When I first got a big TV (28″!) I thought it was the most astonishing video experience imaginable… especially because it replaced an old 14″ screen. I could see Peter Mansbridge’s pores, for god’s sake.
That held me for a whole decade. Then it was the 32″ LCD – and the jaw-slackening truth of DVD video in its full glorious progressive-scan resolution. And once I figured out how to watch high-def TV… suffice to say I kept looking for Laurence Fishburne to yank me out of it. (“720p is all around us. It’s in the air we breathe…”)
Late in 2009, we moved up 10 inches in diagonal size. We moved to 1080p and Blu-Ray. And for the first time since… god, since my parents first got a colour TV… I had that weird experience of watching something that looked just for a moment a little more real than the world around me. Certainly more vivid. And definitely louder, and with more Romulans.
Then again, Star Trek notwithstanding, 1080p isn’t the final frontier. Something else will come down the pike (the people at CES last week are swearing it’ll be 3D TV), and my kids will probably remember the TV we have today with fond exasperation. (“Remember how you couldn’t actually touch the characters on the screen?” “Yeah, or feel heat from the explosions?” “Or mate with the Vulcans?”)
In the meantime, I’m going to run. We have last night’s Simpsons 20th-anniversary special on HD PVR… a show I first watched on that old 14″ TV. Now I can see Homer’s pores, for god’s sake.