Monday, April 03, 2006

Flat is good

Hillary and I picked up a Philips 37" LCD HDTV over the weekend, somehow managing to manhandle it into the backseat of my tiny car.

I have to say, it's pretty impressive so far. We watched Fight Club yesterday, just to see how DVD's look, and it was very nice. You can see the macrovision compression up close, but that's a limitation of the DVD format more than the TV itself. I fired up some X-Box games in progressive scan mode earlier today, and it was very sexy. Mechassault in widescreen? Sign me up.

The only downside is our standard-definition satellite receiver. Having an HD set really brings out the imperfections in a digital cable signal, and even after changing all of our connections from composite to component, there's a LOT of compression noise on most of the DirecTV channels. I know it was always there; it was just a lot harder to notice on our old TV. Hopefully over the next couple of years, more providers will get off their asses and start broadcasting in HD.

The only thing I'm not quite sure about is the audio inputs on the TV. It has two "Digital Audio" inputs (which seem to take RCA cables), but most of my devices only have "Optical Digital" outputs (which are the square plugs). Unless I want to try to fit a receiver into our tiny TV stand in the computer room, I'm not sure how I'm going to get everything working happily with the TV. Right now, I'm having to do a lot of cable swapping if I want all of the devices working in beautiful component harmony.

Oh yeah, check out Henry Rollins' new talk show on IFC. It's awesome. On the premiere, he interviewed Oliver Stone and had Sleater-Kinney perform, and the lineup only looks to get better.


At 2:44 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Some digital optical audio cables come with little clear adapters that snap onto the ends so that it will fit into an RCA-style input. I bought some sort of Phillips optical audio cable and it came with a set of those (though it didn't advertise this on the packaging). I can't guarantee that it'll work, but it's worth a try.


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