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TV's Answer Man

What's the Best Show In HD?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (January 16, 2013) -- Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to swann@tvpredictions.com

Q. In your opinion, what is the best show in HDTV today? You know, the one you would suggest to friends as the best example of how cool HD looks. -- Tim, Venice, California.

That's a great question. Ever since I bought my first HDTV more than 12 years ago, I have tried to talk friends into buying one by talking about how certain shows look in high-def. Nothing sells hardware like software, they say -- and you know what? -- they are right.

If you're a sports fan, I think you'll find that any football game broadcast by CBS or NBC looks awesome in high-def. Both networks do a terrific job of ensuring that every detail is carefully displayed and that the game's vibrant colors just explode on the screen. It's the closest you can get to being there in person.

Continuing with sports, the MLB Network offers a consistently great picture, whether it's airing a studio show or a live baseball game. The regional networks NESN (Red Sox games) and MASN (Oriole and Nationals games) also do a great job with baseball. (I'm told the Yes Network, which covers the Yankees, is also top-notch but I don't get to watch it here in the Washington, D.C. area.)

As for non-sports shows, I'm really impressed with the detail and vivid colors displayed during the live broadcasts of the awards shows (Oscars, Golden Globes, etc.). You know, you always hear that actresses in Hollywood hate high-def because the candid cameras can reveal the tiniest facial imperfection. But that apparently doesn't have any effect on the award show producers; you'll never see celebrities look so vulnerable as they do on those shows.

Moving to primetime shows, I would single out Showtime's Dexter, HBO's Boardwalk Empire, CBS' CSI, Fox's American Idol and Fox's Fringe as shows that generally offer top-quality HD picture quality.

I've been recently catching up with Fringe's past episodes and have been consistently amazed at the detail (sometimes excruciating; it's a show about aliens and creatures, after all) the show serves up. The actors also have put vanity on the shelf because the show's tight close-ups reveal every pore, every wrinkle. It helps make the show what it is because you feel closer to the characters as they try to solve each episode's strange occurrence.

If you want to check out how these shows look in high-def, here are links to their Blu-ray discs:

Boardwalk Empire

What do you think? Offer your comments below!

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