MLB Network Throws Opening Pitch on Jan. 1

 While it’s not yet clear exactly how many homes the new sports venue will pass, MLB officials predict it will be as many as 50 million at its launch this week.  
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It may be the dead of winter but the official cable venue of Major League Baseball, the MLB Network, will launch tomorrow (New Year's Day) and provide some HD and near-HD content for viewers—despite the fact that nearly all vintage games in the past many decades were captured in formats somewhat less than HD quality levels.

Still, the new sports network is converting many of its classic games and other highlights as near to HD (presumably approaching 720p) as possible, using the latest enhancement technologies. Thus, the age-old adage that one can never achieve image quality better than its original source seems to be increasingly challenged as time goes by.

HD will also play a big role on the new MLB sets, which have been created in new MLB Network headquarters at the former MSNBC studios in Secaucus, N.J., across the river from Manhattan. (MSNBC moved in last year with parent NBC Universal at 30 Rockefeller Center.)

The baseball operation said in a statement it's using state-of-the-art technology to re-format classic film "to near HD quality, store all footage digitally [for near-instant retrieval], and utilize the latest in HD video displays on the set." In all, the sets will boast more than four dozen mostly HD displays—including a Sharp 108-inch HD monitor.

While it's not yet clear exactly how many homes the new sports venue will pass, MLB officials predict it will be as many as 50 million at its launch this week.