Friday, September 28, 2007

What They Aren't Telling us About High Definition TV

Have you noticed how stores selling TV sets always show animated movies on their LED and plasma screens? From Toy Story to Shrek to Nemo. I guess it’s because Pixar, Dreamworks and the like showcase the resolution, saturated color and impact of high definition screens. It makes you wonder how higher and higher definition will treat real live actors, entertainers, celebrities. History tells us that dramatic new technologies gave for dramatic shifts in the kind of people these technologies demand. Television is now in a very similar space to the movies when sound caught on. Suddenly actors who had dominated the screen by the emotional expressiveness of their faces were brought down by squeaky or unappealing voices. A new breed of sisomo actor stepped up. People who could captivate audiences by how they looked, how they sounded, and how they moved – all at the same time. So what’s going to happen with high definition? I suspect that the new heights of definition with be unyielding to anything that smacks of lack of authenticity. What a paradox for screens that are being sold on the allure of animated cartoons! This is the big watch-out for human actors. Animated characters can be gleaming and polished but I’d be cautious about having teeth remoulded, faces lifted and bodies reshaped by knife, not life. My guess is that the people to shine on high def will be the people who shine in a crowded room - the ones with genuine emotional charisma, authentic personality and increasingly, a sense of personal purpose that resonates through everything they do.