I am not going to cry over Dish Network offering HD only packages to new customers. In other words if you don’t like watching crappy Standard def channels on your big screen you now have a choice to get only the high quality HD channels starting at $30 per month with local channels. I understand that is their business model to give “free” equipment to get you hooked when you start out. My understanding when I signed up for service was that it is a once per lifetime deal. You can’t stop service then start again when you see a better deal. You can use a spouse to get another deal started I guess. I do feel slighted that being a customer in good standing, I can’t get the same options as a new customer who has not spent one dollar with Dish yet. I think the worry on their part is that too many folks will jump to the lower priced HD package and they will lose significant dollars. The word is that early next year current customers can jump to HD only so I am fine with that. I’d rather wait while Dish gets their plan together than have them lose a ton of money then go out of business 5 years from now because of dumb decisions.
I will definitely go HD only as soon as possible since I do not watch SD anymore. I am an HD elitist I suppose. When my buddy first got HD he said that he often watched a less interesting football game in HD instead of a better game in SD. I thought he was exaggerating but now I do the same thing. But now it is harder to find an SD game, which is a good thing. If not for sports and ESPN more specifically HD programming might not be as expanded as it is now. Football is the most watched sport in the USA so the fact that HD games have increased has only created demand for Hi Def in more programming.
I love watching videos online when I have time especially High Definition content. Even though it takes longer to load (better off downloading) it looks so much better than Standard Definition. Mark Cuban has often dogged online HD as “not really HD” since the same content would not be HD on a big screen HDTV. I don’t know if that is true in every case but he should know since he owns HDNET. But the fact that the HD content online looks like Hi Def while viewing on a computer screen is all that matters. Perception is reality especially to the average non geek person. If it looks great to them they are not going to compare 10 different videos to see how much worse one looks than the other. Some content will never be viewed on a TV anyway. Stupid people falling down, ala youtube, only takes a minute to watch online at work or while waiting on an email. That stuff is not worth sitting down in the living room to watch. That said, it would still be better in Hi Def. I do some videos of my kids’ sports, my nephew’s sports, and local high school football with my Sony HD camera (consumer model). I share these online where family members can watch at work or while checking email. The best part of family or local content is that it can be easily shared. Watching a DVD of your child’s football game then waiting to see your sister to give her the DVD is a bit more time consuming than sending an email with the video in it. I normally do SD instead of HD just because of loading times and I know most people want to watch right then instead of downloading it.
There are a few sites that offer HD content: blip.tv, Vimeo, & Vuze. I like blip.tv since it is easy to use and I always get a human response to an emailed question. While content like major movies are much better in HD on TV that does not mean there is no room online for HD media. The right venue for the right content is the key. The phrase, “good enough for who it is for” also fits. Your Aunt Peggy in Florida will love your HD footage of your vacation. She won’t be comparing your media to a George Lucas production.
I have been ramping up the video production equipment here in preparation for CES and I found some new hardware that Sony is coming out with, which would be awesome to have with at CES!
This unit connect to the iLink connection on a Sony Pro Video Camera and as you are recording to tape this unit will record the same video straight to the hard drive. The editing time savings in post production is worth the hefty price tag. Sadly the units are not due out until the middle of January but someone has to have some demo units.
If anyone has any connections to get one of these units early drop me a line geeknews[at]gmail.com [Sony]