HD Movies and TV; Too HD?

The New York Times must have really enjoyed putting together their article on High Definition movies in the porn industry today. The article features pictures of (fully clothed) stars, and goes into a bit of detail in explaining how HD has been a tribulation for the industry.

While some in this industry think that high def is exactly what porn customers want, others worry that high def is getting too detailed. For example, they quote the actress Stormy Daniels thus: “I’m not 100 percent sure why anyone would want to see their porn in HD.” Among the issues discussed are razor burn, now remarkably visible, and tiny pimples that can only be hidden by shifting to a different camera angle.

Now I’m not being salacious here, I just want to make a point. The porn business is echoing the controversy over HDTV in the respectable TV industry. (Is the TV business ever respectable?) It’s the federal government that is dragging the TV biz to HD, and the TV biz has been awful slow to get there. HDTV clearly produces exciting sports, but it’s generally known that old reruns will look terrible in HD. TV studio scenery and sets in the past were knocked together very simply, with just enough detail to fool the low-res camera. Now we’ll be able to see the sets are all plywood with nails. Etc.

Worse, the HDTV camera will favor different faces. (I suspect this is less of an issue for the porn business.) One of the great skills directors have is that they can find people whom the camera will love, who will look riveting and wonderful on TV and in movies. Many great stars look remarkably ordinary to us in everyday life. HD changes the rules, because it will make some “bankable” big name stars look awful.

The president of Canadian Broadcasting went to the natural extreme, saying that HDTV "has no business model." He claimed a complete lack of motivation for advertisers to pay more to have their plugs shown during an HD show verses an Standard Def show, although many advertisers disagree.


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