Just when you thought it was safe to watch TV…
Blu-ray Disc Group Announces Final 3D Spec
Image: The HD SMPTE color bars (16×9 aspect ratio)
With all of the changes to television recently it’s bad enough to try and keep up with it all on land, much less if you are on a yacht traveling the oceans and ports of the world. A lot of gear out there in the *Real World* is still analog. This after the transition of the US Television System from NTSC (the old long time analog TV System, you know 2-13 and 14-83 channels?) to ATSC – the new Digital TV standard that was pushed in, I think mainly to recover radio spectrum to be auctioned off for other services. Along with ATSC and Digital on Cable, and hopefully you have Digital via Satellite either on land or by sea, comes the HDTV – High Definition Television standards. The aspect ratio of older sets and programs running in the old 4:3 is now relegated to being called SDTV or Standard Definition TV. At Sea it was a bit longer coming for HDTV to become available to sail and motor vessels. At Sea you have to use an Automatic Tracking Antenna in one of those White Radome covers in orde to get Satellite TV. KVH, SEATEL, and others had a problem (like “Houston we have a problem” in Apollo 13) providing the tracking antennas and such to make this possible for ocean going vessels – with an especially interested group in the Sail and Motor Yachting Community. Finally SEATEL did it with what looks like a regular home type (land based) 5 lnb Satellite Antenna modified to go in a big Radome for use on marine vessels. This year, late, KVH came out with an HD Marine Satellite Antenna … and it seems to be quite a bit smaller than the SEATEL one.
Anyway this article wasn’t about that. Yachts have had flat panel, usually very expensive, Plasma TV’s in the 16:9 aspect ratio for quite a few years. Most of them are going to end up being throw-aways as newer, lighter, thinner LCD, Plasma, and even LED TV’s are now out on sale. There’s a big battle over megahertz again - and this time it’s not in computers … it’s in TV’s, and it’s actually Screen Refresh Rates in Hertz – not Megahertz. There’s an argument in some articles as to if having the faster screen refresh rates is really necessary – because maybe people can’t really tell the difference (?)
So now on land, and on a lot of marine vessels, TV’s have been replaced to get rid of older “Picture Tube” NTSC sets, and maybe a Plasma screen as well. But noooo that’s not good enough. Now we have to have “3D”. I heard about this through working associates and such and I thought it was going to just be something in IMAX Theaters or such… because… Do we really need another UPGRADE again so soon to Television Technology? Do we really need 3D in our homes and boats? Or is a bit of HDTV and better screens on some SDTV good enough?
Is Blu-Ray really selling soooo goood that they need to juice it up with 3D as well. And that almost makes all the Blu-Ray players, new recent LCD TV’s not good enough? I think they did, and I hope they did, make 3D backward compatible to regular LCD/HDTV equipment – because I think’s it’s going to be “awhile” before a lot of us want to upgrade yet again. Personally I’m happy with HDTV for now and I think I could go at least 10 or more years being quite happy enough with that. I mean 3D never really went over BIG in theaters anyway, right? Why do we have to have it at home (or on our boat homes) ?
Well… Let’s see what happens. After all it’s a just released specification. No doubt the manufacturers will need awhile to get up to speed on 3D as well. Meanwhile they will continue to sell HDTV/ATSC sets. 3D gear might be quite expensive coming out – they usually slam the consumers with R&D or Development costs for awhile before prices come down. But maybe 3D will help make the HDTV/ATSC prices come down as well?
I’ll NTS “See” (or ATS “See”) you later!
* Alan Spicer – Alan Spicer Marine Telecom
communications (at) marinetelecom.net
* Note: It is NOT alright to take my contact information, email address, cell phone number, etc. and use it to SPAM me via Cellular Text Messages or Email Spam Messages. Geeze! Can’t I be online without being harvested for this crap? (It SHOULD be illegal to text message a mobile phone without having a prior relationship with that person. IMHO!)