Dylan Jones: The HD wonder

Share
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

d.jones@independent.co.uk

React Now

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

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Cameron's unexpected tax pledges give the Tories home advantage

Andrew Grice
President Barack Obama walks with U.S. Secret Service agents to Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., May 8, 2014.  

Obama's Secret Service has become sloppy with its delusions of Hollywood grandeur

David Usborne
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence