Will HDTV kill off our favourite TV shows?


According to new research undertaken by ntl Telewest and Emmy award-winning set designer Eve Stewart, some of Britain’s favourite TV shows could be under threat from high definition TV (HDTV) – because it shows up poor film and TV sets.

HDTV is around four times sharper than standard digital pictures, showing up the slightest flaws on a set. And according to a survey of over 2,000 people, nearly a quarter (23%) say they’d change channels if a programme or film set is not convincing. The most offensive set design blunders include a lack of authenticity (33%), shaking walls (28%), poor period detail (10%) and obvious gaps or joins (8%).

According to British set designer Eve Stewart: "Filming in high definition is the biggest challenge to set designers since the advent of colour. As the ntl Telewest research illustrates, viewers are much more sophisticated now and demand ultra-realism in both TV programmes and films. We have had to rethink the quality of our scenic work, rather than relying on old camera softening effects. HDTV offers a deep field of focus and sharp detail, so it’s like staring at a set through a microscope. It involves a lot more time, preparation and money to ensure the audience buys into what they’re watching."

So, what sets have been voted best and worst of all time? Read on after the turn to find out.

Britain’s favourite TV sets:

1. The Trotter’s front room (Only Fools & Horses)
2. Edina Monsoon’s Kitchen (Absolutely Fabulous)
3. The Queen Vic (Eastenders)
4. The Rovers Return (Coronation Street)
5. Walmington-on-sea Church Hall (Dad’s Army)

Worst sets of all time:

1. Crossroads Motel reception (Crossroads)
2. The Queen Victoria (Eastenders)
3. The Royle’s front room (The Royle family)
4. Oil Drum Lane rag & bone yard (Steptoe & Son)
5. The Rovers Return (Coronation Street)

HDTV with ntl Telewest

Dave Walker
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