Sad about the World Cup in High Definition

April 16, 2006

World Cup 2006 Logo

My favourite subject at the moment.

There’s so much to know and so little time. Too little time. So little time in fact, that there’s actually no rush at all.

You know, some things are just pivotal. Some things you’ll look back on and think ‘ah yeah, that was cool, and I lived through that moment’. Some things you’ll feel good about as you grow old and stupid. Things that you’ll see when you glance over your shoulder on the way to old-age and ridicule that mapped out the fun times you had along the way.

I’m not talking about spookily knowing exactly where you were when JFK was shot or the Berlin wall fell. I’m talking about stakes in the ground that we traversed on our way through life. Personal stakes.

I’m not one to want to classify such things, to prioritise and sanitise. If we do that, then we’ve lost the essence of sub-consciously chronicling our lives.

Special times I spent with my Dad, the embarrassing moments with girls at school, the anarchic extra-curricular chemistry experiments (no, not drugs! EXPLOSIVES!). The Z80 assembler programming and the births of my kids. Some important, some not. That’s the point.

What the hell am I dribbling on about? The 2006 World Cup finals in High Definition.

Am I off my trolley? Yes, of course. It’s not that big a deal, and yet it is.

I feel a great sense of disappointment. I would have hoped to have everything clear in my mind by now. Plans made. Cut and dried.

To be honest I’m pissed off too. In the same way I’m still pissed off with BT for pushing ‘Home Highway’ ISDN when we should have been getting ADSL.

The World Cup in glorious High Definition.

But that’s great isn’t it? You can get a Sky subscription and watch it, so what’s the problem?

It’s too late. I don’t DO Sky. I don’t DO getting ripped off by the monopoly that is Sky. The BBC coverage is free to air, yet probably the easiest way to get it is with a Sky HD sub.

I wanted to do it my own way. To have had time to properly evaluate the available hardware, and to go out and buy it well in advance knowing that my homework would be marked in the future with an A+. That I didn’t buy Betamax.

It wasn’t meant to happen like this. Last minute decisions by the BBC to run an HD trial. Sky fuelling the sense of ‘panic buying’ reminiscent of the old ladies fighting over the last 1500 loaves of bread on Christmas eve like there was a period of three months before the shops re-opened, by starting HD installations in May.

The hardware isn’t mature enough or stable enough for me to spend what amounts to more money than I’ve ever spent on something that isn’t a car or a house.

It’s one of those things that I’ve been thinking for a year or more would be another stake for me. Dreaming of England lifting a trophy made up of 1080 lines of perfect digital clarity. OK so now you know I’m mad. Mad and disappointed.

Why couldn’t all this have been sorted out ages ago? The technology has been there for some time.

I’m jealous of those folks that are so wealthy that they can afford to buy the technology now, and re-buy it again in a few months when it’s clear what’s good and what’s bad. Jealous in a way of those people that are too ignorant to know the difference between good quality and bad quality but who will have the 2006 World Cup HD stake where I won’t.

I regret it, and it hasn’t even happened yet.




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