I’ve been shopping for a high definition television. I’ve ignored the HDTV industry simply because I thought the prices were too high, even for my pocketbook. When the Xbox360 details were announced, I said to myself, “Keith, go get yerself one of them dern fancy HDTVs.”
During my shopping adventure, I started to notice a number of new sets were sporting something called 1080p. Upon examination, the 1080p sets have a screen resolution that is much higher than their siblings. As you might guess, the manufacturers and retailers are asking a premium for this technology. The premium amounts to about $1000 over the 720p version of the set.
So if I’m going to pay a premium for the kewl screen, I figured I might as well investigate what percentage of the broadcast content is 1080p. Not being a high def expert, I just assumed if they were selling this 1080p thing, then there must be some amazing content to go with it. Much to my shock, there is absolutely no content broadcast in native 1080p format. Ok, so I figured the over the air content was one thing, but surely my local cable provider has the goodies. Nope, nada. This is where it gets really good.
Today, only two television sets have HDMI ports that will accept a 1080p signal. One of the sets is a 71” monster that has a MSRP of over $50,000. You got that right, over 50k. Oh, you can get it for about the cost of a G35 Coupe if you shop. The other set is a 37” tube which is of course much too small for my “needs”.
That means that all of the sets being marketed and sold with the 1080p label can’t actually use one of the coming Blu-Ray players to watch a high def DVD at 1080p. At least not across the current HDMI ports.
The only way I know of to watch 1080p content today is to use a Media Center 2005 PC and specific Windows Media High Definition Video formatted content, or a Apple G5 with Quicktime7. Since I won’t be driving my future high def TV with MCE, I won’t be taking advantage of a VGA port connection to the set. That’s a big hint folks. Don’t even think about buying a HDTV without a VGA port. The Xbox360 has a VGA cable allowing this type of connection. I assume the competing console will sport a similar connection.
Anyway, back on the fence I go… Sigh…