Tuesday, February 14, 2006

High Definition Became the Story

CSI HDTV Closeup
Originally uploaded by gadget.
Just after the year 2000 non-catastrophic event, my team at Net Talk Live was ready to revamp our 1996 era TV show and blast into the world of HDTV. We designed a new black set with "miles" of depth plus Intellibeam lit sails along with camera shaders and even fashion experts to make sure that we "popped" on screen with our "new for the millennium" show, Net Talk Interactive. The show looked great and was shot it HD then ultimately broadcast in standard definition because editing expenses were so high. Even if we made an EDL, or Edit Decision List on our standard definition Avid editor and used that to automate the High Definition edit suite, it would have broken our bank. Today, the $999 Final Cut Pro HD gives $2000 Macs amazing capabilities for editing in HD, but the point of this story is that we now need more than just pretty faces and scenery to make viewers stop and take note.

What a difference five years makes. CSI: Miami has put viewers with HDTV sets into the scene, right along with the detectives. In the "Three-Way" episode broadcast mid-February 2006 a contact lens was found at one of three crime scenes. A witness was called in for questioning and the detective said that it was probably hard for her to get around with only one contact lens. Right after this line was delivered, the camera zoomed into a closeup of her left, then right eye where the ring of the contact was clearly visible in HD. You would only see fuzzy eyes if this were standard definition television. Using technology to build the storyline naturally, without being overtly technical is an art that Jerry Bruckheimer's team should have many others playing catchup with. McG did a great job with eye candy in Fastlane and Charlie's Angels but CSI gets the details on the candy.

The capture above is from my Media Center PC as a 720p JPG lifted right from the broadcast with the wonderful Gadwin Print Screen utility to capture images.

Click on the image or here to see more from my flickr photo stream.

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