One Life to Life will begin broadcasting in the familiar letterbox format later this year. While the ABC soap is not yet fitting for high-definition, the upgrade to its production value is considered the first step on the road to HD.
Fans who watch One Life to Live and sometimes feel like they're not getting the whole picture are about to have an eye-opening experience. The ABC soap has gotten the green light from the network to upgrade its production value to a 16x9 SD format. While the upgrade isn't to high-definition -- the SD stands for standard definition -- the broadcast will soon air in the familiar widescreen format.
Viewers watching on a widescreen television will notice that episodes of One Life to Live "fill up" the entire screen, rather than having black bars on the left and right sides of the program. The change means improved picture quality, similar to that of a DVD, with a more "theatrical" viewing format.
As reportedly exclusively
last year, ABC was forced to shelve plans to upgrade One Life to Live's studio to allow for high-definition broadcasting because of the economy.
"In this economic environment, it was decided to postpone the capital investment to take One Life to Live HD, but we will re-examine it next year," a network spokesperson told soap
in October 2009, adding that it would be "inaccurate" for fans to link the postponement to rumors that the show will soon end.
Requests to upgrade One Life to Live's studio for HD were also previously turned down when All My Children occupied the space. Costs to make the high-definition upgrades cost several million dollars. All My Children ultimately was able to broadcast in high-definition when production was relocated to Los Angeles earlier this year. The soap's new studio space was already fitted for high-definition broadcast.
Currently, ABC's All My Children and General Hospital, and CBS's The Young and the Restless are the only daytime drama series to broadcast in high-definition. NBC announced last month
that Days of our Lives would begin broadcasting in HD in November to mark the show's 45th anniversary.
One Life to Live tapes its first episode in the new 16x9 format on October 26. That episode will air on December 6.