Dylan Jones: The HD wonder

Related Topics

When the first reports of high-definition television (HDTV) started to come through, the reactions were totally consistent: everyone who'd seen it said that it was brilliant. Literally. What I kept hearing was that the difference between ordinary analogue TV and HDTV is the same as the difference between black-and-white and colour. Which is some distance. A sort of marathon, I'd guess. Or at least a 10k.

While I realise that I'm behind the curve - most people in our office seem to have it already, yawn - just last week I finally had HD installed at home. And what a joy it is. For me, it's like listening to the new Beatles album Love in 5.1 surround sound, or indeed any record in 5.1: it sounds the same as it's always sounded, only different, as though you've just had your ears syringed or your spectacles polished by that machine that adds sparkles in the films when fairies appear (I'm talking about children's films here, you understand).

The extraordinary thing about HD is that you only really begin to understand how different it is when you switch back to normal TV. It's then that you realise just how vibrant the colours are, how bright and deep the resolution is, and wonder how the hell they make everything - and I mean the foreground, the background, the whole damn lot - look like it's in focus? I mean, how do they do that?

For the first three days, all I watched was nature programmes - not only because the lions appeared to be so close that they actually frightened the children, but also because they appeared to be the only thing on. But I've since branched out, and have been dipping into sport, movies and documentaries. Life looks a lot better than it used to, although my new TV prism is fairly unforgiving: I was watching a Paul Weller concert the other night and he looked like he'd morphed into Dot Cotton's dad.

Part of me is irritated by the way in which technology forces us to upgrade whenever manufacturers feel like it; by the way in which we are suddenly and apparently randomly informed that, while the CD was perfectly fine up until five minutes ago, all of a sudden it's 5.1 this and Hi-Def that, and how did you think you could ever get away with thinking that whatever you previously had was the be-all and end-all of sonic supremacy?

But in the end, I buckle, just like everyone else. Because even if I loved 78s, there'd be nowhere to buy them, and, guess what? The CD really does sound better!

Originally, I wanted HDTV for the World Cup, and now I've got my wish. I'll have to wait another three-and-a-half years, but what the hell. You can't have everything, as the American comic Steven Wright once said, after all, where would you put it?

Dylan Jones is the editor of GQ


React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

Science teachers needed in Norwich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

English teachers required in Lowestoft

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A homeless person sleeps in the streets  

This is why I am sleeping rough outside the party conferences

Max J Freeman
Strikes were carried out by manned air force and navy aircraft (File photo)  

Syria air strikes: President Assad now has the enemy he always wanted – Islamist terrorism

Kim Sengupta
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits