In Australia, Channel 7 has broadcast rights for the Olympics. And the ads say this year is the first time the Olympics have been recorded in HD. Hooray!

And this is what we see on Channel 7 in HD.

Apart from the obvious fact that the 7 logo is almost totally opaque, they might as well have put the logo in the middle of the screen. I’d probably see more of the actual swimming action that way.

Then you have all the other info on screen, all in the 4:3 space. And this is the HD channel. There is this thing called widescreen – perhaps Channel 7 have heard of it?

I don’t just blame Channel 7. I blame the IOC. They should have mandated that the bid winner for broadcast rights had to put any on screen displays in 16:9 space, not 4:3, for any HD broadcast. And any station identifier should be made transparent, and placed in the outer part of the 16:9 space.

Here’s what we should have got:

Yeah, we wish.

Sure, Channel 7 invested a lot of money in getting the Olympics. It is cheaper for them to use the same graphics on screen for SD and HD broadcasts. In fact, it’s probably just an upscaled SD image on their HD channel. But Channel 7 could have used these Olympics to show the world what is possible with the technology. Start with proper use of widescreen. Move on to imaginative ways to tie into the internet. But nope – we got the basics.

And apparently the first week of the Olympics consists of just swimming.

HD Olympics

One thought on “HD Olympics

  • September 6, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an upscaled SD image, the difference between the SD and HD channel was easy to see. I almost fell out of my chair last night when channel 7 was showing the football in HD, not that I care much for it, it only took 6 years. It gives me hope for next years Australian Open.

    Btw, Michael’s Phelps giant head screams growth hormone, no normal person can have a chin that large.

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