Hi-def my balls!

In David Byrne’s book, “How Music Works,” he talks about how as a youth he would listen to music on a fairly crappy radio and really enjoy the experience. He also mentions how some of the modern recording he’s done has been on low definition recording equipment but the end result is pleasing enough and sells records. Basically his point is that our tools for recording and playing back sound don’t have to be awesome mega-tools that offer the full sound spectrum.

I’ve noticed something similar with television. When hi-def TVs came out I looked at them and thought, “So what? Why do I want to see the acne scars on some actor’s face?” There are some situations where I can see some benefits to hi-definition images but largely I don’t give a shit. I remember watching old Star Treks and I Love Lucys on a black and white TV years ago and those are some of my most treasured viewing experiences.

It may be we (and by we I mean all the idiots in society) are becoming too fixated on numbers (“This television has a 12000 by 9000 pixel ratio and can image flash at 45 gigahertz blah blah”) and forgetting about the actual experience of being entertained. Maybe we’re excusing drek like “World War Z” because we see it on a 3d big screen.

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