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The great HD con.

caldersj

Established Member
I've been fully HD for a couple of years now: 1080p TV, Sky HD, and PS/3 for HD games and Blu-Ray.

Now my father-in-law has finally decided to replace his ancient TV, and has sought my advice - and frankly I don't know what to tell him.

He doesn't play games and rarely watches DVDs (he is approaching 70) so is really only interested in broadcast TV.

He doesn't want to subscribe to Sky (or Virgin), let alone pay the extra £10 / month for HD. But having bought an HDTV he wants to watch some HD content. So what are his options? Very limited seems to be the answer.

He does have a Sky dish left by the previous owner, so FreeSat is an option, provided he buys a FreeSat box (or a TV with FreeSat built in) - but the only HD content is the very limited BBC HD channel, or the extremely limited ITV HD channel, which shows about one program per day at the moment.

FreeView is promising HD content, but has absolutely nothing right now.

Channel 4 HD is only on Sky, not FreeSat (whereas ITV HD is not officially on Sky, but you can get it with a manual hack.)

Oh, and all broadcast content is 1080i, not 1080p.

The undustry has been selling HD kit for at least 3 years (having conned us with the 'HD Ready' sets that pre-dated the full-HD versions) but apart from Sky Sports there is still virtually nothing to watch. Even obvious plays have been missed - having regained Formula 1 coverage, why does the BBC only show it in SD? Same with Match of the Day.

What a waste of pixels - or am I missing something?
 

qwert-e

Established Member
HD comes in lots of different formats - games, blurays, sky hd, virgin hd, iplayer hd on pc, apple tv, etc. Its all a question of how much you're willing to pay for the content.

why not get your dad a bluray player with some tv series in hd so he can see what the fuss is about?
 
That's a difficult one.
As said best bet would be to Show him some material either Blu Ray or Sky HD and see if he notices a difference and feels it's worth it.
 

kempez

Prominent Member
Yeah I think a Blu Ray player possibly and go from there.
 

HDCriticalFan

Established Member
The undustry has been selling HD kit for at least 3 years (having conned us with the 'HD Ready' sets that pre-dated the full-HD versions)

Er, the very use of the industry-agreed strictly-defined term HD Ready was adopted in order to avoid conning anyone. I can see where you are coming from, but what do you suggest that they should have done ? What should they have called TVs with more than 720 picture lines which were capable of receiving 720p and 1080i and displaying a picture ?


but apart from Sky Sports there is still virtually nothing to watch.

What ! BBCHD, C4HD, ITVHD (agreed, not much) loads of Sky Movies and several documentary channels. When I was a lad we only had three channels ... in total ! And they only broadcast for a few hours today. The kids today ... they don't know they're born !

Even obvious plays have been missed - having regained Formula 1 coverage, why does the BBC only show it in SD?

Because Bernie Ecclestone maintains total control of F1 media output and he only sells an SD package. Take it up with him.


My parents are in their 70s. They can't spot the difference between RGB from a Sky box and the ordinary analogue terrestrial aerial picture (even when one of them is 4:3 and the other is widescreen !). They steadfastly refuse to turn on the HiFi too - even though it would give them loud and clear stereo (they just stick to mono from the TV speaker). I really don't see that they would see any benefit from HD. As long as they can watch their soaps they're happy.

I would have thought that it would be an exceptional 70+ y/o (probably a retired TV engineer) that would appreciate HD.





Regards
 

Sonic67

Banned
He doesn't want to subscribe to Sky (or Virgin), let alone pay the extra £10 / month for HD. But having bought an HDTV he wants to watch some HD content. So what are his options? Very limited seems to be the answer.

HD costs more money. It needs better cameras, better sets, better make up, more attention to detail everything. In some scenes you might get away with a guy flying on a wire or a satelite dish in the far background of a scene from Hearbeat because it's SD. Move to HD and everything has to improve to cope.

HD also takes up more bandwidth. Bandwidth that could take a couple of SD shopping channels that might bring in some revenue.

This isn't a problem if people are willing to pay. Sky has subscribers so it can subsidise a HD service, so does cable. With blu-ray you are paying a premium for the disk. The BBC has the whole country paying a licence fee.

The problem is if you want HD but don't want to pay for it. A free lunch. Not suprisingly there isn't much then.
 

caldersj

Established Member
The problem is if you want HD but don't want to pay for it. A free lunch. Not suprisingly there isn't much then.

Well I would never turn down a free lunch, but my real point is that the hardware industry seems to be running about 3 years ahead of the broadcast content, making the equipment poor value if you are not a gamer or frequent watcher of purchased / rented movies.

The absolute cheapest Sky HD package is around £27 / month (plus £49 for the box), and that excludes any sports or movies. That's £324 / year for an extremely limited range of HD content.

The majority of the population walks into Comet / Currys / Richer Sounds, where they are surrounded by big shiny HD-ready TVs. An hour or two later, they are unwrapping their new purchase at home in the mistaken belief that they are about to enter a world of HD magic. Some probably even believe that they are actually watching HD pictures all the time because they have an HD set.

More fool them, you may say, but not everyone has the time or inclination to understand the differences between Sky, Virgin, FreeSat and FreeView.

The reality is that most of the HD TVs out there are displaying SD pictures for most of the time - including mine, and I'm about as HD-ready as you can get. The manufacturers and retailers encourage the perception that HD is everywhere now, when it isn't. That's what I meant by 'con'.

I do withdraw the comment about the lack of HD Formula 1 coverage being the BBC's fault, though. Bernie is the one who can sort this out.
 

Sonic67

Banned
I now use my main TV has a computer monitor. That has changed things for me a lot. Also I bought a HD camcorder yesterday. There is another problem. Outside of AV forums the majority of the population may not have a HD TV yet. Until they have all upgraded the majority of demand may still be SD.

I know what you mean though. My first HD was cable and I remember watching BBC HD just so I had something to watch in HD not because of what was on.
 
D

dovercat

Guest
Well I still have not gone HD. Good quality standard definition is good enough for me. Why pay a premium for stuff today when you can better stuff for peanuts tommorrow, patience is a virtue and saves a fortune.

My living room tv is a 10+year old 32" widescreen crt with a cheap freeview set top box. Some tv stations are still not in widescreen let alone high definition.
My home cinema has a xga dlp darkchip3 diy modified projector. With dvd player and motorized 1mtr satellite system for sources, and a 5.1 surround system (minus the center channel speaker).

I did own a pace hd satellite receiver and watched some BBC HD on a xga projector, but I could not stand the operating system - menu layout of the receiver so I sold it when BBC was doing hd football and downgraded to a proper multisatellite reciever with a fast blind scan and a more sensitive tuner.

I plan to get blu-ray when players are around £50 because I can rent blu-rays from Blockbuster instead of dvds. I will only get a receiver when their are lots of high definition channels free to watch. Will upgrade my projector when led dlp or lcos gets cheaper. Will replace my living room tv when it eventually dies or oled eventually arrives and becomes cheap.
 

kempez

Prominent Member
You can rent Blu Rays instead of DVD's now :confused:

I see your point with the waiting thing, but you are missing a lot of really stunning HD content in the meantime and for myself (along with many on this forum :p), don't want to miss it :)
 

naunton

Standard Member
Having read this thread I am amazed that being in ones 70's is
considered "past it" for enjoying HD or moden technology.

I am 75 next month. have just updated my Samsung 32" to Pan Tx 42 V10
(fab) Connected to my own built desktop, network Router etc.

Whilst it would be tempting fate for me , you lot will Probably reach 100.
are you going to give up at 70.? You will be lucky to draw a pension at that age:):):)
 

FlubWubJub

Established Member
I do kind of agree with the OP in the fact that the marketing guys are shoving HD down the throats of average joe's knowing full well that when they get their new HD TV home they've got to spend another small fortune just to watch HD content!

To think that there could be (probably are) people that are believing they are watching HD content just because they have a HD TV is quite shocking really.

I did have a PS3, but couldn't really justify the additional cost of BluRay films - and then you got the relatives who don't understand what BluRay actually is so they buy you the SD DVD version on the BluRay you wanted :rolleyes:

Having read this thread I am amazed that being in ones 70's is
considered "past it" for enjoying HD or moden technology.

I am 75 next month. have just updated my Samsung 32" to Pan Tx 42 V10
(fab) Connected to my own built desktop, network Router etc.

Whilst it would be tempting fate for me , you lot will Probably reach 100.
are you going to give up at 70.? You will be lucky to draw a pension at that age:):):)

You, my friend, are what makes old people cool! keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

(hope you don't mind me calling you old :smashin:)
 

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