Don't have the money to shell out for a new HDTV? No problem. A new study says that simply shifting your expectations concerning picture quality can help enhance your viewing experience — if self-deception is something you can accomplish easily enough.
Photo by Mike Babcock.
A Dutch study wanted to see if simply being told that you're viewing an HD picture quality would lead to a satisfactory viewing experience.
Two groups of 30 people watched the same video clip, individually, on the same television. Half were told to expect a better experience thanks to HD technology, an impression backed up by posters, flyers and an extra-thick cable connected to the screen. The other half were told to expect a normal DVD signal.
The results? Those who were told to expect HD quality "witnessed significantly sharper, more detailed images". The takeaway: A discerning eye, gullibility, and many other variables notwithstanding, until you can afford to shell out big bucks for a decent set, you can always try convincing yourself that what you have now ain't all that bad.
Self-deception aside, everyone's eager to go HD these days, but television has been doing just fine entertaining us for decades without HD capabilities; if the results of this study are any indication, clearly HD picture quality isn't all that important in the end.