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The High Ground Of HDTV

HDTV is a benefit to all of civilization, though not without cost to each citizen.

Both here and abroad HDTV is number one on many-a-wish list. But it comes in the aggregate at a cost of billions upon billions of dollars. It surely must play an important role in society's future if it is ever to justify such an expense. The case for doing that can be made.

Technology's contribution to life...

From the roll of the first wheel life has been enormously enriched by man-made technology. The industrial revolution finally connected wheel to motor and transportation as we know it was born. The millennium observers said that the most significant technical contribution in the last thousand years was the automobile. The level of commerce and comforts enjoyed today would be inconceivable without it.

All advances in the art and craft of communications are also great contributors to social progress. We understand ourselves better due to the technologies of printing, radio, and television. Tyranny's grip becomes democracy's embrace when the public is well informed. Ripping down the Berlin Wall was a trophy event for communication technologies.

Now comes the HDTV era. Is it a distraction or a tool for a better life?

Is it just a costlier TV or does it provide us a new way to see the world? Mankind has been scrambling for a new world vision which can be followed without one group coming to harm while the other thrives. We need to replace those concepts that have outgrown their usefulness with a 21st century understanding. While modern technologies have encouraged the revision of our world view nothing will better portray and help shape a new world vision than will HDTV.

Why is it so different from standard television?

HDTV not only conveys the shadow images that old TV has carried for 55 years but also all of the brilliance and beauty they contain. While beauty is not chief among human values it is called upon to illuminate all other values and make them pleasing. What is pleasing is easy to understand.

What we don't know about things raises fears and what we do know about them adds to our body of knowledge.

A panel of Arab professors of Islamic studies said on C-SPAN last month that the ONLY thing able to bring peace to our warring cultures is greater mutual understanding. While it is wonderful for movies and sports one should also ask what better use do we have for HDTV than the fostering and promotion of a greater mutual understanding that leads to peace?

Responses welcome...

Dale Cripps

Posted by Dale Cripps, February 27, 2005 4:38 PM

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About Dale Cripps

Dale Cripps is a professional journalist who has focused two thirds of his career on the subject of high-definition television. Upon completing his education in business and service in the military he formed Cripps and Associates, South Pasadena, California, in 1964, which operated as a market-development company for aerospace services. In 1983 he turned to television and began what has become a 20 year campaign to pioneer HDTV. For fifteen of those years he published the well-regarded HDTV Newsletter (an international monthly written for television professionals). During much of this same time he also served as the HDTV-Technical Editor for "Widescreen Review Magazine." On November 16, 1998 he launched the Internet distributed HDTV Magazine, which remains the only consumer publication devoted exclusively to high-definition television. In April of 2002 he co-founded with Tedson Meyers of Coudert Bros, the High-definition Television Association of America, which is presently based in Washington DC. Cripps is the president of this organization. Mr. Cripps is a charter member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers and honored by that organization with the DTV Press Leadership Award of 2002. He makes his home in Oregon.