Wayne Russell, studio manager in M-Net’s broadcast services department, said the programme would be edited in HD format and then “downconverted” to standard definition (SD) before broadcasting it.
HD offers, among other things, increased picture quality.
Russell said Are you smarter than a 5th grader?, which airs from Sunday, 27 January, would be archived in HD format, so that it could be broadcast in this format once an HD channel exists.
He said if programmes were to be broadcast in HD format on an HD channel, viewers would need to have access to an HD-ready decoder and HD-ready television set in order to view the content.
Lani Lombard, M-Net spokesperson said M-Net would “gradually” film more productions in HD format. “We will… cherry-pick one or two productions in the next year, as the format is very expensive.”
She said M-Net believed filming in this format was worthwhile despite the added cost. “HD will be the future of television,” Lombard said.
She said the cost of filming in HD format depended on the production and “the amount of HD post-production done for the show”.
Tvsa.co.za reported, in the case of Are you smarter than a 5th grader?, it would be 20% more expensive to film in this format.
MultiChoice earlier said it planned to launch a dedicated test channel for HD content by the middle of the year.