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January 25, 2005


Joshua Cartu

I picked up this article through google sometime and I have to agree entirely. I'm running a 42 inch Grand Wega III 1:1 Pixel driven by a GeForce 6800 through a DVI connection. Zoomplayer and girder for the media manipulation and FFDShow and Dscaler to deal with scaling/upsampling. As a secondary device for "punch" (specifically 480/576P content, I've got a lowdef Panasonic theater projector for when my buddies come over and want to catch a game. What kills them is that each time they show up, they shake their heads and wonder how it is that we can surf the web in crystal clarity on my TV and play movie after movie without switching out any discs. All that and have you ever shown someone Halflife 2 in 1360-768 with 6x full scene antialiasing and 16x anisotropic filtering? This type of living room is years ahead of what most people are doing at home. I've got all this junk hooked up to a Denon 5803 and and old Carver m-1.5t that I use for two channel stuff. Speakers are all B&W 7 series but the sub is a Paradigm Sig Servo 15. I literally have a lineup on weekends for people to come check out a movie. They'll watch a movie they've seen 20 times before again at my house because they can't understand how the picture is so big and so clear. Man, I wish I could build this whole idea for under 10 grand, stick it in a box, make it completely idiot proof, add a Crestron video remote that somehow automatically configures itself and sell it to people. There's too much in between right now. Someone needs to work up the balls to build a complete media suite in ONE box. By the way, I also run Windows Media Center Edition 2005 for when the friends come over because the interface is really slick and impresses them when using it to show photos or for lowdef TV. Problem is that since you need to use Windows Media Player, you don't get the scaling and the benefits of FFDShow so I typically show movies and downloaded HDTV TV Shows like CSI, 24, Alias, and the like using zoomplayer. For NYE once, I had the rig set up running a program called R4 (Music Visualization Suite). I had all this running through a Mackie Mixer and Virtual DJ. My friend brought over a small intelligent lighting system and we hooked it up to the PC using one of my coaxial digital outs. What a party that was. Imagine your own visualization suite with pounding house music, beautiful girls everywhere, and 110 inch screen running custom NYE, Josh's house, 2004. :) Sorry for the long post but I see what you're writing here and you seem to be totally on the same page convergence wise. If you ever have time I'd love to talk shop with you. I don't know anyone who has a setup quite like mine and I'd love to talk to others who are doing it. I've actually been doing this since I had TV Out on my video card. :) If I wasn't living in Israel, I'd have gone to CES too.


I am fed up with the technology.

Either you have the money but not the time to understand what you need and what goes with what
you have the time but not the money to keep replacing those items that are incompatible with your latest purchase.
Ask the store people for their professional advice and they will sell you the wrong thing everytime as they do not understand this constantly changing technology either, but because the consumers do not understand it, the resellers get away with saying that the consumer's product is faulty (if they did not buy it from them) or that the consumer does not know what they are doing.

HiDef is not what it is cracked up to be. If only the expensive TV was the only purchase to consider, but it is not, everything else has to be replaced. Anbd at every step, you all likely to find that your latest purchase is not compatible with an item you already have - consequently another replacement,and so it on it goes.
And for what - within 2 years another technology will replace all this stuff.

Why bother.

Am finding friends who are still with VHS and are going to stay there for as long as possible.

I will eventually buy a LCD or Laser TV but only because I want to use a computer rather than a MS entertainment (or other) system with my Entertainment needs in the lounge.

As for the wireless trend - maybe it will work, maybe not. Mine did not -so we have resorted to wires. Now everything works.

Have to buy another tV, but it is going to be a CRT before they all disappear.

And I am going to hang onto my VCR units because perhaps my burnt DVDs will fade away anyway.

This new technology has not been tested to last and with the expense and compatibility problems I have no intention of being further ripped off and stressed with Hi Def and the like.

I no longer can use mobile phones - on the bandwagon at the beginning, but they are too small for me to be able to use now.

Todays technology problems
1 - too small, confusing etc to use
2 - too expensive to keep replacing incompatible units
3 - no long term archival assurances
4 - Hi Def not living up to its propaganda
5 - requires tech to install properly
6 - too expensive to keep updating to latest technology
7 - sellers do not understand and therefore confuse consumers more
8 - units failing often just outside warranty
9 - manufacturers making it harder to resolve issues
10 - many more - add your own woes.

Avi Greengart

Joshua, thanks for the comments. Your friends' confusion around the source of your magical disc-less, PC-based movies is exactly what I'm talking about.

However, their surprise is not entirely without basis, either. Exactly how *did* you get that content on to your hard drive? This is a serious question, because, even sidestepping the legality (I have no idea what copyright law is like in Israel these days), if you had to use a software tool to break copyright protection and another software tool to format the stuff, and another still to play it back with "16x anisotropic filtering" you're in super-geek land. This is not a trivial undertaking for the average consumer.

Joy, your problems are universal, and I'm writing a follow-up column to address them.


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