Who cares what it is? It’s in HD.

Ever since I received positive feedback on the guest column for Technologizer I wrote about the “pro” label, I’ve been wanting to write about products that slap the “HD” label onto their name to take advantage of the high-resolution trend that came into vogue about five years ago

imageKodak High-Definition film was one of the early products to get flack for usurping the “HD” nomenclature. In its defense, the ASA 400 film does seem to produce less grain than other films and has been widely seen as a replacement for the Royal Gold film from Rochester. Rather than increasing absolute resolution, though, it simply seems to produce higher contrast. Perhaps Kodak should have simply come up with some arbitrary contrast ratio number, like everybody else does.

Nearly all digital cameras have been capable of “HD”, that is, more than 720 lines of resolution, for years. Consumer camcorders are now pretty far along that transition.

imageHD Radio, the digital radio standard developed by iBiquity, has become the technological destiny of AM and FM radio stations as far as broadcast technology is concerned. When it comes to audio, it seems “HD” is the new “CD-quality.” HD Radio offers a greater content selection (albeit one that isn’t nearly as broad as the Internet’s) and better sound quality (which is often better than what is found on the Internet, at least outside of managed services such as Slacker). Because it has lacked the receiver subsidization that helped fuel the early growth of satellite radio, HD Radio has been slow to get off the ground. However, it recently got a shot in the arm by being incorporated into the Zune HD, which is in part a true HD product in that it can output HD video with the aid of a separate dock.

Incidentally, ibiquity is far from the only company to associate “high definition” with audio. Intel led the charge in the PC space and a wide range of headphone brands have offered “high definition” headphones and earbuds, including AKG, Monster Cable, Philips, Sony and XtremeMac.

image From the sublime to the ridiculous, a stroll through your local drug store may put you eye-level with the as-seen-on-TV HD Vision sunglasses direct from direct marketing land. The wraparound variety will fit over existing sunglasses so even those in need of prescriptions can get in on some HD vision, making you “look brighter and more alive.” These appear to be the latest in a line of polarized tinted anti-glare shades, a more modern incarnation of Ambervision. Believe it or not, they will not upconvert standard-definition videos, even if you watch them while squinting into the sun. Now how much would you pay?

imageAnd if your HD Vision shades don’t do much for staring at your old Trinitron., how about staring at your nails? You’re sure to revel in your high-definition hands with Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definition Nail Color. And what a spectrum of colors it is. HD Nail Color comes in eight different hues, twice the number that could be produced at one time by the standard-definition Atari 2600 (but only half the number that could be produced at one time by Intellivision). The thematically on-point shades include Cyber (purple) BLU (as in –”ray”), Pixel Pretty (turquoise, pictured), Hi-Def (green), Lite (yellow), Digital (pink), Three D (orange), and Hi-Res (red). I suppose using the “Hi-Def” shade of the HD nail polish will produce that holy grail of fingertip colorization, quad-HD nails.

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