Bad Dad: Regrets over buying hi-def TV with house full of 2-D programming

February 03, 2012|By Matthew Murray

Last year, the wife and I took some of our tax-return money and decided to buy a new television. Our old one was on the fritz, and it was time to upgrade.

We had visions of being able to watch our favorite shows in high-def. She would be able to watch the Lakers play with so much detail, she could count the droplets of sweat on Kobe's brow. I imagined counting the blades of grass during football games and seeing the shower of ice shavings during a Kings game.

After consulting with several friends and comparing prices, we wound up with a majestic 55-inch LCD HDTV from Vizio.

When we finally got it home and installed it, I could have sworn I heard angels sing. Its 1080P high-definition resolution uses more than 2 million pixels, which makes the picture crystal clear. That kind of power doesn't just affect the colors, it actually makes the blacks blacker and the whites whiter. The color depth, if you believe the manual, was up to 1.06 billion colors.


1.06 billion?!?

If that weren't amazing enough, it uses sensors to auto-correct the brightness of the TV, so it projects the perfect picture regardless of the time of day or ambient light.

Not only is the screen high-def, but so is the surround sound. And it's smart enough to adjust the volume automatically when the commercials come on, which was always a pet peeve of mine.

The box claimed that it exceeded some sort of energy rating guideline, but that really wasn't a factor. I would've bought a small generator just to run this marvelous gem of technology. Did I mention it was 55 inches?!?

But as I quickly found out, all that technology is wasted when all you watch is kids programming. You don't need HD when all the shows are in 2-D.

You don't need 1.06 billion colors to render "SpongeBob Squarepants." You don't need crystal-clear audio when broadcasting Justin Bieber or his army of faceless pre-teen pop stars. And to a toddler, a green Muppet on a 55-inch screen might as well be Godzilla.

Amazing — having all this remarkable technology doesn't make the kids' shows any more interesting. If anything, it amplifies just how bad they are, because now I am subjected to a constant barrage of images and noise that I have no interest in watching.

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