Anyone who owns a high-def TV can appreciate the enhanced resolution that HD content presents over standard definition (SD). Some say once you go HD you never go back. The clarity can be amazing, but only if the content is originally shot in HD. In fact, due to rescaling and resizing, normal old SD content looks especially bad on an HDTV.
I've watched virtually every NBC golf broadcast this season, and it's obvious that they are only employing HD cameras in about half of their coverage. It appears that they use HD cameras in their towers and SD cameras on the course. One minute the picture appears as if you were there at the tournament observing through a glass window, and the next it looks like your viewing through a screen door.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that NBC is improving their golf coverage quality. However, I'm a bit irked that they are billing their presentation as HD when it is clearly only partially HD. Compared to CBS' full HD offering, NBC's "HD-lite" comes up woefully short.
But it also seems that NBC is losing ground on the innovation front. We all love CBS' Emmy award-winning SwingVision to analyze golf swings. Earlier this year, NBC introduced "NBCee It" to combat SwingVision. In short, it simply enlarges any small part of the picture, like a magnifying glass over a photo. Unfortunately, the resolution of the magnified area is painfully low. It resembles the Atari 2600 game "Breakout". Disaster isn't the word. Not only does it look horrible, but it does little to enhance the swing analysis.
Then there's NBC's golf announcement team. What can I say? If not the most elegant speaker, Johnny Miller does know golf. But there's just not much exciting going on with his supporting cast. They're kind of like parsley on a dinner plate, they neither enhance nor detract from the main course. They definitely don't inject any amount of wit and humor like that of the CBS golf crew. You would have thought that NBC would have landed an interesting personality in the aftermath of the ABC golf breakup. Instead it was CBS who bolstered an already excellent crew.
Like most things, it probably boils down to money. It's clear that NBC is spending much less on it's golf coverage than CBS; much less on technology, equipment, and talent. If NBC wants to compete with CBS, they need to step up and show me the money! If they do, then maybe I'll watch more NBC shows than just "The Office" and "Heroes".