, Oliver Twist, Fanny Hill et al on the BBC would be shot in HD, but apparently not. On C4, Jaimie at Home, Grand Designs, Shameless - surely in HD? Maybe not.
Almost all US shows from the last few years will be in HD, but the BBC only show a handful (Heroes, Medium, 3lbs) and Channel 4 show fewer these days - Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives are the only ones I can currently think of (Scrubs seems to be E4 only these days and even the mighty Earl seems destined to lose its C4 slot after poor ratings for season two). With the writers' strike in Hollywood hitting hard and it looking like most US shows this season will be restricted to around eleven shows each, HD content is going to be very thin on the ground.
Thinking about it, Five would probably have the most HD as it shows a lot of US stuff now. Maybe the next channel to be simulcast should be FiveUS?

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