Why do bad things happen to good fans? Whether it’s atrocious art, ridiculous writing or something else entirely – some crimes against fandom cannot go unanswered. When that happens, it’s time to say ”BLAARGH!”
This week: The Continuing Use of Standard Definition
We’re about to cross the threshold into 2010, Blu-Ray has become THE preeminent format for home theater viewing, and we’re many months into that scary Digital TV Transition, yet many major networks, cable channels, and production companies still have not made the jump from Standard Definition/4:3 Aspect Ratio to the NEW “standard in definition”, High-Definition/16:9 Aspect Ratio. I was once one of the HD naysayers, claiming that it was all hype, and not much of a difference from Standard Definition. Then, I was able to have an HD-TV in my home with an HD Satellite signal, and I changed my tune quicker than Whitney Houston going into detox.
Once you go HD, you’ll never go back, and subsequently, having to suffer through any SD viewing will send you into fits of 1080p-Rage. My parents still have the same dimly-lit big-screen projection television from 15 years ago, and it feels like a phonograph compared to my 52″ Sony Bravia HD-TV with Direct TV High-Definition Signal. But, they aren’t Definition Queens like I am, so it suits them fine. I, however, can’t stomach any imperfections in my television, video, or gaming, so when I’m faced with a commercial or a new television show that is either not shot in High-Definition, or not formatted for Widescreen, I complain more than a Rancor with a toothache.
Earlier this year, I reviewed an episode of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, and while in High Definition, the show was still formatted for full-screen, which makes little to no sense to me. Same goes for Family Guy. The Simpsons made the switch to HD and Widescreen, ushering the format in with a brand new opening, yet the citizens of Quahog are still confined by a 4:3 format and a decidedly SD intro.
Commercials seem to cling to SD the most, and the lack of definition broadcast through an HD-TV shows every little awful pixel. In HD, you should be able to read the “fine print” in a car commercial, but more often than not, that “fine” print is anything but. Many local news stations, while shooting Widescreen HD in studio, still use decades-old Beta cams for their field reporting, which hold less picture quality than an iPhone. And unfortunately, there are still entire channels yet to make HD their standard, and flipping to these channels bring back memories of watching old VHS home movies after the introduction of DVD.
I understand High-Definition recording and broadcasting equipment is not cheap, however, with such beautiful HD programming available, consumers and tv-viewers will undoubtedly lean toward the high-class of HD instead of slumming it on the SD channels. I mean, Christ on a Crutch, PanelsOnPages.com’s Video Team is in FULL HD. Get with it!
Some PanelsOnPages.com HD Greatness.