High Definition DVDs Arrive—Finally!


Electronic House editor-in-chief Cindy Davis says high-definition DVDs will inspire jaw-dropping home viewing.

Jun. 01, 2006 — by Cindy Davis

For the past five years, I’ve been hearing about high-definition DVDs. At electronics shows, manufactures would show me prototype players that sometimes had a blue light emanating from within. I would anxiously report on the wonder of super-resolution DVDs and say “Watch for this soon!” But after a couple of years of broken promises, I stopped mentioning them.

This past fall, and again at the Consumer Electronic Show in January, I experienced a high-definition movie. At last, the promise felt like it might actually become a reality.

Despite a few extra delays, I am thrilled to report that finally, high-definition DVD movies are here—there are even high-def players to play them on. And even more exciting: They look better than I imagined.

Some people, though, think that if a standard DVD is viewed on an HDTV, it is displayed in high-definition. I understand this confusion, because when you purchase an HDTV, the picture is so much better than the old TV. Everything looks wonderful, even the local news. However, even on an HDTV, your DVD movies are displayed at a DVD’s 480 lines, not at high-definition’s 720 or 1080 lines.

If you already own an HDTV, see if this describes you: You can now talk in great depth about dung beetle—the rollers that roll dung into balls, the tunnelers who bury the dung and the dwellers who live in it. It may not make for great party conversation, but if you know what I am talking about, I am with you. Many of us who own HDTVs find ourselves watching the same high-definition content over and over again, because standard definition disappoints by comparison and because there just isn’t that much HD programming.

Imagine the same difference in watching movies at home. Imagine seeing the details of King Kong as he climbs the Empire State building, or Heath Ledger’s ... jousting in “A Knight’s Tale.” I promise: You are going to think you died and went to HD heaven when you see movies in high definition at home.

This is worth staying home for!

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