Insights from High Definition Television
A Hollywood sensibility runs through our culture, everyone seems to care more about their appearance these days, and there is an interesting phenomenon at the junction of new high-definition display technology and the on-air personalities presented to the public. Every evening, as more subscribers tune into the HDTV (High Definition Television) programs streaming from satellites and the local airwaves into our homes, it provides a new window into the wide world of our increasingly modernized and digitized planet. Flat panel displays, the kind that cover the walls of the big-box retailers, airport lounges, our homes and sports stadiums elicit more than just gee-whiz reactions from passers-by—the design of the new technologies are changing lives on every side of the camera.
Take the new Monday Night Football productions for example. They are using at least 19 state of the art HD (high-definition) cameras positioned all around the stadium, but critics have noted that they aren’t letting these cameras get near one of the new color personalities, Tony Kornheiser, because his visage does not exactly play to the strengths of a high-definition examination. I would think that the toughs and football aficionados could handle many difficult situations, including looking upon a face less alluring than Melissa Starks (why did MNF get rid of her?), but they seemed to avoid at all costs putting Tony’s face near the cameras, while they were not afraid to take close-ups of Theismann and Mike Tirico.
Other less than generous critics had somewhat disparaging comments about sideline reporter Suzy Kolber, but she is in shape, and attractive enough and besides she is former athlete and actually knows more about sports than many of the casual viewers. On the win-win side of the ledger for ABC and the viewers, the spiral passes of Brett Farve, with the laces gleaming in the hi-def slow-motion shots, and the incredibly sharp action in the trenches and downfield is the real attraction of HD. Yes, Brett needs some work on the practice field, if Green Bay is going to have any chance this year, but he still looks very good in hi-def, and what an opportunity to see our living legends in the stunning clarity and color of HD!
Most certainly the ancient Greeks and Kings and Queens of England cared about their appearance. The introduction of mirrors and shiny, reflective pieces of metal must have had an impact as people became more aware of their reflections and their appearance in relation to the rest of the tribe. With the dissemination of new media, and new video technologies that ruthlessly reveal the nuance of every facial line and wrinkle, we are now presented with the balding, actual truth and perhaps this will accelerate the rush to more rejuvenating procedures and perhaps a simultaneous acceptance of some of the natural manifestations of the ravages of time on human biology. The High-Definition lifestyle will affect all of us.