One step forward, two steps back

One step forward, two steps back

Something is bugging me, so I thought I’d let you all in on it: People are idiots!

It seems like we’ve accomplished a lot in the last few years bringing a new high-definition format to the market that is well-supported and robust. Blu-ray Disc is finally offering a true cinema like experience in the home. But it seems like the lowest common denominator is the big news item lately.

Toshiba is attempting to promote DVD again with their Super Upconversion process to make near-HD quality images from normal DVDs. Apple TV, Xbox Live, Vudu, Netflix and other online digital delivery services are looking to be the future of home video. But it’s all a step back in quality.

While Super Upconversion may offer better picture quality, the audio is still the same Dolby Digital or DTS soundtrack we’ve known for over a decade. These just don’t compare to the new lossless compression technologies like Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. Why settle for less than the best?

Caveman watching DVDDigital delivery is really just a huge step backwards. It’s like a repeat of SACD all over again. A new high-quality format comes out that blows you away, and the market decides they would rather listen to the lowest quality audio possible on their iPods (through terrible ear buds on top of that). If the movies are actually in the right aspect ratio (most aren’t), they’re poor quality with stereo audio or highly compressed Dolby Digital. It’s not acceptable in a respectable home theater environment.

But what else is new? Convenience trumps quality every day. This is why McDonald’s is busy over the lunch hour while the French bistro sits empty. Or even worse, when time isn’t a factor people chose the Olive Garden over the local Cucina with far better food and service at comparable prices.

And it’s not for lack of trying, the industries spend millions putting out new technologies just for Joe Status Quo to watch movies on his iPod. This is why I’ve said the Blu-ray Disc Association needs to get Blu-ray in front of the consumer so they can experience the quality for themselves.

Maybe I sound like an elitist prick. Let me know what you think about my belief that you are a dolt.

About Steven Kippel

Steven Kippel has worked as a systems designer for a leading high-end audio/video custom integrator in Southern California since 2003. He is responsible for researching new technologies and integrating them into existing systems and new construction projects. He has designed several high-profile systems for discriminating clients on the cutting-edge of technology. When he is not hard at work, Steven is spending time with his wife, playing with his band or promoting concerts and bands in the Inland Empire. His favorite bands include The Cure, U2, Eisley, Living Sacrifice and DragonForce.

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