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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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Second Thoughts On HD or The HD Backlash
Technology Jetty
stainsteelrat
I like to consider myself a geek that considers. As opposed to a geek that gets a hard on from the mere mention of some technical wizardry* (I did once contemplate switching my LJ username to theantigeek).

*There's a fantastic Lee Evans skit that exemplifies this, from one of his stand up shows, but I'll be damned if I can find it.

That is when some new bit of gadge comes out I like to think that I mostly consider it with a weather eye.

And case in point: when the tech media started their mutual masturbation about High Definition (HD), I did wonder whether it was going to be all that was being made of it.

I was living in Brazil - a cutting edge tech backwater courtesy of low salaries and insane import taxes - at the time the "HD Revolution" kicked off, so could really just look on as HD TVs took their first tentative steps into the "First World" market.

But 2-3 years on, when I was back in the UK, it was mere months before I had an HD TV, then Sky HD, and then a Blu-Ray player.

*But* 2 years further on, in present day June 2010, and I only have a handful of Blu-Ray discs, and have cancelled Sky HD.

Why? Because I just don't find HD that big a deal. What concerned me around the time of the HD revolution was that the discussion was more about the technical aspects of it, rather than what the technology would leverage. And as with any technology it's that cost trade off - does the technology actually leverage something of value? Therein lies the endless debate of course about whether fine detail in a film/programme actually adds to it.

For me it doesn't, at least it's not something I would pay over the odds for. Given the choice I will still record something on BBC or C4 HD (free-to-air on Sky). Given the choice I will still buy a Blu-Ray rather than a DVD, if the price isn't markedly different.

And inevitably HD will creep into everyone's lives as the free-to-air channels move over, and DVD fades away (with a big "perhaps" attached to that, as although Blu-Ray has done OK, it is just OK).

(Also with the boom in digital downloads is there any real need for yet-another-physical format i.e. Blu-Ray? Just, I suspect)

And the next leap to 3D TV? I have serious misgivings about that.


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HD (as with a lot of technology) depends on the quality of set that you buy and your expectations. The biggest change in quality and features in my lifetime when it comes to TV's was probably the switch from VHS to DVD. I think a lot of people expected a similar step up from DVD to BD and HDTV but were disappointed. I think the other problem is that there isn't much in the way of HD source TV broadcasted. As far as I know most of it's upscaled instead of being shot in HD.

I'm not that sold on 3D TV yet either.

Edited at 2010-06-11 11:31 am (UTC)

Nature programming has some benefit, but I suspect I forget after the first few seconds of a film that it's HD, and become more focussed on the content. A shame more money isn't being spent on quality content, than HD!

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