HD1080i De-mystify HDTV 1080i ::: know why before you buy

Sunday, May 07, 2006


The time has come for entertainment convergence, with 2 marketspace categories rising to meet the next generation of it all, meaning the video game and the high definition home movie experience. There is such a huge pot-of-gold at the end of this rainbow, that pundits and real experts seem to agree ( that hardly ever happens).

I have crafted a new phrase to identify this, since this is a fresh market phenomina.

"Feed The Screen"

Note that it is not "feed the speakers", 5.1 surround sound didnt really make it over the line into a must-have room feature, and mostly because it has very little impressive content and girlfriends/mommys globally just didnt like the rear speaker wires in plain view. It turns out the subwoofer ( big boom ) matters more than surround, and most people are running 3.1 of the 5.1 they bought.

The interesting thing in a rough anecdotal survey, is that almost everyone knows they will eventually own a larger flat panel widescreen something or other HDTV, if they dont have one already. It seems to be a given constant in the consumer-space, and the momentum to "buy" is not based as much on store selling as it is from seeing a friends HDTV and liking the thing, maybe not much loving the content, they see the potential, they want one.

Expectations run high for E3 ( a gamer video player gizmo tradeshow ) that the PS3 will be roughly the equivalent of a user-friendly supercomputer media center ... for many boomers with tweens and teens on up to daddy's secret passion to blow up stuff in a virtual high def world on his big new TV Screen. Existing HD screen owners will buy one, mostly because this feeds the screen with what they want when they want it.

Cursory mention... the XBOX360 ( doesnt have that much HD really, didnt ship with an HD DVD player and the handful of movies out there in HD DVD are not momentum-makers ) ok say HALO whatever and you are basically done anyhow -- 'nuff said.

Blu-ray = Hollywood support and and the Sony pS3... that is what is going to happen here. I guessed but did not know until recently that this would be true, it seems people have no problem considering that the PS3 should also be the DVD player in thier house. Yet more anecdotal reaction from not-yet buyers indicates they are actually budgeting for the damn thing and it solves the "what to buy for christmas" problem nicely, and justifies the HDTV's existence.

... Very symbiotic in a techno-cultural kind of way

High Def Flat Panel Mayhem will feed the need, feed the screen and kick this industry into the next level. The "old" reason for HDTV was solidly the domain of the man of the house wanting to "see the Game". That reason will be massively surpassed by the new reasoning of feeding the screen with interactive stuff for the younger and more intellectually agressive minds in the house... Basically big bright fast wide visually encompasing bang for the buck that will not be denied, and you are the ruler of a virtual world, one click away from the next thing you do. "big badda boom" whatever, the fuzzy small world of the standard TV cannot survive this explosion for much longer, the difference is too dramatic.

The people who will really make money here are not the enablers though, so thanks in advance Sony, for being willing to lose money in large amounts now, because without the High Def video player and the High Def games to interact with, there really isnt all that much to want for the money required to own it. So you spend a couple grand on a TV and 500 bucks on the PS3 and your ticket-to-ride is all good...? not really, the real mover in this is the content. People seem to not be screaming about prospective $40-50 costs for a game and $30+ for a movie. Heck when you pay 3 bucks for a lousy gallon of gas, your whole perspective on price performance goes through a paradigm-shift. I will be happier when the pricing drops, but grumble a bit and pay it anyway.

So this means...

-- There will be game makers in 2007 that could well produce a billion dollar game. Amazing.
-- Movie makers profit in the higher markup of High Def distribution in already present market channels, all they need do is supply chain feeding/ That part is rather easy actually.

The companies that "Feed the Screen" will quite literally be "printing money" profitable, since nowhere else is the high margin low cost to replicate situation present in today's living. Couple that with the network of internet provisioning to download DRM'd content to a specific known account and this is all a marketer's dream come true, in spades.

I sincerely also hope that this HD enablement will provide opportunity for lower-budget creatives in what was indy-film, to shift to 1920 x 1080 ... Widescreen formatted shot-for-HD content, and deliver it as a download.


Blogger BloggingITGuy said...

Most people probably rent DVDs anyhow through services like Netflix or Blockbuster, which may explain why $30 a movie doesn't mean much to the average Joe.

I sort of disagree about the 5.1 surround sound statements though. I do agree that WAF has kept adoption rates lower than they should be, but I also think that a very valid argument can be made that you actually gain more for your dollar by investing in a decent home theater sound system versus money spent on the display.

People may ooh and ahh initially over a 1080 display, but what really gets you into a movie is the sound.

I'd recommend to try turning off the TV for a moment with a good sound system and close your eyes and listen. Bet it's pretty easy to imagine what's happening on the screen.

Now try turning off the sound and just watch the TV. Imagining the impact of the sound will be a lot harder to do...particularly if your sub(s) is well dialed in.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I so Agree. except that when i lovingly author a sweet 5.1 edit and take it elsewhere to show it iff, i may well find the rear speakers of the system are not connected, when its played and i dont hear the waves crashing behind me or the cannon shot echo i put there.

The industry should hear this. Most of the McMansions and cookiecutter castles around here have an open design to them that places a room entry to the left and right of the logical location for an HDTV. wires must therefore go under an area rug or be out in the open in places.

Mommy / housekeeper does NOT like running the vacuum cleaner over the rearspeaker wires. Unplugged.

IMHO a very high quality wireless rear speaker system std is needed.
I have a Pioneer 7.1 wireless 2.4 ghz rear but here is the problem with that, its sound isnt so good, it is 2 speakers in one box ( huh? no separation ) and i have so much 2.4 ghz wireless crap in my house already that its transmitter doesnt make the 25 feet distance it needs to be useful.

Now mind you 196/24 is by far more work to author and it is very much worth it, so i expected the D414 to really deliver.

Bleh. The only place i hear my stuff properly is in my own studio.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Oh yah - i forget to say this. 5.1 NEEDS full range rear speakers.
You mosy definitely can hear crashing pumping low-end from behind and that is why i mix with 4 Mackie hr824 speakers and one sub. Little weenie rear mids do not deliver the experience, i do not care what bose or cambridge say , I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

8:16 AM  
Blogger BloggingITGuy said...

Yeah, word to needing good speakers all around.

That's why I'm a very big proponent of the THX certified speaker packages.

Although most people don't want to shell out $3500 or more for a speaker package (yet they will shell out almost $2000 for a Bose system, go figure), in which case, the important thing is to find a package that has all 5 of the same speakers. Aesthetics should be secondary when buying speakers people, horizontal center channels are not nearly as good as a center channel that exactly matches the left and rights.

Oh and sure dipoles are preferred for rear speakers, but good dipoles are expensive. Most people will be well served with 5 matching speakers for Left, Center, Right and surrounds.

11:22 AM  
Blogger BloggingITGuy said...

Oh and I completely agree that most homes these days are not architected at all with home theater in mind, which is sad.

11:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home