I managed to see the Spike Lee film version on my recently ended trip to New York. See it on the big screen in a theater, that is - it's playing at the IFC Center in a run that appears to have been extended now into December.
Wow. If you have any opportunity to see it, run, don't walk. The experience is completely different from watching it on TV. The pay-per-view version currently available from Sundance is so heavily compressed, both visually and audibly, that it's like seeing an entirely different work on the big screen. Lee shot almost the entire thing in high-def video and it is crystal clear in the theater. The sound is pristine, too. I could hear and understand lyrics I was never able to make out previously in either the live stage performance on on the PPV version. Or the CD for that matter.
Even when PBS airs it, presumably in high-def, later this season I don't expect it to be as good as the cinema experience. For two reasons: first, your screen is bound to be smaller, and second, they're bound to censor a lot of the lyrics in order to be able to air it.
My previous reservations about the limiting effects of a director's perspective versus the full stage view were lessened greatly by the increased resolution and image size on the big screen as well. This is a marvelous piece of work. I really hope it gets a broader theatrical release than just this one theater so others can can enjoy the film (and the musical) in its full splendor.