Mark Evensen, CTO of Entone, articulated what I have been trying to say for years. There is a difference between fidelity and quality. I contend that many viewers generally care more about the quality of the content than the fidelity of how well it is reproduced. I look no further than my sister and brother-in-law as a proof-point to this assertion. A few weeks ago, during the height of the San Jose Sharks 2008 playoff bid, I stopped by my sister’s and noticed the game was on in standard definition.* Having not only one, but two HD DVRs in her house, I asked why this was and both my sister and brother-in-law stated that they preferred the local announcers to the those who were on the high definition feed. Granted, they probably would have preferred a high definition picture with their local announcers, but the lesson is that content is more than just the fidelity of the picture and sound reproduction. The most important thing is the quality of the content.
* This is the same sibling whose husband and son were convinced that they had HDTV, even though they weren’t paying for it and didn’t have a set-top from their cable operator. Eventually, they got HD as an incidental feature of the cable-operator supplied DVR.