Quality Matters19 Sep, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange
In all of the recent breathless discussion of video on demand, one of the issues that that has fallen by the wayside is the quality of that video. I can attest that when I see something in the best quality, it makes a big difference.
As a young girl, I saw E.T.: The Extraterrestrial in the theater, and the projectionist showed the reels out of order. The experience forever hurt my enjoyment of that film. Whatever mood had been developed was ruined by a neglectful projectionist. I have no doubt that others have been annoyed by a projectionist who shows the film out of focus or is otherwise neglectful.
My worry is that those who see films through the various video-on-demand options aren't getting the best impression. The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy just doesn't have the same effect on a cell phone screen as it does on a 50-inch flat panel in high-definition.
Near-DVD quality may not cut it for full enjoyment of a film. That's why I hope the high-definition formats will take off. A high-definition disc is truly the best way to see a film — bar none — including the theater, where a projectionist can mix up the reels or show the film out of focus.
For my money, the best environment in which to watch a film is in my living room with a big screen, great sound and a disc that produces a superior picture and sound.