No internet or HDTV

When I got home this evening I found that the lights on the cable modem was not flashing. So I promptly cycled the power, hoping it would solve the problem like previous times. Not so lucky this time and when I turned on the TV to see if it was just the cable modem I found the set-top box was out too. So no internet or TV, and this happened on the night of 24 season finales!

Time Warner Cable could only send a technician out here on Wednesday so we’ll be entertainment-less until then. At least the recorded shows on the DVR are Ok so at we can watch them. And I guess this also give me time to read all the magazines and books…

'Tiny TV' people

British people, you want to know why the UK never get the latest technology first? Here is yet another example of more FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Distrust) from what I called ‘Tiny TV’ people in Britain.

Most HD-ready models start at 26″ (66cm). But the more wall space you can devote to a plasma screen, the more likely it is that you will see drops of sweat on footballers’ faces or every last shard of glass during an explosion on 24.

In order to sit back and watch a big plasma screen without damaging my eyes, I would have to knock down two walls and put my sofa in my neighbour’s flat.

But as well as all that, I actually think my TV’s picture, with a digital satellite box hooked up to it, looks fine as it is.

Perhaps I need to see standard and high definition sets side-by-side to appreciate the difference – but I feel no great need to change.

26″? No wonder why the author of this BBC article doesn’t think HDTV is up to its hype. He should have try at least a 40″ TV before writing that article. But then ‘Tiny TV’ people never feel there is a need for TV bigger than 14″ anyway. And if they have their ways, black & white picture and mono sound are just fine too.

You also don’t have to sit way back for large TV. There is a well known formula to work out the viewing distance for a particular TV size for HDTV (See this and this). Not to mention the whole reason of going higher resolution is not to cause eye strain from trying to make out details from the pictures that are fuzzy in the first place. I don’t see people complaining the viewing distance of a movie when they sit in the middle of the cinema!

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You can run but you can't hide

I know there are only a few episode left for The West Wing (exactly one after tonight), but that shouldn’t mean the production crew can ease off! Starting three episodes ago, Leah and I both noticed a camera focusing issue with many shots. For example, in tonight episode about 40% of the shots were out of focus. They were either couple of inches too deep or too short, sometimes nearly a foot. So the actors faces were never in focus, but their collars or knees were.

I can definitely take a guess that perhaps the cameraman did not see the focus problem because they were not monitoring on HD monitor. Normal TV in Standard Definition hides pretty much everything errors one can make because of its low quality. But what has changed? Did they switch from shooting on film (as I remembered reading from somewhere, possibly the AVS Forum) to shooting on HD camera? Or did they simply drop the ball because it doesn’t matter any more? I can forgive one episode but three in a roll? There is no excuse!

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Mars? Yes! Hubble Space Telescope? No!

Rutan Takes Aim at NASA’s CEV Plans, Likens it to ‘Archeology’

“The budget forecast [for NASA] is to go out and spend hundreds of billions of dollar to go to Mars and yet you don’t have the courage to go back to the Hubble … it looks like you got the wrong guys doing it,” Rutan concluded.

How very true…

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