Christian Media

2007 will be the Year of HD

OK – granted, I just finished watching the Rose Bowl Parade on our new 42-inch Plasma screen HD TV set (and you won’t believe how cool that is), but there’s no question that it’s time to start the transition to HD.

Certainly there are plenty of competitive products and standards, and HD has it’s share of bugs (what doesn’t?), but the technology is ready for prime time, and if you’re a media professional, you should look seriously at the upgrade. Avid and Final Cut both handle it very well, the prices for cameras have dropped dramatically, and there really are very few reasons not to make the transition in 2007.

Here are my suggestions for making the switch:

1. Get the right advice. HD is still more expensive than SD systems, so don’t make a financial mistake. Get the right information and find a good technical consultant. If you don’t know one, find a facility or producer you admire and ask them. Contact Matthew Phillips at Cooke Media Group and he can help point you in the right direction.

2. Get the appropriate system. Just like SD, there is a wide range of HD systems, so don’t over-buy or under-buy. Do your homework, and make sure you’re getting the right equipment for the type of program you produce. But still make the switch. I would rather have a low budget HD system right now than a big budget SD system.

3. Understand the implications for HD images. First, framing a 16X9 shot is vastly different than framing a normal composition. Learn how to compose shots for a wider frame. Also, the detail is remarkable, which has implications for make-up, set design, and lighting. In Hollywood, some major actors are even having it written into their contracts to have their make up air-brushed because of the detail. On a recent HD project I directed for Warner Brothers, we noticed the slightest scratches or dust on the set. We kept the art department busy between takes just keeping the set wiped off and touched up.

Some networks are looking for HD material, so you might even have a better opportunity to get your program broadcast if it’s on HD. You can keep your head in the sand and say there’s plenty of time, or note the fact that HD distribution networks and venues are still limited right now. But the truth is, the technology is ready, and once you’ve produced in HD, it’s hard to go back. At Cooke Media Group, we closed out 2006 by making both our Avid Adrenaline suites fully HD, networked to a Unity sharing system. I don’t know much about it from a technical perspective, but the images are amazing. 🙂

I would particularly encourage faith-based media organizations to (for once ) get ahead of the curve. Let’s be the leaders out there in creating HD programming. I’ll be teaching this year at the Worship Technology Track at the NAB Convention in Las Vegas. The NAB will be the perfect place for you to see the latest HD equipment, so plan to be in Vegas this year and make some serious HD decisions. Hopefully, I’ll see you there.

In the meantime, take the poll on the right and let us know your HD status.

Related Articles


  1. I recently checked out HD on a outdoor shoot this Christmas on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Magic time, small HMI reflector, and Moya Brennan for an Irish Christmas. We had a small window of time to get this moment of song during rush hour. And we did capture something great… the technology is quick to master.

    You Just can not beat the look and the ease to bring into the Post suite.

    Great rental house for the TV Production Community if you do not want to jump in and purchase cameras right away, rent  then decide. Check out for a great team. Steven Weiss is the owner… mention that you know Dave Tucker… 

    Cheers to the new season of great looks… lets bring great production to the masses in this time in which we all bring pictures and great news to the planet!

  2. Great post and an even better topic to discuss sooner as opposed to later.

    Another thing to throw in the mix if you are an organization who does a live event as well as broadcast (such as a church) is that if you go HD there are also things to consider like projection, lighting, and color balance between the two. HD changes the way you do everything. I just went through all this at my prior workplace (Fellowship Church). In some ways it’s almost like starting the learning process over. I will say that when you nail it, there’s nothing prettier!

Leave a Reply

Check Also
Back to top button
IS IT TIME TO CHANGE YOUR MINISTRY OR NONPROFIT’S NAME? Enter your email and get the free download “7 Signs It May Be Time to Change Your Name” now!
Thanks for signing up. Please check your email for a download link.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker