Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The HD/Blu-Ray fraud

Please don't ask why they're watching an HD microwave
I was privileged to be one of the first people in the UK to see broadcast HD TV in action at Sky's launch of their HD box many years ago. At the time very few TVs were HD ready - now it's the majority. Yet there was a question I was bursting to ask at Sky's event that still applies when you see HD and Blu-Ray being pushed today.

What I couldn't understand was why Sky didn't show HD alongside normal TV, so you can see how much better it was. They kept going on about the extra detail and clarity and brilliant picture, so I asked this at their launch why we didn't see that side-by-side comparison. They came out with some technie-wechnie excuse for why they couldn't show both images simultaneously. But there was a much better reason for their decision.

Just go into a TV showroom and look at all the TVs showing HD and Blu-ray. Again, why isn't there a clear comparison so we know it's worth paying extra for the technology? Here's that same issue rearing it's ugly head.

The fact is that, although HD is significantly higher resolution, producing clearer, sharper pictures, ordinary digital TV is already pretty good and on many programmes the difference is hardly perceptible. They don't do side by side comparisons because if you saw them, you'd realise there's no great advantage to switching. Except to the wallets of manufacturers and retailers.
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