The Woes of Standard Definition

By on Jul 29, 2009 in In Production |

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Standard Definition Illustration

The following post was originally published on my old blog on January 21, 2009.

First a pipe burst in my parents’ house. Then the insurance company compensated them generously. Then my parents upgraded my old bedroom to a media center with a beautiful LCD TV. And then, on the next vacation I had from school, I was utterly spoiled. Spoiled not because I could set the DVR to wake me up to Discovery’s Sunrise Earth (one of the most pastoral, minimalistic hymns to the beauty of nature available on basic cable), but because high-definition television is life-changing. Once you go HD, you never go back.

So, why, I beg of you, why do networks insist on slumming it by broadcasting shows in standard definition? My mom, lover of dancing shows that she is, recently checked out NBC’s Superstars of Dance. Host Michael Flatley proclaims that it is the “greatest dance competition show on Earth.” Oh, really, Michael? Then why isn’t it broadcast in high definition? That turned me off from the show even before the insipid “international” judges opened their mouths.

It’s also a problem when your favorite shows are available in high definition, but you don’t get the HD channel as part of your cable package. I love Mad Men and Damages, but it was painful to watch those shows last season in SD. Luckily, we have since been granted AMC HD, but up until a couple of weeks ago, FX HD was still nowhere to be found. But then I found out that we were on an outdated plan and that we could receive all the HD channels, present and future, for $5 less than we’re paying now. Hallelujah!

I’ve often said that when I graduate college and get an apartment, a DVR and an HDTV will be necessities. But, in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the beauty of high definition while I’m here at home on our full collection of HD channels… so long as networks actually broadcast high-def programming.