Fortune Telling- Predicting the Good vs. Bad in the World of Audio Video Compatibility

Often, people ask about this or that new TV, amplifier, sound system, computer, wifi setup, the list goes on. Many times, my response is, “Ask me in two years because my hind sight is so much better than my ability to predict how good a product is, especially in the longer run say 5 years down the road.” Now do I have a better idea than most about these items? Absolutely! However, manufacturers are continuously attempting to make their products better and cheaper all at the same time. The unfortunate part is that with this prescription comes a certain amount of failure/incompatibility. For me, one of the biggest problems has been regarding HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface). This system dates back to 2002 and has gone through a gaggle of updates and revisions, always attempting to stay backward compatible. This approach is sound in theory, but somewhere between difficult and impossible to accomplish with the great number of manufacturers, years of production and model numbers of all types of product, which is all supposed to work flawlessly with one another. As bandwidth and resolution increased, so did the demand on this HDMI system. Length of cable also is a problem above about 25 feet. But I can also say from experience that, if you put the right gear together, you can have HDMI cable runs more that a 100 feet long which will play perfectly at 720p resolution, which is a very good resolution for most all common high definition needs.  I have written about this many times.

Here is a case in point:

We run most systems today in 1080p resolution, unless some tearing or picture issue crops up, then we will reduce the resolution to 720p. When you see a fabulous picture on 720 or 1080 on your TV, you may ask WHY does my system not look this good at least half the time? The simple answer is that the existing system running at either 720 or 1080 is not being pushed anywhere near its full ability. Why? Because in this world of more of everything, the demand is not for super quality from the studios-the demand is clearly for more content- not quality.

So, the next time you see something on your TV which looks outstanding appreciate that it looks that way because someone/company cared enough to spend the money to make it look spectacular.

The resolution, whether it be 720p, 1080p or higher, was actually pushed to make it look great, you see the numbers never did much matter.

These same concerns are true for audio but that’s for another day!

One comment on “Fortune Telling- Predicting the Good vs. Bad in the World of Audio Video Compatibility
  1. Joe says:

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone. I work in computer repair and frequently have clients who want me to recommend a computer, printer, etc. But the manufacturers rush so many new products to the market so frequently that it’s impossible to know which ones will turn out to be good products until they are tested by consumers who purchase them and use them. And of course, I have nothing to do with the design, manufacture or quality control of the products, so I have no control over the success of a given product. I recommended that my mom get a Toshiba laptop. Just after the 1 year warranty expired, so did the computer. The same thing happened when I recommended a Canon printer for her. So buying the extended warranty is a good idea when it comes to purchasing new computer equipment. Thanks for sharing some great info about your industry. I’m going to read some more of your blog entries. I’ve always been fascinated by some of the home entertainment equipment that’s available but never learned it the way you have.

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