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the hd wars

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the roommate recently got a 36" hd flat screen plasma tv. it's lovely. one day i will have my own.

what is most astonishing is just how low regular tv resolution is, and how long we've accepted it. the difference is like listening to music in stereo vs mono. sitting back from the screen, the picture is so sharp that it practically looks like a window. the thing is incredible.

however, what we discovered upon popping in a star wars dvd, is that dvds are not at hd quality. they are only slightly higher than regular fuzzy television.

so what this means is that one day (soon) you will have to replace your entire dvd library with new hd versions - and you'll have to buy a new dvd player to play these fancy new disks. it also means that every movie ever made will need a brand new hi rez transfer (which, in the case of old films that i've only seen on television - the thought of all that added resoultion is soo exciting!)

which leads us to the battle between blu ray and hd dvd disk encoding. certain studios have pledged allegiance to particular formats, trying to force another format war along the lines of vhs vs. betamax, which is a very stupid thing for the studios to do. people will be resistant to buy either dvd player, and will almost certainly opt instead for the much more fun (and much freer) world of bit-torrenting. who needs any kind of format when you can just record all the moves that come through your hd cable, dump them to a dedicated hard drive and call them up whenever you want? the studios are guranteeing that movies go the way of music - plastic disks are obsolete.

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