As Seen on TV review: HD Vision sunglasses


The Product: HD Vision Sunglasses
The Price: HD Vision Ultra, online $10 plus $6.99 shipping and handling: $9.99 in some retail stores: HD Vision WrapAround, online $14.99 plus $7.95 shipping and handling: $9.99 in some retail stores.
The Claims: Reduces glare; enhances color and clarity
Buy-O-Meter Rating: 3 out of 5

HD Vision glasses are making hay from the current "high definition" craze.

In TV land, high definition means employing a couple of million pixels to make television look more like life. In the world of sunglasses, HD means ... well, who the heck knows what it means? Making life look more like life?

HD sounds impressive. And the line of HD Vision glasses by Idea Village -- including HD Ultra Sunglasses worn alone, and HD WrapArounds worn over prescription glasses -- does change the way we see things in certain lighting and settings.

On low-light days, these plastic glasses with amber lenses do make colors seem more vivid. Greens look greener, blues bluer. On hazy days, when everything looks washed out, HD Vision glasses make everything pop.

Amber lenses, which increase contrast and clarity during low-light conditions, do not represent cutting-edge technology. Skiers have always used amber to help them see moguls on cloudy days, and Ducks Unlimited puts its logo on amber shooting glasses that help hunters blow birds from the skies at dawn and dusk.

Although HD Vision glasses do protect eyes from damaging ultra violet rays, they do not block the sun on bright days as well as dark-lens sunglasses. And they do not cut water glare as well as polarized lenses. For instance, I can see fish swimming in a trout stream with my polarized fishing glasses, but not with the HD Vision Ultras.

HD Vision glasses boast "Euro-Style Design." But, I'll warn you, the 24/7 fashion paraders in Rome and Paris will laugh you off the streets in these graceless glasses with black or tortoise shell frames. Whose "Euro" are they talking about anyway?

The bottom line on HD Vision glasses: Put on a pair during the hazy days of summer. But when the light's bright, you will see clearer with standard-definition dark sunglasses.

Read more of our As Seen on TV product reviews.