So I've been tuning in here and there today to the six new HD channels Time Warner rolled out and here are my first impressions:
732: Discovery Channel HD
Only been able to catch one HD show on Discovery today (How Its Made). The others were HD, but they've been in a weird "half stretch-o-vision". It's not stretched so much as half-zoomed. There's black bars on the sides, but smaller. The HD content I've seen on Discover has been good though, and I'm looking forward to more. I watch a lot of Discovery shows already.
First Impression grade: B+
751: Food Network HD
Even more than I watch Discovery, I'm a Food Network junkie. So this was my most anticipated addition. Watching on and off today, I've only caught one "true HD" show -- Unwrapped. The quality on it looked great. The rest of it has been stretch-o-vision, even letterboxed shows like Ace of Cakes, and bad quality stretches at that. I look forward to catching more HD shows, especially after lusting after Sandra Lee's cooking on the few shows they've had on HD Showcase earlier this month. And Good Eats is HD too! First impression grade: B
755: ABC Family HD
I don't know why exactly there needs to be an ABC Family HD. Of the programming I know of on the channel, not much seems to be HD originated (except for ABC Family original programs, I'd guess). Catching it off and on all day, the first HD show I've caught is The 700 Club. Is that a good sign? And when, oh when, will they remaster the Family Matters back catalog in HD?!? (Tongue firmly planted in cheek)
First Impression grade: C-
It's not live on my box yet (Thursday 11:00 PM). I don't know how much of a disappointment that is, though, because MTV and CMT are two of my rarely watched channels.
769: Disney Channel HD
This is the channel I've seen the most HD programming on today. This morning, there was a CGI cartoon in HD, and one of the shows around the noon hour was also in HD. Both were sharp and vibrant. I've not been a Disney Channel person really (because I'm not a tween, I guess), but if they show any feature films, I'm in.
First Impression grade: A-
776: ESPN News HD
First admission: I'm not a sports guy. I like sports. Couldn't tell you the first thing about them though. Nor would I really watch a 24-hour sports news channel. I will say this, however... this is exactly the kind of channel HD is brilliant for. Using the screen not necessarily for beautiful vibrant pictures, but for more efficent use of screen space for news text. Another reason why I really really really want The Weather Channel HD. Might not watch it every day, but I love the concept.
First impression grade: A