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Nobody Notices HD-DVD Picture Quality

June 14th, 2007

I thought I’d share an excerpt from my latest editorial “10 MORE Reasons Why HD-DVD Formats Have Already Failed

I was given a first-hand experience of the absolute apathy people have towards the new high definition formats when I invited my father-in-law and brother-in-law over for a movie night. We watched Batman Begins on HD DVD, arguably a reference disc. We watched it on an ISF-calibrated 1080p projector (a Mitsubishi HC5000, in for review from ProjectorPeople.com) and the results were amazing. Even though I told them they were watching it in true high definition they never seemed to understand the significance. You see, to the average consumer, DVDs are high definition.

They were impressed by the 100-inch diagonal projector screen, but the fact that it was being displayed at higher-than-DVD resolution didn’t seem to affect them one bit. It is my continuing contention that until prices of players drop below $200 and high-definition discs either replace the DVD or become so commonplace as to be recognized by the general public, the switch from DVD to HD-DVD is going to remain something that only significantly impacts enthusiasts who make up a relatively small percentage of the total market.

Am I bummed? Nah, I think ultimately this new HD-DVD fad is going to give away to on-demand HD content and pay per view models… I’m not sure that I like that, but it seems to be inevitable for now.

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  1. hopjohn
    June 15th, 2007 at 12:50 | #1

    Question. Do you think in part the reason why this is the case, is because the step up in picture quality from VHS to DVD (being as dramatic as it was) has caused people to have a hard time believing it can get much better?

  2. June 15th, 2007 at 14:57 | #2

    I certainly think that when you show them the step up from standard def to High-Def it is just as dramatic. But until they see that, you might be right, hopjohn – it’s a valid point.

  3. majorloser
    June 17th, 2007 at 12:58 | #3

    Most people don’t have the time, desire or money to achieve the next big step in audio/video quality. It will only happen when there is no other available format (broadcast SDTV) and no low quality gear on the market. Only then will the average public be willing to buy something better. Look how long VHS has stayed around. Only since VHS rentals have been gone has the market dropped.

  4. JC
    June 18th, 2007 at 18:23 | #4

    Majorloser has a point. I would also add. Its easy to have SD.
    Get a TV, plug it into cable service, plug the DVD player to the TV. Abracadabra! you got SD video.
    Compare that to trying to get HD content.

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