Mon Feb 16, 2009

Simpsons in High Def

The Simpsons had their first ever broadcast in high definition last night, and it was awesome.

I had been noticing for the last few years that the opening credits, which were probably produced around 1989, had started to look technicolor. The storyline of the new opening credits is slightly different, but it's mostly the same but the image quality looks amazing. Of course there were always gags in the opening credits that made it different every week, most of the opening credits were the same.

Posted by: jav on Feb 16, 09 | 10:43 am | Profile

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Mon Jul 14, 2008

The DirecTV HR20 is the crappiest DVR ever

When I got my HD TV, I had to upgrade my DirecTV service to HD. This means I had to get rid of my DirecTivo, and get the DirecTV HR-20. I was a bit weary since Tivo has the reputation for having the best user interface, and all other DVRs are amazingly bad.

My experience with the HR-20 started out OK. Almost every feature in the HR-20 is not as good as the Tivo equivalent, but nothing was horrible enough to get my knickers in a bunch.

Then, the other day, I tried setting up a new Series Link, which is the HR-20's version of a Season Pass. I was informed that I already had 50 Series Links, and so I needed to remove a Series Link, because 50 was the maximum.

What the hell? I don't want to have to deal with this! I want to record what I want to record, and I don't want some piddly device telling me it's too much of a useless wimp to handle more than 50 series links. It's a freakin' computer. It should have no limit. I work on the iPod, and you can put thousands and thousands and thousands of songs on it. Clearly us iPod engineers are much more skilled than the buffoons engineering these DVRs. I'm going to need plenty of more series links when the fall TV season starts.

I started Googling to see if other people had this problem, and I see people talking about it as far back as November 2006. So I'm not alone, and it's not something the DirecTV are able to fix in the last year and a half, so I have little faith in their engineering abilities to fix it anytime soon. Losers.

Posted by: jav on Jul 14, 08 | 12:24 am | Profile

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Mon May 26, 2008

Now in High Def

I've had my eye on getting a new HD TV for a while, and I finally got one last week. It's a huge 52" LCD. I got a deal on it through an employee discount at work, although to be honest, I'm not sure if I really got a good deal or not.

When I got it, I had to pull it out of the box sideways and attach the stand to it. When I finished and lifted it up, I stood back to admire the greatness of it. My wife was observing me, and inquired if I could feel my manhood enlarging.

I hooked it up to my existing standard definition Tivo. Things looked much larger, but now I could see the limitations of the standard definition.

I tried to watch some over the air channels. At first my TV could not find any. Then I remembered that the previous owners had a TV antennae on the roof, so I connected that to the TV. The TV now found about 30 digital channels and some analog channels.

The analog channels looked as bad as I predicted they would. Not clear with lots of static. But the digital ones came in totally clear. I see why they're turning off analog. But digital doesn't mean high definition. Some channels came in high definition, and they looked absolutely amazing. I remember watching David Letterman in high definition, and being awed at how I could see the fabric of the chair that the guest was sitting on, and because the show was widescreen, being able to see items like his mug of pencils that I wouldn't have been able to see before.

I tried playing a DVD. I had a DVD player that's about 6 or so years old. It's best outputs were S-video and component. When playing on the TV, I could really notice the pixelation when I tried playing the DVD widescreen. I may need to fiddle with some settings on the DVD player. Modern DVD players offer a HDMI output and upscale to 1080p, and even more modern DVD players are Blu Ray.

The moral is that when you get a high definition TV, you'll realize quickly how all your old standard definition equipment isn't good enough anymore. I'll post some more describing ways I got around these problems.

Posted by: jav on May 26, 08 | 5:07 pm | Profile

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