James Hibberd has an interesting piece in this week's high-definition coverage for TelevisionWeek about South Park conducting high-definition filming tests. And, as he poses, "The big question is: Why?" Hibberd points out that, especially considering that Comedy Central doesn't have a high-definition channel, "It's tough to imagine a show that would benefit less from an HD makeover than a half-hour animated starring cardboard cutouts."
However, he said that he did know that the experiment "did not go smoothly," crashing the hard drives for the studios and requiring the service of a computer recovery service "to recover two months' worth of work."
Beth Pariseau with SearchStorage writes that, "last summer, in anticipation of pitching a new HD version of the show to broadcast partner Comedy Central, two editors, an IT administrator and four of the show's animators put in almost two solid months of 50-hour weeks testing out animation sequences in HD format." It was in pulling those files back up in preparation for meeting with Comedy Central that these problems came to the fore with the computer crash.
On Nov. 3, in South Park Studio's FAQ section, they stated that "there have been discussions, but no decisions yet" when asked about a transition to HD.