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Saturday, Oct 20, 2018
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Here Comes The Sun - In Vivid HD

TAMPA - It can't complete with the sun setting over Tampa Bay, but if you need a high-definition equivalent in your living room, it will do just fine. That's the premise behind "Sunrise Earth," the slowest, quietest show on television. For eye-popping visuals in the HD format, "Sunrise Earth" is a world unto itself. "I just spent 20 minutes watching a buffalo eat grass, and it was fabulous," producer David Conover said by telephone. The show is disarmingly simple: Plant a camera somewhere, turn on a microphone and capture the sights and sounds of a sunset. The locations vary from Africa to Arkansas, from the North Pole to Nantucket.
Most shows feature a fixed camera on a scene. In the more exciting episodes, a flock of birds may suddenly appear, or the camera might slowly pan on a herd of cows. One thrilling moment features a tree bending in the wind. "We show you less and take a long time to do it," Conover said. "It's about the value of taking your time and absorbing it." "Sunrise Earth" premiered in September 2004 on cable station Discovery HD Theater, which is now called HD Theater. The 75 episodes might all look effortless, but each required a tedious 125 edits of sound and footage. The series has taken on something of a cult status among people with high-end televisions, said David Schaefer, a spokesman for Discovery Channel. "Whenever anybody gets a new HD television, it's the show people want to see," he said. "It's true high definition, and it shows what you're getting for your $1,000 television." "Sunrise Earth" is more than a pretty picture, however. It offers something television, historically, has always avoided. "It's very difficult for television to capture certain experiences because of pacing and people's attention spans," Conover said. "But something moving along slowly isn't such a bad thing. Just look at your experience day to day, walking through a park or riding in the car. It's those still moments that are often the most important." ON TELEVISION Sunrise Earth WHAT: Television's most laid-back series WHERE: HD Theater (720 on Bright House; 836 on Verizon) WHEN: 7 and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Reporter Kurt Loft can be reached at (813) 259-7570 or [email protected] tampatrib.com

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