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Baseball On TBS: Best HD Ever
By Swanni

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

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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 swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.

Click TVPredictions.com to read more news and features on TV technology. 

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