OK... HDTV is cool...
We recently purchased a wide-screen HDTV to replace our failing TV in the main living area. Nothing huge or fancy... 30-some-odd inches, relatively cheap, blah, blah, blah... We hooked it up to the cable outlet, and was pretty much underwhelmed. Using an HDTV for normal viewing (as in wide-screen mode) wasn't anything to write home about.
I did a little investigation on our cable system website, and found I needed to buy a HD box for the TV. Better yet, I didn't need to subscribe to digital cable to do so... Just an extra $5 a month for the converter box, and I'd start to see high definition shows. I hobbled to the cable office yesterday and picked up the box, brought it home, put it on the coffee table, and went back downstairs to put my feet up. True to form, my kids woke up, saw the box, and did all the installation without me. I knew I was a hero when Ian came downstairs and simply said "Dude! You have GOT to come see this!"
In a word... WOW!
The non-HD channels are still as they were before, but we *did* eliminate a major issue with ghosting on the over-the-air stations. But the cable company has a series of channels in the 700 range that mirror the normal channels between 2 - 99 if the show/station is HD. Heading up there to watch baseball and football yesterday, I was absolutely blown away. You could see pores on players faces. Actual blades of grass show up. Team logos on jerseys nearly appear three-dimensional. And the colors were stunning... Nature shows had me looking at the animals in a whole new light. Apparently last night, Sue got up late and both kids were in the front room, glued to a documentary about... Chinese gymnasts. Not a subject of interest to them, but in hi-def it was a must-see... :)
Of course, it probably helped my "hero" case that all the movie channels are currently available too, as well as the In-Demand movies. Being we don't subscribe to any premium channels, this was a huge draw yesterday.
The only downside to all this? As I sit downstairs in my basement office typing this, I'm watching my regular non-HD TV, and the picture quality now looks like those old sporting event films from the 60's. Ian came down yesterday, took one look, turned to me and simply said "Sucks now, doesn't it?" before heading back upstairs...
He's right. :)