Fairly recently there’s been a huge boom in the television market. In particular, this has been in relation to flat screen technology such as DLP, Plasma and LCD. This boom has been driven by a consumer need for technology that offers better clarity, sound and image quality. The rise of DVD’s has also fuelled the purchase of home cinema systems. So where does HD fit in?
Well according to Sky UK I will be “wowed by the difference” when watching HD. Well, is this in fact the truth? Lets put this in some sort of personal perspective. About a year and a half ago I saw Monsters Inc running on one of the first HD screens in the UK that was commercially available. The quality was unparalleled. So why are people indifferent to HD when the quality is so noticeable?
The first point is that people may have not bought an HD enabled set when lat screens first became available. They may have paid a lot (as my folks did) for a TV that was new at the time, but obsolete in a couple of years due to not having the capacity for HD. Naturally, if you’d just paid £1,000 (or more likely more) on a television you’re not going to just nip out and buy another.
Another restriction to HD take-up is the amount of channels that are offering it at the moment. The BBC broadcast signal will go digital only, though this won’t have much of an impact on the quality of the picture overall, and there’s been difficulties rolling this out. HD seems to be faster yet still not widespread. Nonetheless, a growing number of channels are sending out the HD signal.
Finally there’s just so much technology about (with so much jargon, slang and corporate buzzwords) that it can be incredibly hard to make any sort of sensible choice. Quimby covered this very well in his recent article, and I’m in total agreement. Now we have HD, DVD, SA-CD, CD, VCD, HD-DVD, BLU-RAY and more I’m sure besides. This is not to mention ‘alternative’ kit such as Tivo. My oh my.
I genuinely think that there’s a market for new business in the form of a ‘Technologist’. Essentially you tell him what you need – whether it’s a TV, computer or toaster – and you give him a budget, and he tries to find you the best kit or advises you on the reason to hold back a month or two. Obviously he’d get a cut of the sale, say 10 percent or something. Then he could deal with all those acronyms and leave the rest of us to do the watching. Then again, being at the forefront of tech, I wouldn’t complain if I had that job…