Thursday, March 03, 2005

High Definition "Lust in the Heart" Televisions

Several in our circle have recently upgraded to high definition televisions -- these things absolutely blow away anything one might see on standard definition TVs that most of us grew up with. HD images make even regular dvd images looks ugh in comparison, so you can imagine how much better than standard TV these are!!

Besides, HD television sets are stunning to look at even when switched off. If you have a serious HD set, your living room will never be the same.

The bad news is that there's very little HD programming even in the US -- needless to say there is zero HD programming in India (although some terrific HD programming shot in India has been broadcast in the US). As Steve Mullen correctly surmises, the likely Indian path to HD is via HD-DVD. Even here, however, there is no globally accepted format yet -- and again, HD-DVD content is still very limited. This means there is no benefit, yet, to put down serious money for HD-ready sets in India.

But this will change. Sony is apparently already marketing a 57" 16:9 aspect ratio television (superior to the 4:3 aspect ratio standard televisions) in India. This is likely a plasma television, although terrific competing technologies like LCD and DLP are also worth considering. (Our own detailed research led us to an LCD set). New York Times has a good article today comparing these various technologies. NYT's assessment of plasma TVs really applies to all HDTVs: If ever a product evoked lust in the heart, it is a plasma television. Like radial tires in the 1970's, a big flat plasma set is today's must-have technology.

Bottom-line: this stuff is awsome and represents an even greater TV advance than the jump from b&w to color. However, this is expensive stuff (given the limited scale early adoption so far) and the uptake is slow because people simply don't know what they are missing. All we can do is share our enormous enthusiasm for these technologies and hope that more people will seek them out, then buy them, causing HDTV prices to drop, thus enabling a virtuous cycle of wide-scale adoption -- not just in the US, but in India as well.

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