Why I hate HDTV, and You Should, Too

Posted: August 11, 2010 in computers and tech

If you listen to some people, high def  is the fabulous future. Yeah, we were promised flying cars and holograms, but this is what we got instead. This crappy, crappy consolation prize.

Yeah, I may have used high def cameras as a cheaper alternative to film. Yeah, it’s better than standard def, but it still isn’t good enough for a theatrical release. So it is the camera of false hopes, but that isn’t why I hate it. With that camera, an up-and-comer can shoot something on the cheap and learn and maybe make something good enough to get the right eyes on it. That’s a good thing.

No, the reasons I hate high def are much better than just a petty resentment of a cheap camera.

Reason number one: It’s ugly.

Seriously. Ugly images. Mostly of people’s faces. Is there anyone who looks good like that? Anyone? High def sees more than the eye sees, and then throws it up at you.

Reason number two: It’s a government conspiracy.

It’s a long story, in which the power hungry censor happy jackasses at the FCC, in an effort to keep control over their entire little empire, forced television stations to switch to high def. Remember when they handed out those crappy digital converters, so you could keep using your old TV, and there was that whole ridiculous gift certificate program, and the commercials, and they had to delay because making most TVs suddenly obsolete turned out to be a bigger project than they thought?


Reason number three: high def ruins movies.

I watched Enemy at the Gates on a high def television at my aunt’s house. It looked like a BBC video production. It was flat and colorless, as though all the post production coloring had been stripped away. And taking out the color, I swear, made the acting worse. It was the most awful thing I have ever seen.

It’s a setting thing, but even when the darn things are set right, the movie experience is ruined. When a film is prepared for the theaters, it has to be detailed enough that, thirty feet high, it still communicates. That level of detail on a forty inch screen is too much detail. Because we don’t want to see every leaf on the tree in the background. The eye needs to be guided and controlled, and some things aren’t meant to be seen clearly. Old Hollywood sets, for example, that end in forced perspective paintings.

Why does high def have to ruin them? Why is it so mean?

Why can’t I have a flying car instead?

  1. […] But I took a DVD version home and watched it on the projection screen, and it looked great. Phew. It was just the awful that is HD TV. […]

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