To HD or Not to HD?

Every couple has really silly things that they bicker about.  Here in Fordeville, our current ridiculous marital point of contention involves the TV.  Not what to watch (well, sometimes), but how we’re watching it.

Here’s the thing: My husband insists on watching TV in high definition.  I, on the other hand, don’t care.  Mostly because I’m so happy to be watching anything that doesn’t feature Thomas the Train, Dora or Diego.  As long as there is morally questionable content, a nearby glass of wine and non-animated adults on the screen, you could cut off the characters’ heads for all I care.

So, every night after the kids are in bed, it goes like this:

P:  What are you watching?

Me:  A very educational documentary on Middle Eastern politics.  {Or maybe The Real Housewives.  But whatever.}

P:  Oh.  Can you put on the high def channel?

Me:  No.

P:  Why not?  It will look so much better.

Me:  It looks fine to me this way.

P:  But why wouldn’t you want it to look better?

Me:  Can you pour me more wine please?

P:  Can’t you see that the picture doesn’t even fill the screen when it’s not in HD?  Doesn’t that bother you?

Me:  It looks very artsy that way.  Like an indie film.

P:  No, it looks all wrong.

Me:  How can you keep track of where all those HD channels are, anyway?

P:  You just have to add 500 to the regular channel.

Me:  I don’t add after 6pm.  Unless it’s to my Amex bill.  Plus, I’ll be asleep in approximately six to nine minutes, and then you can watch whatever high def you want.

P:  Fine.  Give me your glass.  Red or white?


He’s not wrong.  It’s just far more important to him than it is to me.  And we did go and buy the big old flat screen for optimal viewing.

Could I compromise on my HD indifference?  Sure.  If it means that much to him.

So.  I got to thinking.  And here’s where I landed.  Because I’m a giver.


 1)  I am open to the possibility of HD for:

–Food Network shows featuring desserts, particularly molten chocolate cakes.  If you know of any molten chocolate cake episode marathons, definitely drop me a line.

–Any film starring Edward Burns, Javier Bardem or Edward Norton.  For obvious reasons.

–Travel shows, but only if I’ve been to the featured destination myself, or have the possibility of going sometime.  If it’s gorgeous and I can never get there, then forget it — that’s just torturous.


 2)  I am completely opposed to HD for:

–Sports of any kind.  I don’t want to see the beads of sweat.  Or the spit.  And we have officials who are well-paid to make any close calls.  It’s not my job.

–Children’s programming (see examples above).  There’s  just no need to take my Brain Melt to another level.

–Any appearance, no matter how brief, of the following television personalities:  The Duggars, Teresa Guidice of RHONJ (as well as her husband and children), and Kathie Lee Gifford {full disclosure:  I am also totally opposed to seeing Kathie Lee in standard definition.  In fact, I’d like to have a word with the TV exec who decided to bring her back on the air.}

–All programming involving child birth.  I lived through the HD version (complete with audio), so I’m all set with those visuals, thankyouverymuch.

–Forensic/crime shows (CSI, Law & Order, etc.).  Basically, anything that has a crime scene, an autopsy table and a Medical Examiner.  Except Castle.  Because of, well, Castle — he looks really good in HD.


I think this represents progress and a good degree of compromise on my part.  If only my husband wanted to watch any of the shows in my “possibly pro HD” list.  I guess this means he’s just going to have to rely on how consistently I fall asleep about two hours before he does.  Then he can watch Storage Wars, UFCthe NFL and How It’s Made in HD.  Every night.

{“Tonight on How It’s Made:  The history of dust.  Brought to you in high definition.”  Why, yes, I’ll completely regret sleeping through that.}

What about you guys?  Are you all “Give me the HD channel” like my husband?  Or are you more of the “Where’s my evening cocktail, and I don’t even know where the HD channels are located” type?

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  1. Michelle says:

    I’m aware there are HD channels, but I honestly can’t be bothered scrolling through to find them. On the occasions I’ve accidentally landed on them the television starts yelling at me. HD sound is too loud, then I have to turn the volume down quick before the kids hear me.

    Half the time I’m watching with my ears anyway, multi-tasking something else, so who cares if its in HD.

    I suspect it’s designed by men, for men.

  2. LD says:

    Is there a “bug” in our house?? I don’t remember you asking me for an interview…but these are our exact conversations!!! (including the wine – white for me, I still haven’t switched with the seasons). The only channel that I am shocked is NOT on your pro list is HGTV…or perhaps you get to experience that “live” every day.

  3. HD??? I’m still watching TV on a console set from 1993. I think I should probably take baby steps up to a flat screen, and then we can discuss HD. But I agree about Castle. He would make my HD list, too.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Through a FIOS glitch, we have no Comedy Central in HD. I was Jon Stewartless for nigh unto a year before Ed would condescend to watch it in #shudder# Standard Def. But then, I’m the weirdo who wanted a smaller TV..

  5. markus says:

    I am in P’s camp. Right down to the conversations I have with LD, who on one hand admits that she loves that we have the 46″ TV, but on the other hand, doesn’t understand why I go crazy when she DVR’s the premiere of Top Chef in low-def! It’s like being behind the wheel of an Aston Martin, but only driving 55. Don’t you know what this machine is capable of???

    I truly admire that you’re compromising. I even agree with your Food Network choice (especially when Giada is making the molten chocolate cake – I don’t care how big you think her head is)!

    You have, I think, stumbled upon the great divide in many marriages. The question that lingers as the TV is turned on every evening…who’s gonna control the remote?

    Well, that – plus Red or White?

  6. Ed says:

    This is totally a guy thing. Stephanie and I have had pretty much this same conversation. And yes, we did need the 50″ Pioneer plasma. For watching IndyCar.

    Oddly enough, Food Network’s younger, hipper little sister the Cooking Channel is not available in HD. However, No Reservations and Top Chef are awesome in HD!

    • fordeville says:

      Because you need to see those racing collisions more clearly? 😉
      Tony Bourdain in HD — now, that I may add to my list of possibilities.

  7. Steve says:

    Um, this debate is so 2005. The real issue is 3D or 2D. Does anything beat those beads of persperation coming off the screen and landing in your lap? From Thomas, I mean, Those engines get really sweaty.

    • fordeville says:

      Sadly, you are right. The 3D thing is just the next level of how I don’t understand this whole need to take my TV experience to the next level. As long as my wine glass is fully dimensional, and full, I’m good.

  8. Ninja Mom says:

    I prefer the HD, but can’t be bothered to make finding those channels a priority. So, I resolve this by leaving the remote in the Hubster’s hands. Let him do all the defining.

  9. Alicia says:

    we decided not to own a TV. but the HD/no HD theme pops up since we have a HD projector for watching movies and good shows. not surprising, i am with you kim – i don’t need HD. nico, well, he’s QUITE a bit more interested in HD (see the Aston Martin comment above). i wonder what the caveman version of this conversation was?

    • fordeville says:

      I’m sorry. I think you have a typo. Because your comment reads: “We decided not to own a TV.”
      And it’s making my brain hurt to think this might be real.

  10. huz and i have identical debate almost nightly, but we have an additional twist where he asks if i DVR’d the shows in HD, and when i say no, he asks if i would, and i say are you f*king kidding, and so he recorded them in HD, so now all the shows record twice!!!

    marriage is not easy, i tell you, not easy at all!

    • fordeville says:

      We have this too, Anna. P records them in HD, which means I can’t watch them off the DVR from the old TV in our bedroom. Grrrr.

  11. Onnie says:

    Not sure how strongly J would feel about the picture quality, but she surely would be annoyed at having to choose between the two types of channels. Luckily, our set top box has a magical setting that only tunes (and DVRs) the HD channels… problem solved.

    If only you knew a guy who worked on devices like that…

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