Amazing Race finally comes to HD along with teams we’ve already seen clearly enough

The Amazing Race‘s 18th season debuts tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, and while its lame all-star twist doesn’t have me excited at all, I can’t wait to watch because we finally get to see the race in high definition. (And I will do my very best to go into episode one with an open mind and hope that the cast will surprise me.)

In an interview, Phil Keoghan told the Philadelphia Daily News’ Ellen Gray that the show presented challenges that have prevented it from making the switch sooner: “I’ve been working with HD since 2003 on all other projects that I’ve been involved in outside ‘The Amazing Race,’ but none of them have had the same logistical challenges,” he said, adding that their remoteness makes it difficult to fix equipment.

That argument made sense until Survivor made the switch, never mind shows like Whale Wars and Deadliest Catch that do just fine in extreme, remote locations, so it seemed like the only real obstacle was money.

For people interested in the technical specifics, Gray reports that the show uses Sony XDCAMS that record directly to Blu-ray discs, and she said that producers “quickly upload a low-resolution copy of the video to editors back in the U.S. who can edit the footage and later use a program to swap it for the high-resolution copy when it arrives by courier.”

Phil said that the Blu-ray originals “are hand-carried back, because they are so valuable . . . That’s always going to be done.

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