The Olympics in HD. Just Plain Better.

I love technology.  I know that's probably pretty obvious to anyone who comes to a site named "HotHardware", but I just had to say it.

So, what has inspired me to state the obvious in this blog post?  The Olympics.  As my partners in crime here on the site can attest, I'm not much of a sports guy.  Save for idolizing Roy Jones Jr. and following boxing and a little bit of MMA, I don't stay on top of any other sport.  But when the Olympics roll around, for some reason, I watch daily--no matter the event.  Perhaps it's because I feel a sense of pride and want to root for my countrymen whenever they compete.  Or maybe it's because I recognize the greatness in some of the competitors.  Whatever the reason, the Olympics suck me in every time.

This particular Olympics, however, has really gotten me excited.  And it's not because Michael Phelps kicked so much ass or that Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson took the gold and silver in the women's all-around.  That helped.  But it's because watching the events in HD on a flat screen TV is a totally different experience than was possible on a clunky, old, standard def CRT.  And I don't even have an elaborate home theater set up (yet).  The put it simply, the HD experience is just plain better.

In addition to enjoying the games in much higher resolution, with more vivid color, and better audio, I also enjoyed seeing how technology had enhanced the games in so many ways.  The digital overlays on the water made it much easier to track the swimmers as they made their way across the pool (eating Michael Phelps' wake).  The "world record line" that showed the exact position the swimmers and runners needed to be in to break a record was just plain cool.  And the myriad of different floating, flying, or rolling cameras that gave viewers clear shots of the athletes from almost any angle--without detracting from the events--were also great.  The laptops and digital video that helped judges pick out deficiencies in a gymnast's routine.  Out of bounds sensors.  Pressure pads that could discern the touch of an athlete with .001 second resolution.  Touch sensors in the protective fencing suits.  Great, Great, Great, and Great.

All of the people involved, from the athletes, to the cameramen, to the laborers that built such top notch facilities should be commended.  My opinion may not be indicative of everyone, but these Olympic games have been my favorite so far.  The drama certainly helped.  But, for me, all of the great technology on display did as well.

Or maybe it was just Alicia Sacramone.