High definition TV makes a splashy debut with opening ceremony | delhi | Hindustan Times
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High definition TV makes a splashy debut with opening ceremony

delhi Updated: Oct 03, 2010 21:00 IST

Just like the Asian Games introduced India to colour TV in 1982, the 2010 Commonwealth Games marked a turning point in Indian broadcast TV. Several viewers saw the fluttering flags and bright national costumes in high definition (HD), a picture standard that is five times clearer than an ordinary TV broadcast.

Doordarshan, which is broadcasting the Games in India, announced last year that it planned to offer the entire Commonwealth Games in HD. It's the first time an entire CWG has been broadcast in the sharper resolution. The broadcast will be available through DD HD, a new HD channel, while regular DD will continue to feature standard quality coverage of the Games.

Most Indian cable providers started offering HD earlier this year. But the new technology - which requires purchasing an expensive set top box - has yet to catch on. Providers say they hope the CWG will provide a boost.

"We do expect to get some traction off the Games," said a spokeswoman for Dish TV, which is offering the high-definition CWG on DD HD.

Anywhere from one to three lakh viewers in India watch HD TV. That's still a lot more than the few thousand Indians who watched the colour premiere of the Asian Games.

Producers overcame serious setbacks to make the broadcasts. Workers operated through the night and in the dark to wire the venues for TV coverage, after construction delays cut prep time from several months to a mere two weeks.

Satellite Information Services (SIS) Live, the UK based company that provided staff and equipment, shipped in more than 300 special HD cameras for the event.