High Definition (HD) is everywhere. The Blu-ray format has won the HD DVD war and I’m seeing a lot more Blu-ray movies at my local video store and retail stores. As I mentioned in a previous post, Apple TV and the PS3 now have HD videos on demand.
Earlier this year, Microsoft released Silverlight, their answer to Adobe’s Flash. The official Web site describes Silverlight as “a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.” I downloaded Silverlight in order to watch the Democratic National Convention live, in HD. The picture was unbelievably crisp and the audio was terrific. BTW, I checked; no HD feed on the official Republican Convention site.
I didn’t realize it, but the NBC Olympics Web site had videos powered by Silverlight (not in HD, however). Here’s a link to a video feed of the closing ceremony and a PC World article describing what Silverlight allowed the Web site developers to do.
On the personal front, we just got an HD video camera. After a lot of research, we settled on the Sony HDR-CX12. Here’s why:
- It’s small and lightweight
- It records HD video directly to a memory stick, which makes it easy to transfer video to my PC
- I can take photos while shooting video; the photos are 10.2 megapixel
- Automatic face detection for videos and photos
- Fantastic reviews on Amazon.com
The verdict on the camera? I love it. I took some sample video while at the National Aquarium in Baltimore on Sunday. Once home, I easily transferred the videos and photos to my laptop, then used the Sony software to burn a DVD and watch the video on my TV. The image was stunning, even though I didn’t burn it in HD. The camera even took automatic photos whenever someone smiled, no kidding! Even more impressive, we took video in super low light and camera performed like a champ. The price tag under $900 (+ the $100 instant cash rebate) puts HD within reach (it’s even less on Amazon).
Finally, I’m enjoying all the HD podcasts that people are putting up on iTunes. I’ve subscribed to HD podcasts related to travel and feng shui. It feels so luxurious to watch these podcasts in HD and I love it.