Daily Blog – Colin Miller – December 31, 2007: EARLY ADOPTERS, TRANSITORY FORMATS

Is anybody else tired of format wars?

 What do you want, a hard boiled egg, or a scrambled egg?  Which is better?  And what do you do if you really just wanted a fruit cup (with those crazy red cherries which, who do they think they’re kidding, aren’t actually cherries at all, but alien fuel pellets.

 Yes, we want 1080p.  Yes, we want native 7 channels of lossless high quality audio.

 We’d also like equipment that works together, doesn’t take a minute and a half to ‘boot’ up when we load a disc, or for that matter, doesn’t make us touch the stupid disc more than once, if ever.

 It seems like we’re given a false dichotomy, often.  It’s like the marketing scam, where they know they want to sell you C, so they show you A and B first, knowing darn well that A & B weren’t viable options from the beginning, and let you ‘choose’ C.

 I want Stupendous Audio and Video.  I don’t want a media format dependent upon a physical box that’s going to be obsolete in a matter of years, and will soon be landfill, if not just more recycling.

 Really, I’m kind of tired of it.

 Satellite and Cable companies love to point out just how great their HD content is compared to Standard Definition broadcasts.  Well, the truth is, the quality of their HD content is highly variable, and it only looks good compared to their standard definition content consistently, because their standard definition content is consistently horrible, incredibly over-compressed.  If you actually take 1080p content, scale it down to standard definition, cram it through the lowly S-Video connector at 480i, and then scale it back up to the display resolution, it is indeed compromised.  However, it’s FAR better than the native 480i content that broadcasters are sending out on the superior ‘Digital’ systems.

 Hell, I’ve seen better analog terrestrial broadcasts, on standard definition, than what comes through the digital cable box.  Might have to orient the antenna…..

Okay, I’m whining, a lot, and I shouldn’t be, exclusively.  Technology is getting better, by far.  Sometimes, given the directive, the engineers, carefully assembled and managed, do everything necessary to provide a fantastic product, that performs as promised.  However, the people driving design aren’t interested primarily in actual performance.  They’re interested primarily in moving boxes, collecting licensing fees, etc. 

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent my rant 🙂

Good night!