When it comes to showing off Mother Nature in all her high-definition glory, few networks can pull it off like Discovery. Series such as "LIFE" or "Deadliest Catch" appear to make your television disappear into a raging ocean or glisten with raindrops from a passing shower in the rain forest. For many people, the channel alone was probably one of the reasons they bought a high-definition television in the first place.
So it's hard to believe that it could get much better — which is probably what they were thinking when things went from black and white to color. But in a recent interview, Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks briefly remarked on the technology the network has in the pipe — and it sounds stunning.
“We’ll continue to see the rollout of 3-D TV and the clarity and definition will improve,” Hendricks said — referencing their recent deal with Sony. “A big milestone will be RD-TV — retinal definition. It’ll be like looking out a window. We’ll continue to have large viewing platforms (standard TVs) but we’ll also witness the growth of personal media like tablets (such as the iPad). You can lean back and enjoy (TV) passively — in your bed, on the porch, wherever you want.”
OK, so 3-D we expect. You can't watch a movie trailer these days without being hit over the head that it's available with an added dimension. And the whole portable media device "take-it-with-you" concept is predictable, too. But retinal-definition television?
The odd thing is that this appears to be the first time the Internet has heard of Hendricks' RD-TV pitch — since nothing exists through Google that mentions the technology. So, he's either wishing for a tech that will achieve the "window effect" one day, or it's actually coming and he let it slip.
Doesn't make me want it any less — and if anyone can showcase a new display technology, it's Discovery Channel.
So here's to the future of nature programming! Suddenly HDTV seems so black and white.