If you compare and contrast the examples Simon provides, the differences are subtle but significant. The framing is slightly off now giving the HD-altered version a kind of heightened, cinematic quality that, when it was on, it intentionally rejected. For example, one scene that Simon posted on his blog, between Wee-Bey Brice and D'Angelo Barksdale in front of New York Fried Chicken, now has a "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"-style grandiosity to it in 16:9. The characters are dwarfed by their surroundings. But what was so powerful about "The Wire" is how it gave all of its characters a kind of shabby, realistic nobility and never elevated their actions to some sort of pomp-and-circumstance-filled street opera (think of how "unimpressive," in a dramatic sense, Omar Little's murder was). The original version of the scene between Wee-Bey and D'Angelo is a bit tighter, and as a result, it's like you're observing these characters from across the street. It feels more like a regular-ass chat between two guys; the dialogue and acting tells you it's important, not the framing of the camera.