Television

The last time I watched real TV there were five channels and SCART was the new big thing. I looked at TVs recently and it’s all USB and HDMI and fuck off you archaic troll. I have no idea what I’m looking at now.

But there was a hoover. Two, actually. I had two crappy second hand hoovers and finally bought a new one. In Lidl, I got the last one for £35 and it’s a beast. It can suck up water too. It looks like this…

hoover

Okay, the top part isn’t original equipment but I had a spare Dalek head lying around as I’m sure everyone does.

Anyway, back to the hoover/TV link.

I had two crappy but still working hoovers, too good to throw away but not good enough to sell. I have a mate who works in a charity shop so I thought if they can get them going properly they can make a few quid. I took them round.

At this point there is a chair involved but trust me, it gets back to television later.

Someone had donated an office chair. A very nice black faux leather one with deep padding. The sort of chair you sit in while stroking a cat and saying ‘So, Mr. Bond, this time you are fucked’.

It didn’t have the fire safety tag so they couldn’t sell it to me (damn!) but my friend, as staff, could take it away for a tiny donation.

So he said ‘Are you around when I finish work at 3?’ and I said ‘No, I start work at 3’.

We decided the best option was to put the chair in my car and I’d take it to his house after work.

So that’s what happened.

At his house after 9 pm I delivered the chair in exchange for a coffee and a look at TV. He had his on as always, tuned to the Horror Channel that shows scary films. I had no idea this channel existed.

I have decided to get a TV. Might not be immediate but there is a horror channel…

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23 thoughts on “Television

      • Have a look at Netflix / NowTV / Amazon prime. I have the first two, and am slightly disappointed with Netflix as they don’t seem to add new stuff too often. NowTV is brilliant; Sky movies for £10 a month. Haven’t looked at Prime yet, but may do so, as I’m now starting to use Amazon enough that the free delivery included with Prime will pay for itself.
        I don’t remember the last time I watched broadcast TV.

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        • “I don’t remember the last time I watched broadcast TV.” I do. Last time for me (outside of a pub or visits elsewhere) was back in early 2003 when I had a fight with the satellite provider. They’d given me some sort of slight but undeserved overcharge, I refused to pay it. They said they’d cancel my service. I told them “Go ahead. Make my day.” They kept it running for two more months while continuing to dun me for the original charge and then the extra service after my request for cancellation.

          I was spending WAYYYY too many hours a day polishing up “Brains” at that point to watch any TV anyway, and I never bothered trying to renew through another provider. Finally, two years ago last Christmas, I got a flatscreen 42 incher and an $8/month subscription to Netflix and have greatly enjoyed catching up on a good number of decent series (e.g. Dexter, Lost, Dr. Whos, etc etc) since then. Recently signed up with Amazon Prime on some special deal they were offering of a full year for $69 or somesuch, and have found some decent series on there as well. Both are excellent values if you’ve been away from TV for a while. These series are like “SuperMovies” — movies that are 50, 100, or even 200+ hours long. You actually begin to lose the taste for simple 120 minute films because, in comparison, no matter how well done they are they simply can’t match the character/world development depth in that span of time: it’s all SlamBamThankYouMa’m!

          – MJM, who likes to take it slooowwwww ‘n easy! :>

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  1. The Horror Channel is on Freeview 70. If/when you get a telly Leggy, make it a Samsung. Its the only brand that will play any movie or music filetype. I have a 1TB external laptop hard drive connected to the USB port on mine which holds all the movies and my entire music collection. The TV will also play your photo collection as a slideshow. The optical output of the TV is also connected to a sound bar.

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    • Ah, now that does sound interesting. Do they still have SCART connectors though? I might have trouble linking the old DVD player otherwise. Currently it’s plugged in to an old analogue set that doubles as a computer monitor.

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      • Leggy – just buy a monitor – no tuning cicuits so unable to receive TV signals, even if it doesn’t have a SCART socket you can buy a SCART to BNC/RCA adaptors for peanuts.

        I had an engineer at work who had to replace one of our monitors, it was “beyond economic repair” so was getting skipped, he had another in his van, and he asked me if I wanted one (or both), result was 2 x Samsung monitors worth about £800+ found their way back to my cave, you can watch anything on them with the right adaptors and leads…

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  2. I’m in need of a new telly too, as my old one is on its last legs. Like you, I need a scart socket and I want to be able to watch catch up. But the plethora of tellys makes it hard going. Oh, the choice…! Which one to go for?

    My fav at the mo, is a Panasonic. Meets my needs totally, but is over £500. I haven’t bought a telly for so long, this seems an extraordinary amount of money. Enough to give me palpitations everytime I think about parting with the cash…

    :o)

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  3. Samsung is supposed to be good, and my Vizio has performed wonderfully. Nice thing about the flatscreens: 36 to 42 inchers are actually fairly cheap but still provide a GREAT viewing experience, AND they use about a quarter of the electricity of the old 27 or 30″ CRT sets! And if you like genre music such as Pandora, you can blank the screen and run your music from it at just 13 watts! Here in Philly that’s about 7 cents a day if you left the music going 24/7.

    – MJM
    P.S. For a good/strange horror movie, try “The Dark Backward.” There’s a scene in it that is actually the ONLY scene in a movie that ever actually tickled my upchuck reflex unpleasantly. I won’t spoil it by saying more except to note that I *almost* felt I could smell something during it! LOL!

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  4. Leggy, I would advise against getting just a monitor if you want to play movies direct to TV without subscription via USB, a TV has a built-in player which monitors don’t have. The Samsung TV’s seem to be the only brand on the market with all the needed codecs (media players on your PC use them) for various file types built in. They do still have SCART connectors, however this used to be two and with the rise of HDMI it has been reduced to one. You can connect the DVD player without a SCART connection if you use the RGB/composite video/stereo RCA sockets without any loss of quality. There are also adapter cables which convert between the two.

    If your DVD player has SCART it will be too old to have a high definition output – well, not capable of that anyway. Going for a TV with a screen size of less than 40 inches is a wise choice, since below that size HD (1080p) is useless and you won’t see any benefit, plus the fact that your non HD DVD player would look awful on a big screen HD TV. The rule of thumb in the industry is, a 32 inch TV is just right for a viewing distance of 6 – 7ft but that doesn’t go down well with the big screen fad mob, they usually have TV sets so big you couldn’t get into the room to watch it.

    Trust me mate, you don’t need a licence. There’s no harrassment if you simply refuse to communicate with them, and the detection technology they love to brag about does not exist, it never has. The letters come every month and just go into the bin unopened. A better idea is to blank out your address and post them back, because it costs TVLA (Capita) 7p each to cover return postage. Anyway, if you have 145 quid to throw away every year, give it to me – I will spend it wisely. 🙂

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    • Ripper, I’d partly agree and partly disagree on the screen size. When I got the 40 incher it originally felt RIDICULOUSLY big as I took it out of the box and set it up, but after watching it for a while I realized how much detail I was noticing that I’d ordinarily have simply missed. It actually *is* a great improvement over the smaller sets.

      I’ve seen the degradation of image that you’re concerned about when I rig up my old VHS player and pull out one of my old Grade-B vampire/horror/classic flicks recorded on six-hour speed, but there’s really not that much out there today that’s played at anywhere near that low level. And the quality is already a quantum leap ahead of HD with the 4k sets: you almost feel like you’re looking right through a window at reality.

      When this set dies eventually I will actually probably replace it with a 46″ set. That’s still small enough not to feel like you’re trying to squeeze a movie theater into your living room, but it will take advantage of what we’ll be seeing coming out over the next five to ten years, particularly if the prices are low enough to tempt me to a 4K model.

      Dunno if you’re old enough to remember this… but I can remember the upgrade from a 13″ computer screen to a 15″ one and thinking “What’s wrong with these people who splurge all their money into a 19″ screen? Totally unnecessary!”

      🙂
      MJM

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  5. MIchael – I know where you are coming from, I have had this discussion many times – Yes, you are right, a 40 inch screen is a big improvement over smaller sizes and that was part of my point. I was talking below that size. A 40 inch screen will run in HD with some benefit but a smaller screen than that will not. What I was trying to say, possibly very badly, is that with a screen size of, say 35 – 37 inches, you would not have seen that detail, the picture is too close knit, so running any HD equipment on that screen would be of no benefit so you may as well not bother.

    It comes down to the number of pixels. A bigger screen needs more pixels than a smaller one, else either they are physically more spread out over the larger screen area, or the pixels themselves have to be larger and both will result in bad picture quality. There is only a finite amount of pixel data in a standard definition picture, so there is not enough data to fill all the pixels and you get the same result.

    Leggy has an older DVD player, and where a standard definition DVD player is played on a HD screen, the bigger the screen, the more awful the picture quality. That is why I said that Leggy’s choice of a smaller screen is a wise one. A large screen is fine but you also need the peripheral equipment, even the TV tuner, to keep the picture quality. I hope I’ve been a little clearer but I do find it difficult to explain.

    I do remember the small screen computers. I started out with a Commodore VIC20 in 1982. Fortunately those connected to the TV. But the later screen size revolution was somewhat different to the TV situation, since when the larger monitors became available the operating systems and chip sets could already handle the new resolutions. Default began, I think at 320×240 and every time new, larger screen monitors appeared the resolution went up – 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768 and so on.

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