Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"You Wrap It Up, I'll Start Bringing In the Pennies"

Well, after much debate and deliberation, Malibu Stacy and I just bit the bullet and purchased a new 42" plasma HDTV. If you like to watch your TV -- and I mean, really like to watch your TV -- this is the way for you. Trust me, pally.

If you've never been transfixed by the Hypnotoad-like powers of HDTV, you really don't know what you're missing. The wider screen, of course, adds a lot to the equation, but it's really more about quality than quantity. The picture is so crisp that I can actually discern the razor-thin dividing lines between our celebrity couples -- Tomkat, Brangelia, Czechoslovakia, etc.

And for sporting events, it's absolutely breathtaking. I watched Game 3 of the NBA Finals last night, and I could actually see the individual oil droplets on Pat Riley's hair. And Mark Cuban seemed so lifelike I could've spat on him.

Sure, there are dangers in the HDTV. For one thing, I've discovered that some people -- my local news anchors, David Letterman, etc. -- might not be ready for their extreme close-up. And, for another, there's a very good chance that I could develop bed sores sitting on my couch for the next month of World Cup action. (Seriously, what's a guy got to do to get turned around here?) But I'm willing to take those risks.

Don't believe me? Check out this great ad for the Sony Bravia. Very cool imagery, with Jose Gonzalez providing musical support.


Thrillhous said...

Ah, the Carnivale. What a model. You just don't get molded plastic gripslike that anymore.

Mrs. T's momma has one of those HD thingies (well, her momma's husband has one), and you're right on all counts. Here's a couple words of warning:

1) You will soon find non-HDtv hard to watch. You will much rather watch golf in HD than football on regular TV (okay, that's hyperbole - nobody should ever want to watch golf).

2) You will start to add HD status to your mental profiles of your friends. You will spend less time with friends who don't have HD - and if they don't have Tivo either, they're off the speed dial in 6 months.

3) You will find yourself continually adjusting the volume, always upwards. I can't really explain this, it just happens. Next thing you know you're like that guy in the memorex (or maxell?) ads.

4) The left- and rightmost portions of the screen will eventually be slightly darker than the central portion. Basically, the parts that aren't on when you're watching a non-HD show get burned a little (like old computer monitors), and when you put on an HD show you can make out the slight difference in brightness. Not a big deal, but noticeable (this happened on a conventional glass tube-style HDtv, not a plasma or dlp).

Otto Man said...

You will soon find non-HDtv hard to watch. You will much rather watch golf in HD than football on regular TV

I've had it for a day, and I already realize that's true. I actually watched the Discovery Channel last night instead of South Park.

I have a plasma, so hopefully the burnt edges thing won't happen with mine. If it will, that's all the more reason to lock in Discovery HD. Think about how much I'll learn about the ecosystem!

Thrillhous said...

Yep, that happened to me too. I have never found a bunch of flitting fishes to be so fascinating (while sober).

Otto Man said...

Exactly. My folks got one of these a year ago, and the entire family sat around after Christmas Eve dinner hypnotized by an aquarium show. It was like my mom had laced the turkey with acid.

Otto Man said...

By the way, nice catch on the Carnivale reference. I love that character. Thought I'd gone to the "Panaphonics" well one too many times already.

Ra_wiggum said...

The Discovery channel always has great HD shows. I've learned more about science in the last year than I did in the previous 10. Maybe this is the way we can solve America's educational crisis!

Otto - Plasmas suffer from burn-in, not LCD. So make sure you watch those non-HD channels in stretch mode so you lose the vertical bars.

Otto Man said...

Good to know, Ralphie. I appreciate the tip, even if it means you've regeeked yourself.

Thrillhous said...

That is a great tip, RW!

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

I really like my mom's HD, but I didn't understand why, at first, all available programming was either nature shots or sweaty meatheads playing football. And then they threw in Sopranos! Who knew those guys could get uglier?!

My stepfather spews nonstop commentary during all games, any sport. (Especially on how much he hates the play-by-play guy[s].) And HD has caused me, thus far, to endure it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've taken to watching my tiny 17" HD LCD in stretch mode, but all of sudden you find yourself wondering why people are so fat all of a sudden, and unless you're watching Ronaldo wonder aimlessly around the penalty box, it's because of the damn stretch mode!

Now that I've become addicted to HD on the small screen, I'm itching to step it up to the 37-42 range.

Otto Man said...

That Ronaldo joke was well played, my friend.