Monday, October 30, 2006

Don't buy an HDTV, buy an HD camcorder

It's quite expensive to buy good high-definition equipment. Prices are going down and new
technologies emerge all the time. In addition, it's hard to justify the cost, when there's not enough
content that's broadcasted in high definition.

If you're in the US, you're in good shape, since you can enjoy a few hours of HDTV every day, but
outside of the US it's even harder to find high-definiton content.

Don't get me wrong - seeing an episode of Lost in 720p is ten times better that watching it on a
standard NTSC TV, so if you can afford it, jump in. But if you can't, you might still need to think
about buying an HD camcorder.

I have two kids. They're 3 and 2 years old. As you probably know, in this time and age, you get the
baby out of the hospital with a digital camera. It's just a part of the standard package. The pro
package includes a camcorder. I got the pro package, with a JVC DV camcorder. It's a nice camcorder,
and the image looks pretty good. But it will not look good in 10 years when I sit next to my 20Ghz PC
and use Adobe Premiere Elements 17 to prepare a short video clip for my son's Bar-Mitzvah. It will
not look good since in 10 years we'll all have HDTVs and we'll be used to high definition videos.

I want to be able to watch my kids' videos in 10 years and not think of the "artistic quality" of the low
resolution images we got when we shot videos back in 2006. I want to preserve today's memories
in the highest quality I can. It's more important to me to see my kids in high-definition than
Evangeline Lilly. Maybe now it doesn't seem that important. I see my kids every day, but in 10 years,
those extra pixels are going to be precious.

What can you do with the videos you shoot in HD today? You don't even have a high-def screen to
watch them, and your computer is too slow to edit these videos. That's okay. Just keep them in a safe
place, and wait for consumer technology to catch up with the quality of your videos.

Now you'll have to excuse me. I have to start saving for a Sony HDR-HC3 or a Canon HV10...