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).

New Mac

On average, computers last me for about 4 years. Last week, I was still using an 800MHz iMac. Partly this is down to my being frugal. It’s like the TV situation, where I didn’t buy the HDTV until my family visited and laughed at the 20″ TV, and seemingly made it die of shame shortly afterwards. Partly it’s because Macs remain usable longer than PCs. A PC Magazine survey found that Macs tend to last 3.

The television will be revolutionized

Digital TV means crystal clear reception from an $8 wire loop antenna. It means beautiful sharp images a meter across with no visible scan lines. It also means occasionally having to reboot your television. It’s just the way things are. I have to reboot my cellphone every day or so, or a memory leak eventually causes it to crash. I have to reboot the printer once a month or so. Our answering machine has needed rebooting a few times, too, and the other day I rebooted the car.

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.

Aggregate this!

Tom Tomorrow has his panties in a bunch over the outrageous behavior of Internet users. He was shocked this week to discover that some people were reading his published web log using special purpose web log browsing software (aka “news aggregators”), rather than the software he wants them to use (a web browser). Worse still, the miscreants were skipping the ads! Quel horreur! It rather reminds me of the CEO of Turner Broadcasting, who declared that skipping TV ads using fast forward was “stealing the programming”.

HDTV

I have located a 34” HDTV which does all US HDTV standards, plus NTSC and PAL, and also works as a Mac or PC monitor. Now all I need is $2600…