A few weeks back I took an on time check (take note Arnold Stein) from Dan Davis and went and bought myself a new Big screen HDTV, LCD type if you must know, 42 inch.
I hooked it up and had comcast come out and install an HDTV converter and DVR (Next day if you can believe that) and Im off and running in HiDef
The problem is, there is woefully little hidef programming most of the so called HiDef channels like the local stations and even HBO HD are simply standard def upconverted to hidef. so what you have is a shitty picture by comparison, because its a lower resolution picture, stretched out to the hi def display format.
When you do have a Hidef channel that is recorded, edited and broacast in HD like Discovery HD Theater, the result is simply breathtaking. I watch this channel a lot I even watched a show on dog friendly places in the US…and I dont even have a fucking dog.
I also watched some porn and some hollywood releases from my DVDplayer ( a progressive scan player). The hollywood releases, specially the widescreen ones look awesome, even upconverted, they arent as good as the discovery HD channel but they are REALLY good. Blade, Lord of The Rings, The Godfather, American history X all looked REALLY good.
Which brings us to the porn
I watched Pirates and it compared favorably to the hollywood releases. Its was just as good.
I watched a tampa show documentary that Aaron and I shot a few years back in Tampa, it has been in some film festivals and even won a couple. It was shot in SD 24p and it looked good as well, just as good as the hollywood releases.
I watched some gonzo fron several different companies I wont name.
THIS is where it gets interesting.
You dont really realize how poorly most porn is shot till you see it on a 16:9 HDTV, it doesnt upconvert very well because most of it is authored at 480i and the framing and camerawork are nothing short of horrid. Most of it was, in fact, unwatchable. At HDTV resolutions even 480p that is shot and authored poorly is just plain ugly.
Moving on to Bluray and HDDVD
As some of you may already know theres a war going on between these two DVD formats but the REAL war is against you the consumer. They would have you believe that HD video is too large to put on a regular DVD you need these new formats to hold “all that extra resolution” In a word Bullshit.
what they dont tell you is these formats are ALL about copy protection.
You see if you buy one of these new bluray DVD burners for example you might think ity will play bluray DVDs…you would think WRONG. In order to play a blue ray DVD from your new 800 dollar bluray drive you have to have whats called an HDCP compliant video card AND an HDCP compliant monitor. the CP stands for copy protected. You see HD copy protection has been integrated at the hardware level so you wont be copying those HD-DVDs anytime soon.
So I did some experimenting. I took a PC and hooked it up to my new HDTV via the DVI interface, so the HTDV is kinda like a monitor…ok well it IS a monitor in this config.
I took some HD footage and I encoded into a hidef H.264 format and played it on my TV…it looked beautiful…as good as Discovery HD Theater. and guess what? 2 hrs of it fits easily onto a DVD9 only problem is its in a format that wont play on a standard DVD player but will play from a computer. So maybe rather that spend that 800 bucks on a HDDVD player yer better off getting a desktop computer to use as a media center.
It shouldn’t be long before someone devises a way to get those HDTV programs off my DVR and out to my media center computer thus allowing me to archive them forever, albeit not in a Bluray or HDDVD format but in a plain old DVD format we all use now.
Lets just say NO to DRM infected DVD, same as we did to DIVX when they tried to pull that bullshit on us.