Posted November 17 2006 - 09:21 AM
| Originally Posted by Glenn Overholt |
... by the next holiday season, when you won't be able to find any SD TV sets in stores...
certainly remains to be seen. I'd say a lot of it depends on whether the government lays down the law or whether there are more delays.
As for HD-DVD/BluRay taking dominance: I've long felt this:
HD/BluRay is to DVD as Laserdisc is to VHS
I know I'm not going to change anyone's mind out there, but the two hi-def formats look to be repeating the history of Laser, not DVD. The format war doesn't make it any better.
Laser never really did come down in price enough for most people to adopt. I consider myself a video enthusiast: I sat on the fence in the early '90s and came very
close to plunking down the change, before eventually deciding it wasn't worth it. Just imagine the average trucker cap-wearin' Wal-Mart shopper.
As someone else said, yes, I think I heard the government were supposed to be supplying the converters free (to the poorer among us, anyway). Having free/affordable access to the poor was one of the major stumbling blocks to getting through legislation that would shut off the SD spectrum.
People like Randy who can afford to replace their equipment every five years may find this hard to belive, but the majority
of Americans don't have those quantities of disposable income and even if they did, many would still expect to get more than 3-5 years out of a TV. Forget the better picture quality. If they have an almost-new SD television and they can't replace it with a bigger one for a lot less money, it just isn't going to happen in large numbers. I'd say you can take that to the bank.
Another problem is TV programming. The vast majority of satellite/cable channels are still in SD, and those of us who get our programming via those little pizza-pan dishes are not
going to see any improvement on a new HD set. Yes, Dish and others have HD packages, but you have to buy a special receiver, only get a handful of channels, and all that is on top of
your standard programming. Satellite providers will have to offer a nearly full slate of HD programming before a lot of people are going to climb aboard for that one.
Of course, many consumers aren't well-educated in these matters and may foolishly buy one of these TVs thinking their Dish picture will magically be hi-def when they plug that bad boy in. Of course, these are the same people who will stretch all their 4:3 TV channels to fit 16:9, but that's straying a bit!
Don't get the wrong idea, I want
HD formats (and HD televisions, particularly) to get big-n-cheap fast. I'd just love to upgrade my 32" SD television. I just don't see it happening in 2-3 years (and certainly not by next Christmas).