Squashed squawking heads

February 29, 2008

Getting snowed out of Springfield, Illinois last week gave me an extra 8 or 10 hours to sit around airports and find things to gripe about.

Is anyone else bothered by the tendency to use high-definition television monitors with a regular TV signal, and then spread the picture out to cover the screen, which makes the victims on the television look as if they’d been modified for a guest appearance on South Park?

Lou Dobbs on CNN, squashed
Has Lou Dobbs really gained that much weight?
(This image is for illustration of the phenomenon only.)

Am I the only person who prefers that people look like people, even if there is a blank area on the television screen? In the past year I’ve been in a couple dozen classrooms where the projectors were set to distort every image transmitted. For a presentation on, say, Emmitt Till, or the death of Rosa Parks, I thought the settings disrespectful at best.

How can they call it “high definition” if it distorts everyones’ faces?

I was relieved late Sunday to get back home to our old, analog televisions and normal human proportions on the screen.

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