Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
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» Wednesday, April 23, 2008HDTV, DVR, and All That Alphabet Soup
Jeopardy ended late for us because I was recording it due to James' tardy return from work, which meant we didn't have time tonight to watch any of the things we have recorded, since Mythbusters is new tonight, so I surfed channels until I found a documentary about a theoretical Mars landing on HDNET. This combined "talking heads" with some animation that looked like drawings and other animation closer to Pixar-type computer animation. The entire effect in HD is...mesmerizing. It's particularly amusing because "Stone Soup," the comic strip, is running a series about Turn Off Your TV week and pointing out how attractive that glowing screen is. LCD and widescreen combined with HDTV just multiplies the effect. As I believe I mentioned in another post, even the commercials look good. You find yourself staring at a line of SUVs filmed at an odd angle, or those bizarre Target ads with the marching lines of merchandise done to Beatles' tunes and then shaking yourself and wondering why on earth you're hypnotized by a wretched commercial.
(Imagine Walt Disney having filmed his classic space specials based on the "Colliers" magazine series in HD!)
Anyway, we're getting a great kick out of the DVR. When Jeopardy started tonight and James wasn't home I just hit the record button and then backed it up when we were ready to view. Our other satellite box had a function to automatically change the channel for certain programs or at certain times, which I would set for Torchwood or Monk or House. Now I can set the new box/DVR to change the channel to only new episodes of favorite programs (those mentioned above or Animal Precinct/Cops/Heroes or Antiques Roadshow or This Old House) or in the case of programs that are commonly on when we are out, to record only new programs. (That's what's sitting on the DVR right now, the last two Torchwood episodes of the season, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the newest Doctor Who broadcasts.) If I'd known the silly gadget was so useful, I would have remembered to order it two years ago.
It even records one program while another is being watched, which means I'll be able to see tonight's Chasing History Home (they're doing the Paul Revere House) on Treasure after James watchs the new Mythbusters (if I don't watch the Biography about the Harry Potter leads, that is).
In the meantime, I'm going back to some old technology: the book I'm reading. Even widescreen HDTV won't keep me away from those!