'The Wire' is Finally Coming to High Definition

The Wire is one of my two favourite television series of all time, along with Breaking Bad. I'm very interested to see how it looks, considering that it wasn't shot in 16x9 HD.

Here's what Alan Sepinwall has to say about it, writing for HitFix:

"The Wire," though, wasn't shot that way. David Simon and company had requested that "The Wire" be shot in 16:9, but HBO executives instead insisted on 4:3 and standard-def (possibly as a cost-controlling measure). Simon, the late Robert Colesberry and the show's directors quickly learned to make that frame and the lower-quality image work for the series, giving it a rawer immediacy than might have been possible at the time in a widescreen, high-def image. Where other series were framing for both aspect ratios at once, "Wire" directors weren't even worrying about 16:9, and instead sought to create the best 4:3 image they could. By the time HBO offered to let them do a changeover to 16:9 and high-def after the third season, the show's producers declined, with Simon preferring to stick with one visual template the whole way through.
Because of that, and because of other creative and technical decisions made over the course of those five seasons, "The Wire" proved an especially tricky beast to tame for this new format. HBO has been teasing this re-mastering for months now, with an HBO Signature marathon of the altered episodes listed in various programming schedules in late summer/early fall. At a certain point, Simon himself got involved, along with some other "Wire" alums, to be sure it was done right. If he wasn't happy with the finished product, HBO wouldn't have made the announcement today.