How people look on HDTV

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The Times is running an article on the challenge of HDTV for pornographic movies (also see this Slate article from 2003). The problem here is that the improved resolution of HD is a bit too revealing of flaws that were easier to hide in standard def.
They have discovered that the technology is sometimes not so sexy. The high-definition format is accentuating imperfections in the actors from a little extra cellulite on a leg to wrinkles around the eyes.

Hollywood is dealing with similar problems, but they are more pronounced for pornographers, who rely on close-ups and who, because of their quick adoption of the new format, are facing the issue more immediately than mainstream entertainment companies.

Producers are taking steps to hide the imperfections. Some shots are lit differently, while some actors simply are not shot at certain angles, or are getting cosmetic surgery, or seeking expert grooming.

They may not be the only ones. Here's Neal Stephenson writing in 1995:

All of the politicians currently in power will be voted out of office and we will have a completely new power structure. Because high-definition television has a flat gamma curve and higher resolution, and people who look good on today's television will look bad on HDTV and voters will respond accordingly. Their oversized pores will be visible, the red veins in their noses from drinking too much, the artificiality of their TV-friendly hairdos will make them all look, on HDTV, like country-and-western singers. A new generation of politicians will take over and they will all look like movie stars, because HDTV will be a great deal like film, and movie stars know how to look good on film.

I haven't seen enough politicians in person to know if that's true...


Alternatively, we'll realise that they're all imperfect, and start voting for better reasons than that.

US politicians always look like casino singers to me anyway.

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