This is definitely a case of preaching to the choir, but perhaps you have friends and/or family members in need of support. A survey just came out in the UK that says that while 56 percent of households have an HDTV, 91 percent of them still use standard-definition sources. That is, even though Mum and Dad have shelled out £900 for a 40-inch 1080 LCD, said TV is still connected to standard-def Sky box or plain ol’ DVD player. What gives? Why spend the money on a new TV if you’re not going to use it?
The same thing happens here in Patriotland. Someone buys an HDTV from Wal-Mart, then hooks it up to their regular cable box or DVD player and says, “Man, that looks great!”
Why does this happen? The same UK survey finds that it’s more technical ignorance than anything else. Blu-ray players aren’t crazy expensive anymore, and HD cable boxes are the same price as standard ones, or at least very close in price. (At least it was for me.) It’s that people don’t know any better. They plug in a DVD player, probably using composite cables (!), and think, “Man, I’ve never seen anything like this!”
It doesn’t help that people are constantly being lied to. There’s a commercial on Fox Soccer Channel that says something like, “There’s nothing better than watching the beautiful game in stunning HD, which you can do if you buy the Sylvania LCD TV.” Then the commercial shows simulated images of FSC broadcasts on the TV, implying that, hey, you’re watching soccer in HD if you buy this TV. Only you’re not: Fox Soccer Channel doesn’t broadcast in HD, and won’t for a little while yet, so even if you buy an HDTV you’re not going to be able to see Chelsea beat up Everton in HD on Fox Soccer Channel. (Thankfully, anyone with DirecTV can see the UEFA Champions League in HD this season. ESPN also broadcasts a few EPL and La Liga games in HD this year, too.)
So I guess it’s a combination of things. People don’t read instruction manuals anymore, so they don’t know to hook up their TV to a proper HD source. Then commercials blatantly mislead people into thinking they’re watching HD content when they’re patently not.
In conclusion, since I assume the CrunchGear readership is made up of the more tech-savvy, please tell your loved ones this holiday season that to watch HD content on their HDTV they need a proper HD source.