I appreciate that higher resolutions are on the way, no one is going stop that. Movie theatres want it, some home viewers want it (many on this board), but I don't care much one way or the other, and I suspect I'm not alone. But I won't care unless I'm forced to upgrade when I don't want to, of course. When we went from analog to digital, I welcomed the thinner TV and new aspect ratio, I get all the TV signals I want off-air (live in Ottawa), but I am not happy that I lost the ability to record programming for later viewing. The ability to do that seems to be tied to paid-for boxes from either the cable companies or satellites, so what used to be free now would cost me money. I understand why that is, but regardless, I lost something. (I have heard of off-air PVRs, but have not looked into them.)
But my HD TV is only 32 inches (or maybe 36), perfect for my viewing room, and I am never going to live anywhere bigger, so the benefits of higher resolution don't mean much to me. I have rented movies from iTunes in both HD and SD and can't tell the difference. If I could them view side by side, I might be able to tell, but don't care enough to try to find out if that's true. When I'm watching Wallander or Inspector Lewis, minor gains in picture resolution are irrelevant, but since I can still save a buck by getting the SD version, that's ok with me. Others can buy whatever they want. I would not be happy, when 4K becomes ubiquitous, if the SD choice goes away and I have to pay more (and it WILL cost more, it always does) for what I don't want because the other choices disappeared. In many ways, DVDs reached a point of sufficiency for me, from the picture quality point of view. Given that so much viewing is occurring on iPads and laptops anyway, the consumer need for higher resolution is not so obvious to me. As MR says, though, the need to sell more TVs may be real enough and may be part of the driving force, I don't know whether he was being facetious when he wrote that.