I think that the worse thing that the Mtn. did in its first year of broadcasting was to start and broadcast old Mountain West Conference football games. Sure they needed to fill the empty space on the network that had no show besides the games themselves. Plus, there is only so many hours a station can broadcast infomericals before becoming a home shopping channel. Also at the time it did seem like a good idea, what better way to show the fans (those lucky few who could get it) what this station is all about.
Yhey began to broadcast the classic games, and it seemed for a while like Jim McMahon was reincarnated at the Y; he was throwing the Hail Mary in the Miracle Bowl four or five times a week on the new station. People seemed to like it, and the idea of broadcasting old games was a success.
Next the station started to broadcast live games, and then it happened. You couldn't tell what games were live and what games were classics. The picture was just as pixilated as it was in the 80's. In fact, it might actually have been better with the Sports West broadcasts in the 90's then the Mtn. feeds in the present day. I would put money on it that if you put a side by side feed, without any of the newer graphics (which the Mtn. to their credit do blow the older feeds out of water, even with the poorer graphics that they have) you would not be able to tell which was the older and newer signals.
In an interview the director at programming, Steve Hurlbut, claimed the Mtn. uses the same equipment that all the other rivals use. (he mentioned CBS, (which is odd because they are the same company, that is like Microsoft comparing themselves to Xbox it doesn't make sense) Fox, and ESPN) Yet, even to the must unknowlegable viewer changing back and forth from the Mtn. to ESPN or NBC (that are not in HD, because lets be a little fair) can tell the difference. You can't even read the name on the jersey or tell which of the massive blobs are which. If they do have the same equipment then they have no idea how to use it.
It doesn't help that the blurry image appears to be coming from a camera that is somewhere in low orbit above the stadium. Seriously could you get a wider shot of the filed? It is like they only have two choices either too tight to see the formation, or so wide you can see every fan in the stadium. (although you are unable to make them out as anything besides blurs)
Why? If you are going to pay all that money to broadcast games why wouldn't you do it right. Why wouldn't you spend the extra money and get high quality regular, or better HD cameras. The start up capital would have been much higher, but the broadcast would have been amazing. It would also be a nice piece for negotiating if you are a HD channel rather then just standard definition.
The Mtn. missed another great opportunity to have quality video feeds, and look like they are a network that is worth watching.
Next Week: Pre and Post game shows.