Baseball On TBS: Best HD
Washington, D.C. (October 4,
2011) -- As someone who has been
watching baseball in high-def for 10 years, I can not say I've
ever seen a better HD broadcast of the game than this year's
coverage by TBS of the 2011 MLB playoffs.
In the current first round, which involves eight teams and
multiple stadiums, TBS' broadcast has been consistently
excellent, delivering vivid colors and razor-sharp detail
regardless of the circumstances.
For instance, during the seventh and ninth inning of game two
between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers, isolated storms
pelted Yankee Stadium, bringing not only a cameraman's worst
enemy (lens-splattering rain drops) but dark, ominous clouds
that threaten to reduce visibility.
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However, somehow, TBS managed to keep the picture crystal-clear.
When Yankees Derek Jeter and Robbie Cano desperately tried to
wipe the rain drops off the bills of their helmets while
batting, TBS' picture made you feel like you could moisten your
hand by simply touching the screen. The rain -- and the tension
and frustration tattooed in the two hitters' faces -- could be
felt by this viewer sitting in his favorite comfy chair more
than a four hour drive away.
Derek Jeter tries
to hit between the rain drops in game two.
And it wasn't just a rain-soaked Yankee Stadium where TBS' team
shined, the network has also delivered outstanding pictures from
Milwaukee's Miller Park where a retractable roof often covers
the field with a confusing mix of light beams and shadows.
Somehow -- and I will keep using that word to describe my
amazement at how TBS is able to overcome both Mother Mature and
man-made obstacles -- the pictures from Miller Park never
deviated despite the changing conditions.
Watching the HD broadcast this past week, I can't help but
recall back to last season when Fox apologists tried to explain
away its sub-par World Series coverage by saying the fog in San
Francisco played tricks with their cameras. Of course, the
network also broadcast a somewhat muddy picture when the Series
was played in Texas so make your own conclusions.
One can only hope that Fox has spent the past year improving their
transmission system, working more closely with local affiliates
and installing better equipment and, if needed, better people to
deliver a better 2011 broadcast. In round two, which starts this
Saturday, the network will cover the American League
Championship Series (TBS will cover round two of the NL) and
then Fox gets the World Series exclusively after that.
Fox better be better because TBS is setting an awfully high bar
for it to reach.
So, what do you think? How would you rate TBS' HD coverage of
the 2011 Baseball Playoffs thus far? You can vote below and
offer your comments by clicking the 'Results' button.
Phillip Swann is president and publisher
of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications
and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The
New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The
Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at 703-505-3064.