McDreaming in Hi-Def
July 25, 2007 10:02 AM
Dr. McDreamy’s baby blues look even better in hi-def.
‘Course, I’ve been watching in hi-def on my real TV all season long. You know, the one in the living room that gives you that good old-fashioned 10-foot experience?
Nevertheless, ABC.com launched its beta test today of its full-episode player in hi-def, marking the first time a network has offered hi-def episodes of its shows online. Now mind you, the shows already looked pretty good in standard-def online, as ABC.com does a bang-up job with its player. Still, more pixels is more pixels, so I check it out.
The hi-def episodes won’t work for everyone. I won’t get into the boring technical details, but you’ll need to have a newer computer that can handle hi-def. How will you know if yours does? Simple. Go to ABC.com, click on full episodes, and then click on the hi-def option. If it lets you select an episode in hi-def, your computer can handle it. If it won’t, time to ask your boss to pony up for a better machine.
My one beef about the navigation of the player is that you have to specifically click on the button for hi-def, which means you can’t just select the series you want to see. I originally tried clicking on the show icon until I figured this trick out.
Only four episodes are in hi-def now anyway, one each from “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ugly Betty.” ABC will add more in the fall.
But once I found the hi-def button, the experience was smooth sailing. The season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” loaded immediately. I must confess, the screen looked a little blurry at first and I was ready to pronounce the experiment dead on arrival! But after 20 seconds, the blurriness resolved into that crisp clarity only hi-def brings—you can see the blemishes on the Chief’s face, the sharpness of the scalpels, the crystal-clear pools of blue in Patrick Dempsey’s eyes. ...