Guess what arrived yesterday?
Click through to find out.
My new TV!
So far, everything looks great. It’s an HDTV, but unfortunately, I don’t have any HDTV channels to watch on it. I could get an antenna for over-the-air-broadcasts of a few channels, but then I would have to forego TiVo, which just doesn’t seem worth it. But DVDs look brilliant. And the larger screen (42″, vs. my previous TV at 27″) is a huge improvement.
I’ve read lots of complaints about how LCD TVs (both projection and flat panel) make regular cable TV almost unwatchable because it reveals and heightens all of the flaws in the relatively low-quality NTSC image. But in my limited experience, it looks reasonably ok. You can certainly see flaws that weren’t noticeable before, but it isn’t so bad that it’s uncomfortable to watch. Though I will say that TiVo’s compression artifacts are much more noticeable now. I think I’m going to have to turn up the quality level on my season passes (which may in turn lead to the purchase of a larger harddrive).
Thus far, my only complaint about the TV is that it takes far too long to switch between video inputs. Generally, all video signals are switched through my receiver, so most of the time I don’t have to change inputs on the TV. But I decided to patch the component video output of the DVD player straight into the TV after seeing what a huge difference it made in the quality of the image. So I do have to manually switch the inputs, and it takes several seconds to jump from input 1 to input 2. During which time the screen is totally dark. And there are 8 inputs to cycle through, so if you miss the one you’re trying to find, you have to start all over. It’s most annoying.
On the other hand, the on-screen interface is really nice. It’s the best I’ve ever seen on a piece of consumer electronics. Visually, it’s pleasing, high-rez, which smooth corners and attractive gradients. The remote has a four-way pad which makes navigation is fast, smooth and easy. There are fairly helpful explanations of what each setting does right there on-screen. I’m most impressed.
The first thing I watched (after getting it everything set up) was episode one of Firefly. The movie is coming up, and I plan to re-view the series before it comes out. And I know that I’ve got a Lord of the Rings Extended Edition marathon waiting on me this weekend. After that, Star Wars seems a likely choice. And then, who knows?