Saturday, February 10, 2007
It seems that these television sets, mostly sold between 2002 and the end of 2004 and made by Fujitsu and Phillips, aren't compatible with the newer HDMI connections that have become the industry standard since the sets were manufactured. While this incompatibility may only effect approximately five percent of High Definition Television set owners in the United Kingdom, it may also effect even more High definition television enthusiasts across Europe and in other parts of the world.
These older sets came with DVI, or Digital Visual Interface, connections, but the set top receivers from both of the United Kingdoms two main High Definition Television providers - Telewest and Sky TV use the newer HDMI, or High Definition Multimedia Interface, connections. This has caused a number of headaches for owners of these High Definition Television sets that they hadn't expected when they first signed up for the service from Telewest and Sky TV.
While the new television service providers apparently brought about the problem with their use of equipment which isn't compatible with the older electronics, they generally aren't being blamed for the problem. Most owners of these HDTV sets blame the manufacturers who built the sets and the retailers who sold them. Many owners argue that one of the reasons they bought High Definition Television sets in the first place was to get a "Future Proof" television set. Others complain that they didn't shell out sums on the order of seven thousand pounds to get television sets that force them to compromise.
Compromise has been the name of the game for many of these high def television set owners. One owner bought an HDMI-DVI cable in an effort to fix the problem, but it didn't work at all. The fix suggested by Telewest resulted in a picture quality that was much lower than what high definition television should have been in her opinion. Now the same consumer feels that she was cheated when she thought she was buying an "HD ready" television set because now it has turned out not to be.
While all of this is tragic to the people who bought these television sets, it really demonstrates the problems with technology developing too quickly and without the benefits of having tangible standards in place to guide that development. In all fairness to Phillips and Fujitsu, they probably couldn't have known that HDMI cables would be standard at this point. On the other hand, to some extent it's the responsibility of the manufacturers of newer technology to make it backwards compatible with the older technology. Most high definition televisions are a great example of this because they have no problem displaying standard definition and enhanced definition programming as well as the high definition television that they were designed for. The same thing is true with the new breed of high definition DVD players which can play normal DVD's and even CD's as well as the newer formats. Maybe all manufacturers of newer technology need to take responsibility for making sure that their products are backward compatible.