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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Reality Show

I've been seeing ads for 4K High Definition video display screens for a while now. I've been a little suspicious of them. I mean, my 750 line HD TV works fine, I can see all I need to see on it, why would I need any more resolution? But all I have to do is remember how VHS video tape used to be 'good enough'. Truth be told, if the story is good enough, the resolution of the picture doesn't matter. But given a choice I will go with the Hi-Def display. It's kind of a strange feeling when you go from VHS to HD. Going from HD to VHS does not ellicit any strange feelings. It might take a few minutes to adjust to viewing the VHS video. I suspect that this is because I spent so many years watching broadcast television, that the pathways that my brain established for processing this kind of video are still there, and it only takes a moment for my brain to realize it's done this before and where oh where did I put those processors I used to handle this annoyingly low res video stream?
    Switching to HD is probably something like watching TV for the first time. It's like a whole 'nother language. It really is quite a phenomenal feeling.
    Anyway, 4K HD is suspect because you don't need it. Never mind that your eyes might really want it the first time you see it. But maybe not. I've walked by 4K displays and they haven't caught my eye, but then it might a subtle effect that doesn't hit you unless you sit down and watch it for a bit. Or maybe we've reached the threshold where people can't detect the difference anymore and since it looks so natural it doesn't take any mental focus to translate the images into a mental video stream. Perhaps we've stepped over the uncanny valley in this one branch.
    None of which is what got me started. I was just at a dinner party with some friends and we had an uproariously good time, so good that I wondered if maybe we should record it and put it on YouTube. The problem with doing a video is that once you even think about making one, you have visions of getting a contract with a major broadcasting network (yes, they still exist. I think.), raking in a ton of dough and really stepping out and enjoying life. This isn't so bad, it happens to everyone, but it wears off eventually. (Yes, it does. The feeling wears off. Ok, only if you aren't obsessively determined. Then maybe it doesn't.) That's good because you can now start scaling back on your dreams. Okay, maybe we won't get the broadcast network contract. Maybe we can produce a little reality show on one of the cable channels. Shoot, we might be able to spring for someone to edit the video. That lasts for another five minutes and then you realize that if you actually do make a video, it's going on YouTube where, if it goes viral, it will generate a nice evening out every once in a while.

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