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Sweeney Todd


Posted on 2013.05.12 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
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With the advent of 3D televisions I have seen a marked drop in the prices of full-HDTVs, as well as lower prices for blu-ray players while the 3D players populate the shelves. I wanted a modest 42-46" television, but couldn't find any in that size range less expensive than Best Buy's Insignia 55" with free shipping, free in-home setup, and 0% interest. No, I don't understand it either. It was notably cheaper than the smaller ones, so I looked into reviews - a majority of which were overwhelmingly positive. So in an unexpected twist, I got something obscene in size because it was less expensive - my first full HDTV. I also sidestepped the whole "TV Stand" and/or "Mounting" issue with what I consider my HDTV built-in: The perpetually unused fireplace. In short, I don't go out to eat, I don't go shopping, I almost never turn on the heat or the air-conditioner, and this affords me the ability to find insanely frugal bargains. The 0% didn't hurt either :P

The weather has finally turned nice here, so I've been walking. One unexpectedly frigid morning we had during an overnight cold snap, I chose to cut my walk short, and happened by a garage sale where a lady had sitting out a 100W/per RCA 5.1 receiver with no price affixed to it. "How much?" I inquire. Turns out, it was free. The lady selling it didn't need it, and didn't even know if it worked. I am pleased to report that it does, and for the sum total of, "FREE" I now have something far superior to the 10W built-ins for the 55" monstrosity.

I played with swapping my (apparently) "vintage" Infinity [8-inch] SM82's (As seen in this photo) with a set of small [5-1/4 inch] Sony's but the reproduction of sound was wasted - the Sony's were brilliant with the television but nothing can touch my Infinity's for sound quality - so affixed to my desktop they stay.

The very interesting thing about all this high-definition (and I can hardly articulate it exactly), is that I no longer feel like I am watching a movie or television show. I am no longer watching characters in places - more like every show I've ever loved is a soap opera, or actors on stage. This was so unnerving that I put in my faithful standby, Serenity, only this time in blu-ray and 1080p, and was shocked and saddened I felt the same. Its not even the same movie to me. Its actors, not characters. I don't know how else to explain it. Maybe this is something that requires getting used to? Even Supernatural seemed contrived. Sound-stage lighting and props. Its like watching people standing around reciting memorized lines; acting, rather than watching characters interact. I dunno, its just very odd.

I did however, have an overwhelming urge to watch the intro battle of Revenge of the Sith after experiencing the Alliance/Reaver battle in Serenity. I bet I haven't seen ROTS since 2005.

But I was SHOCKED at how good Netflix looked on 55" 1080p. I had NO IDEA. I assumed the great picture I was getting on my 20" 1600x1200 computer monitor was the best Netflix had to offer. I was so wrong. Like, ignorant of the entire world around me. Netflix on a 1080p HDTV is so much better than Netflix on anything else. I now feel like I should re-watch some shows, contrived or not. Its a strange thing being so enamored and yet so confused.

Time surely, well tell.


michelle1963 at 2013-05-12 14:42 (UTC) (Link)
Maybe you will start a trend here - home builders putting in fireplace mantle TV stands. ;)

I remember when I first spent any time watching a full HDTV. We were vacationing at the Flamingp in Vegas. My dad remarked, "I bet the acctors and newscasters (we happened to be watching the news) hate HDTV. You can see every flaw - the zit covered by the heavy makeup."

Do you think we will all clamor to return to our less than full HD models?
ehowton at 2013-05-12 15:52 (UTC) (Link)
Now that you mention it, there is a group of people out there who prefer vacuum tubes over integrated circuits and vinyl over digital all in the name of "purity" (it just sounds better they claim) - so I suppose anything in possible.
michelle1963 at 2013-05-12 16:53 (UTC) (Link)
I was out walking, and thinking about that necessary element for good storytelling - the ability of the storyteller to get the audience to "suspend disbelief." It sounds like you are saying that suspending disbelief is more difficult with your new fully fledged HDTV set up - at least in the short term.
ehowton at 2013-05-12 16:57 (UTC) (Link)
While I'm sure you meant belief, I did consider using that exact phrasing in my post when I decided it went beyond that - for even if it were a televised film based on a true story about my life in Newton, watching it in HD it would appear as if it were more a retelling - and there I would be, recounting events and speaking lines; acting - not watching something play out before me. If that makes sense.

Then again it could just be me!
michelle1963 at 2013-05-12 17:06 (UTC) (Link)
You made me question the correct phrasing, so I had to look it up. :)

From Wikipedia on the "suspension of disbelief":

Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, fantasy, and horror genres, as well as in professional wrestling. Cognitive estrangement in fiction involves using a person's ignorance or lack of knowledge to promote suspension of disbelief.

In any case, very unusual effect. I will admit that without experiencing it, i am having a hard time grasping the full effect. I will be interested in hearing if anyone else has experienced the same thing.

Edited at 2013-05-12 05:08 pm (UTC)
ehowton at 2013-05-12 17:12 (UTC) (Link)
I wondered about that. While it sounded right, I inferred a literal denotation. And yes, I have experienced it many times over - with the right movie I am simply "entertained" no matter the implausibility. Many of my contemporaries would often complain they didn't care for a movie because it wasn't "believable."
michelle1963 at 2013-05-12 17:20 (UTC) (Link)
I know what you mean about the phrase. It always sounds backwards to me, although it makes sense.

I have experienced the same reaction from people in regard to sci-if or fantasy movies: "That could never happen." Yes, but what if it did?

An older relative of mine refers to such genres as escape literature, but he will gladly read historical fiction - escaping into the past. :)

Edited at 2013-05-12 05:20 pm (UTC)
michelle1963 at 2013-05-12 17:24 (UTC) (Link)
If you ever add a screen saver to your television (I don't know if that's even possible), I suggest a crackling fire. :D

All kidding aside, it is an excellent use of the space.
ehowton at 2013-05-12 17:30 (UTC) (Link)
HA! The thought had crossed my mind - but I can think of a reason off the top of my head as to why I'd purchase a DVD which simulated a fireplace. Although if you recall the amount of heat the 42" catttitude bought, more than just a visual facsimile!
michelle1963 at 2013-05-12 17:44 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, they do put out A LOT of heat.
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