You know those little plastic plug thingies you put in electrical outlets so that kids don't stick their fingers and such into them? Turns out, they're there for a reason. My parents dutifully put these in all the outlets in our house, and, when I was just past the age where they figured I couldn't possibly be stupid enough to stick anything into an outlet, I found an innocent little piece of copper wire. At this point, you can see where this story is headed. Lacking any polyvinyl chloride polymer to impede my process, and always having an inquisitive mind, I inserted said wire into said outlet. The results were predictable. I believe vaporization was involved. Since then, I've had a healthy (ahem) respect for electricity.
I must admit I, and I assume you, had never heard of this company before this review. The boss (Maureen Jenson) had been talking with them and had a review sample sent to our studio. I didn't find that part out until later. As far as I knew, this product quietly and unceremoniously just showed up. Its plain, unlabeled brown box was so nondescript that it lay unnoticed for several days. Had we not been clearing space to make room for the six RPTVs from the Face Off we had just finished (see our February 2005 issue), who knows how long it may have sat there. I opened the box to check out what it was, and my eye caught what your eye surely caught when you read the headline above: 1080p. As I investigated further, this DVD player only got cooler.
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.
I must admit, I was a bit skeptical. Or perhaps wary is a better description. Thirteen months ago, in these very pages, I reviewed a stellar Panasonic plasma, the TH-42PX25. It had the best black level and contrast ratio to date for a plasma. We even gave it our Best Flat-Panel Display RAVE Award for 2005. It was $6,000. A mere year later, its replacement model—the TH-42PX500U—has almost identical specs and is $3,500. My penchant for sushi notwithstanding, I was expecting something fishy.
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.