I’m Getting Sick of HD

Written by Dan Carlson@minutiaeman

Published August 20, 2007

Am I the only one who is absolutely tired and frustrated with the complete and utter craziness over high-definition television and movies?

That’s not to say that an HDTV doesn’t look very nice, of course. But I have absolutely no interest in buying (1) a new, expensive television set in order to (2) buy a new, expensive media player that needs (3) new, expensive discs. [1] It’s all just so much pointless cost. Especially when standard-definition picture looks perfectly fine.

Hell, that doesn’t even take into account the fact that the corporations that rule our lives can’t decide which disc format to standardize on. I don’t even want to buy one new disc player right now, much less two! And if I choose one of the player formats, I’m left unable to watch any movies that are released on the other.

What brought this little rant on? All of this is prompted by a charming little decision announced by Paramount today. Apparently they’re going to stop offering consumer choice and switch over to HD-DVD releases exclusively. And this just when it seemed the New Format Wars might finally be slogging towards a possible-potential-maybe-someday-eventually ending with Blu-Ray coming out on top, we get... this.

I work in an establishment that deals with the very cutting edge of computing technology. My career right now is based around quality media presentation, distribution, and portability. Many of my friends and coworkers have ridiculed me for refusing to join the HD bandwagon.

Nuts to that! I’m going to go downstairs and sit down in front of my “ancient” (it’s only six years old) 32-inch CRT television, pop in an “aging” and “low-resolution” DVD of one of my favorite Farscape episodes. I’ll see you all in five or ten years when the dust settles. Maybe I’ll buy a nice flat-screen television in the mean time to take advantage of LCD technology (it’ll be 480p, of course!). But it remains my firm belief that this entire HD craze is nothing more than pointless, expensive, excessive consumption for the sake of consumption.

Yes, I do know that the new HD players will read existing DVDs perfectly fine. But what, pray tell, is the point of getting a new HDTV just to watch the same old regular DVDs on it?