TBS Gets Serious About HD

TBS, the cable channel that advertises itself as “very funny” is getting serious about hi-def, with the launch of TBS in HD this fall.

The cable channel, part of the Turner Broadcasting empire, will simulcast its East Coast feed in 1080i, high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound starting Sept. 1. Its sister station, TNT, has broadcast in hi-def for several years, but some of the content, originally broadcast in standard definition 4:3, is upconverted and “stretched” to fill widescreen HDTV sets. In perhaps a hint of a similar arrangement with TBS, the network said that it would “present all of its programming, including promotional content and commercials in 16:9 wide-screen, giving viewers a consistent viewing experience.”

The majority of the network’s programming consists movies, sports, (including the MLB playoffs and the National League pennant), and first run series like Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” “My Boys” and “The Bill Engvall Show,” as well as popular reruns such as “Sex and the City” and “Seinfeld.”