Wait, they’re still shooting stuff in SD?

I just looked my watch, yep still 2013. That’s why I was surprised to see a show on a major network like CNBC still produced in good old standard definition. All I can say is that Suze Orman must rank pretty low on the corporate hierarchy to have not only an SD studio (which is probably just a greenscreen anyway) but a design that looks straight out of the early days of the iMac.

Does CNBC just not like Ms. Orman? Or, as some suggest, is she just not “HD-friendly?” Many actresses over 35 (and we’ll just leave it at 35 out of respect) were unfairly targeted when HDTV rolled out, as wrinkles and blemishes are just so much more obvious in HD. Is CNBC applying that standard?

Probably not. The fact that Ms. Orman uses a virtual studio probably just makes it too expensive to upgrade everything. That, and it’s not likely to increase Ms. Orman’s ratings very much. Her program, which is essentially a video broadcast of a radio show-like format, wouldn’t benefit much from HD other than giving more real estate for graphics.

It did make me wonder, though, what other shows are currently being produced in SD. To be honest I couldn’t find a single show being produced for a national audience in SD, unless you count sports. There are still a few facilities here or there that can’t give their viewers an HD look. Again, cost is probably the issue.

It’s not just HD cameras; in order to work in HD a whole facility has to change. It can cost upwards of five figures.

So maybe they just asked Suze if they could afford it, and she just said…

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.