12 November 2006


High Def

We finally took the plunge and upgraded the video part of our home theater from Mack's 14-year-old 25" RCA to a 50" Panasonic plasma. It's a pro display, no speakers, no tuner. (In case you are curious, we paid nowhere near MSRP.)

Home Theater Upgrade

Woo -wee, am I impressed. Great saturated colors. Great blacks. Great definition. The screen's actually 1366x768 square pixels, so it's high def, even if every image format has to be interpolated to display.

We have been trying to decide among plasma direct-view and DLP and LCD rear-projection systems for some time, and we both just liked the look of plasma better. It glows! The "should we wait for 1080p plasma?" decision was there, too. We decided that for our room size, for the distance one would usually sit to watch the screen, that while 1080p would be visibly better, that waiting another year or so for 1080p plasma prices to drop into our affordability range just didn't make sense.

So far, we're impressed. The picture quality on the HD channels is so much better than standard-definition TV on all manner of programming. Movies look great -- The Star Wars movies shot in digital looked excellent -- but even more so, live sports are just fantastic. We watched FSU get crushed by Wake Forest last night, followed by the end of Kansas State beating Texas. I'm looking forward to the pro games.

The TV also has good upsampling from 480p content like DVDs. We (finally -- Darren gave us the DVD for Christmas like three years ago or something) watched The Italian Job, and it looked surprisingly good.

We've got to run to Radio Shack to pick up 4A shorty fuses for the subwoofer. They blew out while we were getting the universal remote up and operating. It was turning the receiver on and off to quickly. All the electronics -- cable box, DVD/VHS, and receiver -- are in the cabinet. Mack did a super job of mounting the TV and running the wires to it through the wall. He also did the tedious job of assembling the electronics cabinet.

I'm excited! I've wasted a lot of money over the course of my life on the latest electronics (see Quadraphonic). More recently I've managed to get involved with such in a much more considered, determined, and detached manner. It's still fun, though, to every now and then move up a step on the technology ladder.


Money well spent, I say. HD content is pretty happening, eh? Discovery HD will never disappoint; what they lack in content, they make up for in sheer dazzle that'll impress the hell out your friends.

Big points to Mack for assembling the cabinet.
Oh yes, you had that Sansui receiver with the ultra-cool magenta displays, was that the one?

By the way - a sizzling porn DVD is really cool on a huge TV...
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