I lied. There aren't '300 Reasons to Go HD This Christmas'. Well, there could be, but it would take an imagination of greater expanse than mine to list them all - feel free to give it a go in the comments! Actually, the 300 reasons are just one: the film 300. Let me explain.
Like a lot of people I own an HDTV, a Samsung LE-37R87BD in case anyone is interested. It's not the most advanced HDTV money can buy, it's only HD Ready, but for my purposes and my £500 budget earlier this year it does the job very nicely and as John Archer put it at the time: "the 37R87BD would be a solid LCD TV at any price. So at under £500, it's got to be one of the bargains of the year". In John Archer we trust and trust him I did: my trust wasn't misplaced.
Anyway, for the most part my TV has been busy dealing with gaming duties, watching Freeview TV and the occasional upscaled DVD on an inherited (from Riyad) HD DVD player. This, it seems, is a pretty typical usage model for the UK's HDTVs since despite being the fastest adopters of HDTVs outside the USA, according to Interpret, around 35 per cent of us own an HD capable TV, according to the same study only about 9 per cent of us actually own a Blu-ray player - see Reuters for the figures.
Given the slowly improving but largely limited availability of HD broadcasts this means there are lot of us are watching little to no HD content on these brand new TVs we like so much. If Sony thought killing the largely superior HD DVD format would boost its fortunes it has been greatly mistaken, not forgetting that the state of things in the rest of Western Europe is even worse than this. When it comes to Blu-ray and HDTV penetration, the US and the UK are the good examples and this says much about the parlous state of things.
Returning from this slightly circuitous diversion, though I've seen quite a few films in HD, including Casino Royale, The Bourne Supremacy and Blade Runner, it wasn't until I signed up to LoveFilm.com and discovered its untapped back catalogue of HD DVD titles that I watched a film in HD that fundamentally altered my experience of that film. That film was the aforementioned, 300.