Ah …. Finally …. Wimbledon in HD!
I’m happy to report that NBC lived up to its promise to provide high def coverage of Wimbledon for the first time this weekend. And, surprisingly, they’ll be broadcasting all of the second week at Wimbledon in HD too.
With the U.S. Feb 17, 2009 digital cut over deadline looming, my bet is that the 2009 Australian Open will be carried in HD too, making all four grand slams available in HD in North America for the first time.
HD Scoring – Still Needs Work
Owing to the fact that NBC uses the same feed for both their HD and SD analogue broadcasts, as you can see below (click images for larger view) their on screen scoring grid and unwanted NBC bug show up more in the center of the screen than they would if the broadcast was optimized for HD. I’m hoping that after next February’s digital cut over, networks will start moving scoring grids to the sides of the screen. Or, they could use the top of the screen scoring format that ESPN 2 is using for the weekday Wimbledon broadcasts.
But for now, I’m just happy to see Wimbledon in HD for the first time in my life.
Be Careful What You Wish For
[Update – Everything below was written on July 6, 2008]
After week one, as you can see above, I was delighted to learn that NBC was going to provide HD coverage for the entire second week. They did indeed.
While HD is certainly nice, the resulting embargoed matches and U.S.-centric, stilted coverage was sub-par and left ESPN2’s (TSN in Canada) overflow coverage a mess.
On Monday, for the round of 16, NBC didn’t bother showing the Federer match and chose an all-Williams sisters Monday along with other miscellaneous other coverage. Nor did they provide any coverage of my new found French Open favourite – Dinara Safina (she lost to Shahar Peer in the round of 16 ). Safina was a French Open 2008 finalist. Yet, NBC did tell the viewers the result of the Federer match which ultimately ruined the ESPN2 later rebroadcast of that match.
The next day NBC saw to it that it was yet another all-Williams ladies-day at Wimbledon, covering the Williams quarter final matches at the expense of other matches.
NBC didn’t provide any second week coverage of my most recent ladies’ favourites, Alla Kudryavtseva and Zheng Jie – despite their historic first week matches knocking out the two top seeds, Sharapova and Ivanovic respectively.
I could go on and on. You get the picture. Suffice it to say, by the time of the all-William’s ladies final, I had had more than enough of the Williams sisters for one week!