Thursday, November 15, 2007


I tend to be an early adopter, and when my classic 27" Sony TV bit the dust a few years ago I took the opportunity to upgrade to an HDTV. At that time the ONLY HDTV I could find in town was a Sanyo 32" CRT from WalMart. I've still got that heavy (150 lb) Sanyo, but it has been demoted to the guest bedroom in my basement. When I got it there were only two channels broadcasting in digital (ATSC) , and they only had a few shows in full high definition during prime time. Cable and Satellite services had no HD offerings.

Things have changed considerably and now I'm up to 3 HDTVs, with 70 or so DirecTV HD and 9 digital over-the-air local HD channels available on all of them. I've got a 46" Sharp LCD and a 40" Samsung LCD, and all of the HDTVs display the full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution of the best digital programming. The Sharp is wall mounted in the master bedroom and easy to see from the bed. The Samsung is where that original Sony lived in the main living room of the house.

I'll never go back. HDTV is simply superior in every way to older NTSC standard definition television. Much HD programming also has surround sound audio along with it, and so I've added Sony Surround Sound receivers along with at least 5 speakers and a subwoofer to each room.

I can see some room for improvement, though. The added speakers and nightmare of connection cables that come with HDTV create a mess that is hard to manage and needs to "go away". There is Powerline phone and networking technology available now. I'll predict that at some point your new HDTV will only have a power cord. All audio and video, photos and networking will travel through that power cord. There will be ONE box nearby, that also only has one power cable coming from it. That one box will be your satellite or cable receiver, your HD disk player, your PC, audio decoder and amplifier. Even speakers will come with only a simple power cord, and the sound signals will get to them through the power lines.

That power plug might change a little. I suspect we'll get a new AC/Digital wall plate standard which will identify any wall jack as a data port. It will be backward-compatible with all older power applicances, but provide a whole-house data network to connect every digital device you own.

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment