Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hertz So Good

Friday after work I decided to bicycle out to the mall for a little extra exercise, and I popped in to Best Buy. After all, I needed a thumb drive. And while roaming the aisles, I came across the sale floor models and I spotted a discontinued Samsung monster television that was half price and would play nice with my Samsung Blu-Ray player and has an Internet hookup and an LCD with a 240 hz refresh rate. It's way more TV than I need, but it was half price. I bought it on the spot, and then was forced to bicycle back home so I could get the car to pick it up.

Sweet Jesus, 240 Hz has already changed my life.

Okay, maybe not, but it sure has changed television. I spend a lot of time loitering in electronics stores so I've already seen what they call the "soap opera effect," that way these TV's turn film into something resembling really well-lit videotape. But I'm telling you now, watching Wall-E for five minutes is one thing, but watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind (the original cut) in 1080p for the whole two hours is mesmerizing. I think I may have reacted even more emotionally to it then when I first saw it in theaters. It's MORE VIVID! And after a while, you just get used to it but by then it's in your head, man!

The TV does this to lesser sources too. My most frequent off-air viewing is THIS TV, a station that shows 480i prints of basically anything in the MGM film library that couldn't be sold off to someone else. Even that crap looks like video! Just muddy video. The TV improved the viewing of Starcrossed, an alien/human romance from Canada starring James Spader. To give you an idea of why it's on THIS TV, Spader plays the human.

Also I can take any of the AVI files I downloaded (back before that cease-and-desist letter), copy them to a thumb drive (which I picked up - what the hell, as long as I'm in the store) and plug 'em into the side of the TV, and voila! Doctor Who! I do so love me my Doctor Who. Does this surprise you, after learning what a gadget-head I am?

In theory the TV can access any of the movie files on the hard drive of my iMac, though we're still working on that. My television and I. Also I'm having trouble making the TV recognize the iPhone App that will allow my iPhone to act as a remote/interface. Yes, my TV has an iPhone app. Bwahhahaahaahah!

I am deep in the throes of gadget fever this week, but I'm looking forward to next month, when the novelty has worn off and I'm back to using the TV for twice-monthly viewing of Netflix selections. In the meantime expect no rational thought from me.

1 comment:

  1. The advent of new high-frequency HDTVs is going to be a historically significant milestone, and one that is remarkably under-reported.

    The entirety of film (and broadcast) history can be seen as a technological mission to provide the most immersive, immediate experience possible-- to make a work of entertainment as realistic as possible for the viewer. B&W film, to Sound, to Color, to Cinemascope, to Television (immediacy over spectacle) to color TV, to HDTV and 3D. Now you can watch even mundane TV shows and 24p movies on a screen witha refresh rate that surpasses that of the retinal-neuronic matrix in the human brain. The screen vanishes.

    I'll have to expand on this.