Monday, July 28, 2008

HDTV or not HDTV?

As I understand it, the primary reason for the switch to digital TV reception in February is to free band width for emergency services.

If I were the cynical type, I'd also think it's a drummed up way to help television manufacturers sell HDTVs, as well as for cable and satellite companies to upgrade their customers' services.

People who know me are surprised I wasn't first on line to buy an HDTV. After all, I purchased a VCR when they were going for $1,500. I have lots of TVs in my house, as well as cable reception, a satellite dish and Tivo (which I purchased long before DVRs became generically known). No, I'm not opposed to high-tech gadgets. (Don't ask how much I just spent on a universal remote control.)

But not only was I not first on line to buy a high-definition TV, I still don't own one. I just don't think they're worth it.

Is there a difference between HD and the digital picture I currently receive on satellite and cable? Yes, I concede the point. But is it worth a couple of thousand bucks to upgrade -- more if you are purchasing several HDTVs? Not as far as I'm concerned. Regular, old digital is just fine.

Yesterday at lunch, the restaurant's TV was tuned to an HD channel showing a baseball game videotaped pre-HD. Next time I looked up, the channel had been changed to a golf tournament in HD.

Yes, I could see the grains of sand in the traps. Yes, I could see the beads of sweat on the golfers. Yes, I could follow the flight of the drives better than before. No, I didn't want to get in my car and buy an HDTV.

The next TV sets I buy probably will be HD. By then, the prices will have come down and my current sets will be on their last legs. For now, the rest of you HDTV owners can enjoy the beads of sweat.
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