Sony BRAVIA problems with PAL playback

A couple of nights ago, I noticed my TV/DVD combination was acting up. PAL DVDs would play with a horrible irregular juddering motion. I checked broadcast TV and the PS3, and they were both fine; I checked the DVI/HDMI cable, that was fine also. I started to suspect the DVD player. Friday, I bought a new DVD player. $44 at Fry’s Electronics. It had the same problem. Further investigation and experimentation eventually revealed that the issue was a setting on the TV.

Format wars

The New York Times reports that most people have decided to sit out the HD format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. I’m one of them. I remember DCC vs MiniDisc. MiniDisc won, if by ‘won’ you mean ‘lingered for a few years longer’. I also remember SACD vs DVD-Audio. Both of those lost, in that even people who have DVD players capable of playing DVD Audio (like me) typically don’t bother to hook them up to support it (like me).

DVD player review: Oppo OPDV971H

I’ve had it for over a month now, and I have to say the Oppo OPDV971H is great. If you dislike censorship, like obscure movies, or download unavailable TV shows and movies from the Internet, this is the player for you. In a nutshell: It will play any DVD from any country in the world, on any TV in the world. It’ll also play XviD and DivX Pro MPEG-4 files on CD-R, CD-RW, or DVD-R, at resolutions up to 720×480.

iDVD problems

Well, I was up until nearly 01:00, but I finished the San Francisco DVD in time for Christmas. The first burn had something wrong with the menu screen; iDVD is incredibly picky about what file format you use. (PNG works, TIFF doesn’t.) Another iDVD problem is that if you use the “automatically add slideshow to DVD-ROM” checkbox, then it often either crashes (OS 9) or locks up (OS X) during encoding.

Home movies

DVD #2 is complete. This one records the hellish 1997 flight to Minnesota that destroyed my back. I kinda hurried the edit, because it was the first piece of video I shot, and it shows in the source material. There were also a bunch of random short fragments that I found on the tape, that I put on a separate menu screen. I screwed up a soundtrack edit on one of those, but c’est la vie.

Family movie

Sent my mother a copy of DVD #1. Digitized an hour or so of video for DVD #2. I think this one’s going to come out much shorter, it’s earlier material. I’m glad I went through the stage of recording tedious and boring shit at excessive length in only a year.

Home movie success

I have burnt the first DVD successfully! Now to design some cover artwork, and send one to the family…

Dark Star

It looked like Dark Star on DVD was disappearing from the stores, so I decided I had to get a copy. Picked it up for $10 including shipping. If you’re not familiar with this particular cult movie, all you need to know is: (a) it was written by the same guy as “Alien”, and inspired that movie; (b) it’s a comedy; and (c) it was directed by John Carpenter. If that isn’t enough to get you interested, consider the original poster tagline: “Bombed out in space with a spaced-out bomb”.