AP is running a story about how a guy named Brent Swanson in Minneapolis gets a crappy signal for Battlestar Galactica with his high-end High Definition projector.
"I couldn't couldn't really tell if what I was seeing was really better than what I saw on regular television," said Swanson, who subscribes to HD service via Comcast
In fairness, I have not yet watched any of this season of BSG in high definition. I tried to watch the season four premiere, but I apparently didn't have SciFi HD yet. I do now (channel 736 in San Francisco). I have however seen BSG in HD a few times when it ran on UHD [Universal's High Definition channel] and it looked spectacular. I'll be sure to check out BSG on SciFi HD and see how it is.
My Comcast experience as far as HD goes has largely been a good one and with BSG getting less than 2 million viewers that's probably not going to turn up the heat on Comcast or anyone else. I had problems with the 3rd round of the Master's tournament coverage, but whether it was a CBS problem or a Comcast problem I knew for sure I was not getting HD.
The story also cites something I'd already seen on the blogs about how Comcast's HD signals for some channels are more compressed than Verizon's FiOS. But that's completely meaningless to me since I can't get FiOS service in San Francisco. Plus the problem with many benchmarks like the ones mentioned is they measure things my eyes and ears can't detect. It's very possible that I'd notice in a side by side comparison, but otherwise I watched a ton of sports this weekend and the NHL and NBA games looked incredible. I even caught a couple of MLB games in HD, and they also looked great.
I suspect it more likely that there was a problem with SciFi HD where Swanson lives and that the reason he couldn't tell if he was getting a better signal than regular television is because he wasn't - just like what happened to me with the Masters, rather than issues with too much compression. It's not a perfect world. Round four of the Masters was back in HD, as I suspect BSG will be next week for Swanson. I'll give it a try myself.
In the meanwhile I am now really curious about something else. Though not very many of us watch Battlestar Galactica, I'm beginning to think almost all of us have HD service in our homes. I wonder what the percentage of HD usage among BSG fans is. I'm guessing it's pretty high.