Why Dave Winer Likes his HDTV

Scripting News: 10/22/2006 “I’ve now had HD for about a month now, and it’s a life-changer. I know it sounds weird, but you look at the world differently. The Discovery channel has really jumped on HD, they have a channel called HD Theater that is at least partly a travelogue, they sent crews around the world to take pictures in all kind of exotic places. And you sit there with your jaw on the floor, the pictures are so vivid, they’re even more colorful than reality, and they take you places you could never go on on your own, to mountain tops, underwater in a manatee swamp in Florida.”

And then people keep asking me why I think it’s important that Apple’s new iDongle support HDTV when it comes out. Why HDTV is critical to anyone company’s strategy to own the living room from a media center (small m, small c) perspective.

Whether it’s TiVo, or the cable/satellite companies, or Apple or Microsoft, one thing is clear, having a well defined HDTV strategy as part of the sale will be mandatory.

Now if the iDongle is going to support HDTV, Apple should be saying this now to get people excited, not waiting until later. I still think though that unless Apple is working on some top secret thing with CableLabs then it’s going to be tough for them to offer premium satellite or cable HDTV as part of their offering and I think without this it will be hard for them to convince people like Dave Winer who writes about HDTV as an almost religious experience (as I too have been writing about it for the past two years) that Apple ought to be the center of their digital living room.

HDTV is aweinspiring. Once you have it, you can’t go back to low res TV — almost DVD quality — on your living room Plasma (that people are buying and they are buying them like hotcakes).