Imagine watching the Super Bowl on television and feeling like you have to get out of the way when a tackle is made.
Or think about seeing a concert broadcast from Carnegie Hall and wondering why you're the only one not wearing a formal.High-definition TV can almost trick a person out of reality. The richness and clarity of this relatively new kind of television signal seems to put viewers in the middle of the action. It's almost like being there.
A local businessman wants to put Provo into the middle of the action.
Carl W. Bacon, a partner in Media Venture Partners, intends to create a HDTV network to transmit sporting events, concerts, performing arts and other enter-tainment to Provo in a theater setting. He said the picture is just as clear on the big screen as it is on a television.
Bacon invited the only HDTV production truck in North America to Provo on Monday. Telesat Canada, the truck's owner from Gloucester, Ontario, demonstrated the wonders of HDTV during a brief stopover at the LDS Motion Picture Studio. The $3.5 million TV production company on wheels traverses the continent shooting events for clients, said Bruce Peart, mobile supervisor.
First-time viewers' reaction to what they see on a HDTV screen is always the same, Peart said. "They're just blown away." "HDTV is the future of television," Bacon said.
Conventional TV uses analog waves as electronic representations of the light and sound waves captured by television cameras and microphones. Horizontal lines used to reproduce images on the screen number 525. HDTV uses digital signals and 1,125 horizontal lines, making for more sharply focused images.
An HDTV screen is one-third wider than a regular TV screen and the picture is two or three times as clear and bright.
At one point during a 14-minute demonstration announcer asks, "What is real and what is not?" while computer-generated images cross the screen. The detail and depth of the picture made it difficult to tell.
HDTV isn't available for home use yet. The Federal Communication Commission is currently drafting standards regarding the future of broadcast television. The FCC is scheduled to choose one of four competing HDTV digital systems for adoption as the U.S. standard next June. Commercial receivers will likely be on the market several years after that.