Quality, schmality? Who really cares about video quality?

Everyone says they want the best quality, high-def video, but it's all just talk. The Audiophiliac wonders why most folks seem oblivious to awful, poorly setup video.

Steve Guttenberg

High-definition, 1080p, Blu-ray, blah, blah, blah. There's a lot of talk about quality--manufacturers, consumers, and yes, and maybe most of all, by reviewers--but out in the real world, does anybody really give a crap about quality? The rush to HDTV is all well and good, but last night in a trendy midtown bar, I was appalled by the picture plastered on their 60 inch plasma. It was in eyeball searing mode, faces were an intense shade of orange, and of course, the aspect ratio was off, so even the skinniest TV hotties were fat and wide.

OK, it was a bar, but I remember that at one of last year's TV manufacturer line shows, they had commissioned a famous photographer to do high-rez portraits of movie stars, and despite all the hype about how much they cared about quality and resolution, the hosts proceeded to show a room full of consumer electronics journalists a parade of bloated faces. Right, every single one displayed incorrectly. I sat there squirming in my seat.

Point is, it's easy to talk about quality, but without the desire to follow through, it's just talk. Most of the HDTVs I see at major manufacturers showrooms in New York City are horribly out of whack. It's the rarest sight, seeing a well setup TV, so it's no wonder most people get it wrong. It's easier to just sell the latest and greatest new tech, and whatever the consumer experiences, well, they're on their own.

Of course, audio is in even worse shape. Good quality sound is harder to find, but only handful of audiophiles would ever claim to care about sound. Good enough audio is good enough for everyone else.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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