Sorry, but I just can't get excited about the Xbox 360. I know many of you lump gamers together in some sort of homogenous, pasty, bunch, but in fact there are many sub-categories. In my mind, there are two main genera in the gamer family; console, and computer. I, am one of the latter.
According to politicians and the news media, there is an epidemic of youth violence in this country, and it’s the fault of violent video games. This myth seems to be believed by everyone who isn’t a gamer, or who believes the news media or politicians. Now I’m ok if you’re not a gamer, but if you believe everything politicians and the news media tell you, I have some land to sell you, real cheap.
I’m sure more that a few of you watch The Daily Show. If you don’t, I don’t care why not so don’t tell me. In case you missed it, Monday’s show had Jimmy Carter (yes, that Jimmy Carter). At one point he mentioned he had TiVo, and used it to record The Daily Show to watch during the day. I’m not sure what I found more fascinating, that an 80 year old would have TiVo and know how to use it, or that an ex-President would have TiVo and know how to use it. I don’t care what your politics are, that is just cool.
Ok, it's been a month since the re-launch of the shiny new hometheatermag.com. It seems like everyone likes it, which is good. I’ve gotten some responses about HTGamer, but I’d like to hear more. Like:
There is nothing more awe inspiring to both the grandeur and folly of humans as flying into L.A. at night. How the lights spread near infinite in all directions. How the houses inch their way up the mountains, like tendrils trying gradually to suffocate the last surviving ground. Somewhere in the pic to the left is our Woodland Hills Studio (seriously). I was returning from a Thanksgiving week spent in a strange and far away land: Alabama. I found out that spending a week without HD is hard. Spending a week without TiVo is harder.
See, I told you. Once a week is far too often to be interesting. For the moment, go check out HTGamer, we've put up a few new games in the past week. I'll post some more blog stuff tomorrow. Maybe it will even be video related.
I hate contrast ratio. It's a stupid and pretty much useless measurement. It's up there on the list with horsepower as a useless number that tells you next to nothing about actual performance. "My SUV has 300 horsepower!" yeah, and a 0-60 time pushing double digits. Congratulations. Hmm, bad example. 0-60 is a useless number too, but that's a different conversation.
We had our 3rd bi-annual RPTV face off yesterday. It will be in the February issue, which you subscribers should be getting in about 7 weeks. As I mentioned previously, all the sets were 1080p. They ranged in size from 50 to 62 inches diagonal with an average price just over $4000. We had a panel of 5 judges rank each of the 6 TVs on a variety of factors and on a variety of material. What is perhaps most interesting is that the TV that came in last place this year was better than at least half of the TVs from the 2004 face off. TV competition is fast and furious, and the buyer/enthusiast profits the most from this. For example, the average full on/full off contrast ratio was right around 5000:1, a vast improvement over the digital sets from two years ago. And as far as CRTs go, well, CRT is dead. Sorry. We loved you dearly.
In the middle of October, we suffered a bit of a catastrophe here at the Studio. Apparently someone from the building behind ours left their sprinklers on all weekend (or maybe more). The ground got saturated, and with no where else to go, it seeped through the foundation (or something) and flooded the back of our Studio. Conveniently, this is where my office/our test lab, our listening room, and our storage room all are. If any of you have experienced flooding, you know that water is an evil, evil thing. It gets everywhere, and brings with it everyone's favorite fungi: mold.
One other thing that I want to talk about in this space is HD TV shows. While I won't force anyone to watch some of the movies I watch, I do however know good TV. One of the most distressing aspects of television watching is falling in love with a show, only to have it cancelled by an incompetent network (Firefly) or lack of viewers (tons of shows). So occasionally I'm going to put up a few shows that you should check out, if you haven't already. With few exceptions, they'll be HD, or at least widescreen. Trust me, if I'm watching them, they're worth watching.
I guess I should welcome you all to my blog. Does anyone actually read these things? I guess I’ll find out. Being the Video Editor, I’ll take this space to babble on about all things video. Certainly hardware will take up a big chunk of blog space, but I’ll also talk about HD program material, video games, and anything else you can put up on a big screen. I’ll try to make this space as informative and fun to read as possible, but seeing as I have a hard enough time being interesting once a month in the magazine, doing it once a week should be. . . well, we shall see.