Random TV-Related Things

  1. My parents bought this plasma TV at Best Buy during boxing week. What surprises me is how integration with upconverting DVD players and HD set-top boxes is so unpolished. At the current level of integration, it’s clear that the whole HDTV thing is aimed squarely at the early adopter. The surprising thing is how much penetration it has at the consumer level – just check out how hard Future Shop is pushing HDTV for the upcoming Super Bowl.
  2. My question is, how do Joe-and-Sally-average buy HDTV equipment and set it up themselves at home? My guess is they do it sub-optimally. I picture them setting it all up, then having their own eyes tell them that it doesn’t look as good as they thought it would. Trouble is, it probably looks better than the 10-year-old CRT that it replaced, so they can’t be sure if it’s actually supposed to be so underwhelming.
  3. Lemme tell ya though, when everything’s set up correctly, 1080i and 720p HD broadcasts are absolutely breathtaking. There are only about 20 HD channels, and they’re of varying quality because a lot depends on the quality of the original source material, and also whether the broadcaster has done any detrimental post-processing. The Rogers HD demo channel seems to have the Much Music 2004 Video Awards on endless loop though. It’s a good choice – the young and nubile are particularly well suited for display at high resolution. That sounds kinda dirty.
  4. The funny thing is that Bonnie refuses to even look at the HD channels. She says that once she’s seen them, she’ll never be able to go back. No, there’s no convincing her. I tried with the “We should stop eating at nice restaurants, because we’ll never be able to go back” argument, but no dice. Meh.
  5. Since my parents got the new plasma and DVD player, Bonnie and I inherited their old 27″ Sony CRT and “high-quailty” Vsonic DVD player. This, combined with GoodLife now offering free DVD rentals to members means that we’ve been doing nothing but working out and watching movies for the past week. Not good, the TV just sucks the time away, it’s such a waste. I think this further cements the resolution that we’ll never be getting cable.
  6. Now a random selection of quickie movie reviews…

    • The Incredibles
      One-line review: Another home run for Disney/Pixar, I think it’s their best to date.
      Unanswered question: If Violet were invisible while eating, what would happen to the food? Would you be able to see it in her stomach and watch it slowly turn invisible as it was digested? That’d be kinda cool.
      Best scene: Jack-jack turning into a little devil and going postal on Buddy at the end of the movie.
    • Closer
      One-line review: Natalie Portman almost nekkid, what’s not to like? Clive Owen is also quite the nasty villian – I’m only used to him helping lost Tibetan boys and such.
      Unanswered question: I’m not quite sure I understand the ending. OK, so she fooled those handsome Englishmen good. Now she’s gonna rope in some startlingly unattractive New Yorkers too? I don’t get her deal.
      Best scene: “I don’t stalk, I lurk.“.
    • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
      One-line review: Like all Wes Anderson movies, this one’s great because all of the characters are such losers that take themselves so incredibly seriously. It’s jolly good fun to watch.
      Unanswered question: No seriously, what’s with the red caps?
      Best scene: Bill Murray grooving to his piped in music.
    • The Delicate Art of Parking
      One-line review: Not a fan of the faux documentary style. The faux documentarist is kinda sleazy looking too.
    • Mona Lisa Smile
      One-line review: Meh, just your standard chick flick. As an aside, is it just me or is there something vaguely rabbit-like about Maggie Gyllenhaal?
    • Something’s Gotta Give
      One-line review: Meh, more formulaic chick flick stuff, but for old chicks I guess. Has Jack Nicholson been playing the same character since As Good As It Gets?

Comments are closed.