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Presidential Inauguration in HD - TvTechnology

Presidential Inauguration in HD

On Thursday, HD viewers will, for the first time, be able to see the Presidential inauguration ceremonies and ancillary activities in HDTV. ABC's unilateral and pool coverage of these events will involve 36 HD cameras and four HD trucks. It will, of course, be broadcast and offered to pool participants in 720p, as was
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On Thursday, HD viewers will, for the first time, be able to see the Presidential inauguration ceremonies and ancillary activities in HDTV. ABC's unilateral and pool coverage of these events will involve 36 HD cameras and four HD trucks. It will, of course, be broadcast and offered to pool participants in 720p, as was the 2004 State of the Union speech.

This marks another major milestone in the transition of television to HDTV. In addition to prime time entertainment programming, we are now seeing big news events covered in HD. It continues the recent trend of producing the native content live, covering special events in HD, and converting the product to SD for NTSC broadcast.

This is highly significant, because previously, producers were reluctant to "jeopardize" the NTSC broadcast, which required a "two truck" approach with physical separation between HD and SD productions. This significantly added in many ways to the costs of doing HD production. Today, reasonably priced HDTV production equipment and facilities are available that generate high-quality HD images with fewer creative restrictions as compared to SD production facilities, and down-conversion to SD yields excellent results for NTSC viewers. The "two aspect ratio problem"--producing in 16:9while maintaining a good 4:3 image, much discussed before HD production became routine, does not seem to be a big problem at all.

This brings us closer to the day when there will be no SD production equipment or facilities used in the professional television world. That day has already arrived in the film-to-video transfer world.