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.
I just can't resist poking fun at Sony's seemingly unending supply of strange and unpronounceable nomenclature. It has no direct bearing on a product, per se, but keeping track of all of the acronyms, abbreviations, and manufactured words takes up a sizable chunk of the already overtaxed (and undersized) mind of a reviewer. Regardless, Sony wasn't content just using the name LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) to describe their version of the technology. They instead call it SXRD (sex-erd?), or Silicon X-tal Reflective Display. Believe it or not, the "X-tal" is short for crystal. I'm not saying that JVC's name for their version of LCOS is any better: D-ILA. (This is an even less logical abbreviation: Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier? It doesn't amplify anything.) Each company takes pains to describe how different their version of the technology is from everybody else's. To be fair, this is true. Each of the two companies' core design and manufacturing are different. When it comes down to it, though, the proof is in the pudding, or, in this case, the RPTV.
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.
If it gets your signal in or out, it's probably here.
Talking about connections isn't very exciting. Cables themselves are about as sexy as hair clippings. Both are crucial, though, in getting the best-quality signal from your source components to your playback components. (This doesn't include hair clippings). So, here is a list of all the connections you're likely to come across and how they do what they do. They're also arranged in order from worst to best. Keep in mind that, in some cases, the connector and the signal share the same name; in others, the connector isn't exclusively associated with a particular type of signal.