Archive for the ‘HDTV’ Category

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CNN…In HD

December 17, 2007

Well, Comcast customers finally got it here in Minneapolis*. 

cnn_hd.jpg

Anderson Cooper has never looked clearer.  Although I’m not exactly sure if that’s a good thing. 

*Channel 213 where I live.

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All Hail Playoff Hockey In Hi-Def!

May 2, 2007

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately.  There’s just so much intense hockey action on TV right now, that’s all.

 Anyway, I know I gave Comcast some crap in the other post, but I have to give them some thanks for presenting so much hockey for my HDTV on the Versus channel.  Great stuff.

I suppose I’ll make this an open thread for like-minded individuals to share the love. 🙂

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Wal-Mart Chooses HD-DVD

April 24, 2007

Gotta love Digg.   

There is one retailer that has the power to call the winner of the protracted Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD fight and that vendor is Wal-Mart.

read more | digg story

I have to admit that initially I thought that the Blu-ray format was going to win this one, solely based on the fact the the PS3 is also a Blu-ray player.  Sony has had a bit of a shaky launch of its new gaming console, however, and the regular stand-alone players are still more expensive than their HD-DVD counterparts.

Honestly, I haven’t been terribly impressed with either format.  Most of the players available have plenty of glitches (1st gen. machines tend to have that), and the quality of the content is currently only a benefit to those who a) have an HDTV, and b) are unsatisfied enough with regular DVD to make the plunge into a newer, more expensive format.  That isn’t a big market right now.

Also, the jump from regular DVD to HD/Blu-ray isn’t as significant as the previous jump from VHS to DVD.  Think about it.  When DVD was introduced roughly 10 years ago, the benefits over VHS included much better picture and sound quality, as well as convenience features like no rewinding, chapter selection, multiple audio tracks and subtitles, repeat functions, etc.. When you go from standard DVD to these HD formats, you’re really only gaining some picture quality (the sound is also higher resolution, but most people would be challenged to notice).  Simply stated, these formats aren’t nearly as groundbreaking as the last one, and I think it’s quite possible that they could both flop.  That, or they may wind up being used more for computer and professional applications than movies, since an optical disc that can hold up to 50 gigs could have a lot of uses besides the ability to see T2 in a little higher picture quality.  Add to the equation the rise in on-demand and downloadable content, and you might just see your average consumer paying $5.99 to watch a new release one time off their HD cable box instead of using one of these new players.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to watch this play out. 

Another related Chamber post: Adult Movie Makers Are Embracing HD

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Adult Movie Makers Are Embracing HD

January 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?