Analyst Disses Quad, Says 'HD is the New SD'

For millions of consumers in North America and overseas, HD and DVR have become "technological necessities of life that they just can't do without," said industry analyst iSuppli. The El Segundo, Calif. firm predicts that by 2012, more than 70 percent of digital set-top boxes shipped will be able to support HD or DVR, or both. That would double the number of current STBs currently attuned to such technologies, iSuppli said in a new study.

Noting that "HD is the new SD," iSuppli said, "With a perfect storm of lower-cost HD technology, increasing HD content and greater high-speed Internet access, HD will become the mainstream resolution by 2012. The firm did not distinguish between 720p, 1080p or 1080i but said the majority preference for some form of current HD will likely to be a "one-time transition."

It said while companies begin to think about developing Quad Definition with its higher resolution, displays with twice the resolution of HD, most consumers will never need to adopt this technology. The firm said Quad HD (or Quad Definition)—which is double 1080p, or 2160p—provides far greater detail than most people can appreciate. Quad HD is being primarily researched and marketed by Samsung, which has shown it off at recent trade shows.

"In most cases, today's HD displays have greater resolution than the human eye can discern," said iSuppli. "Except for those few people buying garage door-size displays, you will not notice any improvement with Quad Definition—unless, of course, you happen to be an eagle."