August 26th, 2006

marcus 2013


The new TV has arrived and so far it's pretty bloody good - just watching Team America to check everything's OK. Matt's right, it's a film that really does explain a lot about US foreign policy. So far things are looking pretty good, now that I've turned down the sharpness and colour settings a little; I've never yet seen a TV that didn't have them way too high out of the box, because they want them to look good in brightly-lit showrooms. I'm watching this in a south-facing room with the blinds open and the picture's still easy to see - it's cloudy, but even so that's good going.

Okay - that's a spectacularly silly film... let's see.... Works OK as a TV, pretty good picture just connected to the aerial, but I'll probably never use that mode unless my Freeview dies or something. All of the SCART sources - Digibox, VCR and laserdisc player - work well. The only disappointment is that there's no zoom mode, which means that for letterboxed films (e.g. most of the laserdiscs I own) you either get everything stretched or have to switch to 4:3 mode and waste about 50% of the screen area. But since that's still as big as the full screen picture on my old TV I'm not too bothered.

Performance as a monitor is excellent - in fact I'm trying it now and can read standard text at about eight feet in 4:3 mode. 16:9 isn't so good with the iBook because there doesn't seem to be support for wide displays in the system preferences menu.

Cons... Well, all of the cables go in the back, there are no front inputs at all, and if I ever put it on a wall making any changes will be a major hassle. Even on a TV stand it's big and heavy enough that I won't be messing around lightly. I'm going to leave the computer input cable in place for this reason, even though I probably won't use it much. If I wanted to plug in something like a camera occasionally that would be a nuisance, but in practice my DVD recorder has front inputs so I doubt it'll be a problem. Last but far from least, it's BLOODY heavy, about 40kg; the delivery guy helped get it up to my flat, but lifting it onto the TV stand nearly ruptured me. Getting it out of the box is next to impossible without destroying the box. Needless to say there are no unpacking instructions apart from a list of accessories, I had to figure out how to get the box apart (the sides detach) for myself. And that's it, really, I can't, so far, see any other problems, except that getting to the laserdiscs, which are shelved behind it, will be a major problem, and I'm probably going to have to replace them with something I don't use so often.

In other news the reason this is headed "arrivals" is that while the TV was autotuning I noticed that my baby snakes have hatched overnight - sod's law it would happen today. So my next job is to move them to individual accommodation, since they need to be housed separately for monitoring their diet etc.

Fun fun fun...