Adult Movie Makers Are Embracing HDJanuary 22, 2007
Now, normally I wouldn’t comment on pornos on my blog. I do work in the consumer electronics industry, however, so I felt like commenting on this article in the NYT:
Pornography has long helped drive the adoption of new technology, from the printing press to the videocassette. Now pornographic movie studios are staying ahead of the curve by releasing high-definition DVDs.
They have discovered that the technology is sometimes not so sexy. The high-definition format is accentuating imperfections in the actors — from a little extra cellulite on a leg to wrinkles around the eyes.
I’ve always joked with customers in the store that “Sometimes, there are things best not shown in HD”. That comment usually escapes my lips after watching something like a lion tearing the flesh off of a gazelle in stunning 720p resolution. I also remember watching some HD footage of New Orleans post-Katrina. Lemme tell ya: dead, bloated corpses in high definition is not something you wanna see around dinner time. Take my word on that.
What about porn? Will it look too real, and turn people off?
These new disc formats (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) were just released last year, so it may be a little while before the impact of HD is really felt in their industry. The players are still expensive, and most people still don’t have an HDTV yet anyway. I have wondered whether your average consumer will feel that standard DVD is “good enough” (for both Hollywood and adult titles). Consumers are tuned off by a Beta-vs-VHS style format war. It’s possible that BOTH formats could be forgotten about. Maybe the success of either format hinges on the success of porn? It’s not unthinkable.
One thing’s for certain: standard DVD was one of the best things to happen to the adult film industry. I’m still not sure if that was due to the increased picture quality of the format, or if it was driven more my it’s convenience features (chapter skip, multi angle, and A-B repeat). It is booming, nonetheless:
Despite the challenges, pornographers — who distributed some 7,000 new movies on DVD last year and sold discs worth $3.6 billion in the United States — are rapidly moving to high-definition.
Should be interesting to see what effect porn will have on the overall success of the formats.
Note to readers: I have installed a “HTDV news” RSS feed in the sidebar. I’ll probably comment on this kind of stuff every so often. After all, we can’t talk politics ALL the time, right?