But even if youâ€™re clued up about High Definition, and are well aware that youâ€™re going to need a screen with at least 720 lines, as well as both HDMI and component video inputs, you still have a serious issue to ponder. Although there is no shortage of 720p compatible screens and projectors available today, the pinnacle of High Definition viewing is 1080p, and right now (in Europe at least) thereâ€™s a serious lack of hardware that will support this standard.
So, what does a technologically astute, home cinema enthusiast like myself do right now? Do I invest a couple of grand in an HD compatible display, knowing full well that Iâ€™ll have to upgrade in a couple of years when 1080p becomes prevalent? Or do I hold fire and not invest in any High Definition kit until I can configure a complete 1080p compatible system? I imagine that itâ€™s a question that a great many movie buffs and sports fans are pondering right now.
If anything, my years of working in IT give me a valuable insight into this problem, and my advice is â€“ you canâ€™t sit on the fence for ever. Yes, I could hold out until 1080p compatible equipment becomes freely available and affordable, but that could be a couple of years down the line; and I would have had to suffer without being able to watch any HD content during that period. Personally I would rather invest in HD today and accept that Iâ€™m going to have to replace my equipment at some point down the line; thus being able to enjoy High Definition video from day one.
Itâ€™s similar to when I imported a Japanese PlayStation Portable (PSP) back in January. A lot of people thought I was stupid for paying well over the odds for something that would be available in the UK in a couple of months anyway. Part of me agreed with them, but another part just wanted to get my hands on the kit as soon as I could. As it turned out, my decision was a sound one, since not only did the PSP miss its March launch date in the UK, it has now been pushed back until September! So, I may have paid a bit more for my PSP, but I will have had nine months worth of gaming by the time it launches over here.
The moral of this story is simple â€“ you can spend a lifetime telling yourself that there will be something better or cheaper just around the corner, but thatâ€™s not reason enough to deny yourself now. I know that Iâ€™m going to want to upgrade to 1080p equipment when itâ€™s available and affordable, but I also know that there will be something even better on the horizon by then. Sitting on the fence while you wait for that next technological step is never comfortable; sometimes itâ€™s worth climbing down and making the most of what you can have right now.