Apple TV Takes One Step Closer to HD Support

I’m such a gadget freak and are one of the many “early adopters”, that help new products take off while dwindling my bank balance.

I’m resisting the urge to buy the Apple TV, until I’m sure there’ll be enough content to download and stream to my 52″ HD TV. CNET’s Crave blog has news that the first HD video podcasts are starting to emerge on iTunes, but they’re still a long way off from normal HD quality.

Overall, it was a big step up from previous iTunes fare, but critical viewers will find it falls short of HD broadcasts and even most DVDs. When viewed on a 42-inch Panasonic plasma TV, the improved resolution was evident on the images of John Edwards speaking to an auditorium full of students, but false contouring and solarization artifacts were easy to pick out in the background (white walls were a prime culprit). Close-ups of Edwards’ face also exhibited some swimming pixels. Likewise, the depth of field offered was good, but not comparable to what you’d find on an HD broadcast (let alone a Blu-ray or HD DVD movie).

Come on Apple, give me a better reason to buy it. I managed to get the HD TV by convincing my wife that it would improve our TV viewing – and she agrees it has – but I don’t think “Ask a Ninja” on our TV is a good enough reason to pony up $300 at this stage.