The Humble Geek

Stuff I write.

Keyword - blu-ray

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Toys that are not Toys

Everyone has a toy that is pretty much useless. I've had some when I was a kid, but it has been a long time since that time. It was about time! For the past several years I grew a fascination for lasers and finally pulled the trigger and bought one. The result:

Let me say first that this is not a laser pointer and especially not a toy; it is a laser. However, it is very cool. Laser experts will know by the brand name that this is not the "best" laser, but I purchased it brand new for half the sticker price so I didn't lose out all that much. Why would I purchase this? The cool factor - that's it. Your typical laser pointer at Wal-Fart can be rated around 2mw. This is a 35mw rated, which I've tested to be fairly accurate, and you can see the beam of light at night. It's also possible to pop balloons or thin paper with the correct setup and makes pointing out stars in the night sky a wonder in itself. Cool, right? :)

I've seen quite a few videos on Youtube of kids with these and shining them all about, which is disappointing to see. Every precaution should be taken to not shine these kinds of lasers in any direction of any living creature. Even if you hate their guts. Lasers are serious tools and should have your full attention when in use. Now, I just need to save up and buy the laser I really want: a blue one! (*cough* 2,000)

HD is the Reason for the Season


Yes, those are the pores in a face. Each individual hair strand is visible. The eye lashes are indistinguishable. The next revolution in technology is the centerpiece in everyone's home - the high-definition television. Already disgusted? Either way, it's a subjective point and not a point to be considered in your future TV purchases as HD is here to stay. This post won't be a history lesson as the Internet is there for that, rather I will cover the new terminology and related technology for high definition television.

HDTVs are essentially computer monitors on a larger scale. They can function on a large number of inputs and resolutions. The largest, and best, resolution is 1080p, which equates to a screen of 1920x1080 pixels. The "p" indicates a progressive picture that is drawn with whole frames. Traditional television is drawn with interlaced frames, indicated by an "i", due to the TV technology of cathode-ray tubes at the time. Broadcast television uses interlaced high definition streams due to their lower bandwidth requirements. Unfortunately the technology to transmit the larger picture wasn't quite available as it is now in 2008, and we're stuck with interlaced pictures on broadcast TV for the foreseeable future, at least until 4k, which is the next step in video imaging technology.

hdtv-videodemoContent to satisfy the thirst of any HDTV is still lacking, due to the inability of TV networks to provide it. Financial reasons seem to be the determining factor, and I would like to know the real reason why it takes networks years to upgrade, when the technology is freely available right now. The best option, currently, is to use DirecTV as they offer the largest amount of high definition channels. Blu-ray is obviously the best option for hard copies of high definition media. With a high capacity of 25 gigabytes per layer and a protective hard coat layer that prevents scratches, your first Blu-ray movie will cause you to stop wanting DVDs all together. However, there doesn't seem to be a sure winner when it comes to a brand as everyone is flucutating on the technology they are using, but rear projection using DLP is the best available at the moment. Plamsa uses too much power and will wear out within a few years. LCD is suseptible to motion blurring due to high response times. You may think a "flat TV" means a good HDTV, but you would be wasting thousands of dollars on one. Sure, it may look better than your old CRT type TV, but when you compare it to a DLP TV you will be shocked, even then.

The experience is where it counts when it comes to HDTV. You may find that it's impossible to watch a normal TV after seeing some of the best HD content. Blu-ray movies are a must. A Playstation 3 is a must. A Canon or Sony HD camcorder is a must (I'm drooling to get one of these). You may be thinking "I could never afford this" but when you sit down and see a high definition setup, and then look at the price tag, you know you can afford it because you need to have it. Not want; need.