Saturday, January 20, 2007

HDTV? ZZZZZzzzz...DRM? Hmmm...

The market continues to flog HDTV, a format that I only find mildly interesting in itself, and still nothing even remotely interesting in the content department after all these years of hype - assuming I stick to a TV. If I go and find content online, hypothetically, the sky's the limit on res, and more interesting content. Those who are worrying about 1080p right now might feel pretty dumb if/when 2160p becomes the new "standard" for videophiles and once again, feel inadequate. And seriously, if we are gonna fetishize technology to create angst about keeping up with the Joneses, we should investigate looking at upping the framerate.

Whatever, we can all get worried about the res on our TVs, but what's the point, if there's nothing to watch on that slick TV anyway? Again, useless consumerist fetishism if you ask me, but I have rather selective tastes when it comes to watching TV. I'm not going to watch local news in HD vs. SD just for the res, for Pete's sake - local news is still just as puerile in HD or UHD or surround sound. The planned switch to *digital* actually has many benefits, but don't let anyone confuse you on this: digital ENABLES HD, but you will NOT have to have an HDTV set after 2009. So don't let anyone lie to you about that. Anyway, by that point, like the rest of the sheep, I'll probably have HD sets, too, though I dunno if 2160p will be in consumer market or not...or if UHD will be the next thing being flogged to the masses. If I didn't get free cable due to my job, I'd seriously consider getting rid of the televisions entirely...

Anyway, enough of my slagging HDTV. I'm sure it has its uses if you actually watch football games or local news.

What I actually find pretty interesting is DRM, and I've been eyeing it for a while now. I would have already popped one into my car, but the Nissan has a radio unit that is fairly strange and I'm hesitant about messing with, as it has tape, CD and radio, and I like tape for my DJ mix tapes and ipod interface. Also, it's not available in the U.S. yet, AFAIK...

What DRM also might provide is an easy Tivo-like device for radio. It'd be interesting if it was feasible to add something like this to an ipod. Yeah, it's more consumer fetishism on my part. :) But at least I'm not saying it will change the world...and unlike some of those that snap up things like iPhones and HDTV, I'm not doing it in a misguided attempt to impress my neighbors and friends. Since most people don't seem to know about DRM (in the U.S.) I cannot even have that illusion, anyway.

Comments:
We now know, that with 75% of Americans aware of HD Radio, at some level, the number of HD radios sold each year, will probably decline:

http://beradio.com/eyeoniboc/instat-digital-radio-set/

To check on-going interest in HD Radio, which is flat:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22hd+radio%22

To check interest in HD Radio versus Satellite and Internet Radio:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22hd+radio%22%2C+%22satellite+radio%22%2C+%22internet+radio%22&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

Even after a $200,000,000 advertising campaign, by the HD Radio Alliance, the popularity of HD Radio, Satellite Radio, and Internet Radio, are just blips on the screen, compared to iPods and MP3s:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22HD+Radio%22%2C+iPod%2C+MP3%2C+%22Internet+Radio%22%2C++%22Satellite+Radio%22&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

HD Radio/IBOC is a farce - IBOC causes adjacent-channel interference and has only 60% the coverage of analog. The HD channels are only low-bitrate streams of the same old repetitive material, and will eventually, contain commercials.

Senator Sununu, may put an end to FCC mandates, anyway:

"SUNUNU: FCC TECH MANDATES MUST BE BANNED"

http://www.sununu.senate.gov/pressapp/record.cfm?id=267281&&year=2007
 
Oops! I keep confusing HD radio with DRM...time to edit this post...
 
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