I “Discovered” HDTV is rotting my brain

Ahh, my new HDTV is really beautiful. It causes me to stare at Discovery Channel until 2 a.m.

OK, OK, Maryam and I watched CSI Miami last night and, boy, does it look good!

But, it is rotting my brain. For one, YouTube or most Internet-based video just doesn't measure up anymore.

For two, I used to be able to read RSS feeds while watching TV. Now my new HDTV set keeps me from even turning on the computer.

Help, Discovery Channel has kidnapped my brain. I watched an inane show about expensive cars last night. On my old TV this is the kind of thing that would have survived four seconds before I flipped the TV. Now that it's in HDTV I'm just mesmerized.

Chris Pirillo warned me about this. He said he watches baseball games now and he HATES baseball. Why? Cause it's so pretty.

On the other hand, the HD DVD team here at Microsoft just started a blog. Maybe I'll invite them over for beer and Discovery channel! :-) (They answered back that if I think the Discovery Channel looks good that I should check out what an HD-DVD looks like! (OK, OK, you guys are invited, I'll buy dinner, popcorn, and drinks, just bring me an HD-DVD!)

Oh, there's one more disadvantage of living in a geek area: I tried to buy an HD-DVD drive last night at Best Buy and the salesguy said he had a waiting list that was really long. Sigh.

40 thoughts on “I “Discovered” HDTV is rotting my brain

  1. On the topic of high resolution video, I have to give props to Microsoft for providing high resolution versions of IMAX films for the IMAX DVDs. Although technically not HD discs or HD video, these are extra discs with high res WMV file versions of the film in the package which are absolutely fantastic for showing off HD TVs connected to a computer (works great with Media Center and a 1024 by 768 projector).

    Since I am an aviation fanatic, the Fighter Pilot IMAX film is now the jewel of our DVD collection! The action shots of Red Flag are awesome and incredible. Just got the Coral Reef film, and it is also great.

  2. On the topic of high resolution video, I have to give props to Microsoft for providing high resolution versions of IMAX films for the IMAX DVDs. Although technically not HD discs or HD video, these are extra discs with high res WMV file versions of the film in the package which are absolutely fantastic for showing off HD TVs connected to a computer (works great with Media Center and a 1024 by 768 projector).

    Since I am an aviation fanatic, the Fighter Pilot IMAX film is now the jewel of our DVD collection! The action shots of Red Flag are awesome and incredible. Just got the Coral Reef film, and it is also great.

  3. I hear you! I just got a 40″ Samsung LCD HDTV and I have spent many more hours watching it than I ever did before. Every time I turn it on I am blown away. Now all I need is an XBox 360.

  4. I hear you! I just got a 40″ Samsung LCD HDTV and I have spent many more hours watching it than I ever did before. Every time I turn it on I am blown away. Now all I need is an XBox 360.

  5. Hmm, I’ve always found out that after watching the television for more than a few minutes, I stop noticing the quality entirely, unless I’m thinking about it. I wasn’t aware that “Dr Strangelove” was in black and white until it was pointed out to me even. Maybe HDTV will be different; I suspect not, though…

  6. Hmm, I’ve always found out that after watching the television for more than a few minutes, I stop noticing the quality entirely, unless I’m thinking about it. I wasn’t aware that “Dr Strangelove” was in black and white until it was pointed out to me even. Maybe HDTV will be different; I suspect not, though…

  7. DiscoveryHD is good, football and hockey are no longer watchable in SD but my favorite is PBS East and West in HD. Apparently made possible by viewers like me.

  8. DiscoveryHD is good, football and hockey are no longer watchable in SD but my favorite is PBS East and West in HD. Apparently made possible by viewers like me.

  9. While I don’t have HDTV yet (still haven’t figured out what to do with our current over-sized TV), I can relate to what you’re going through. I went through the same thing almost forty years ago when I got my first color TV. The difference between color and B&W makes the HD/SD comparison seem almost insignificant. And this is from someone who is color blind! ;-)

  10. While I don’t have HDTV yet (still haven’t figured out what to do with our current over-sized TV), I can relate to what you’re going through. I went through the same thing almost forty years ago when I got my first color TV. The difference between color and B&W makes the HD/SD comparison seem almost insignificant. And this is from someone who is color blind! ;-)

  11. They look good as they warm film tone it all up, zap unpcontrast and 24P’isms. HD is horrid by itself – too white, too overbright, too vivid. But take that resolution and warm it up, and you have something to work with; still miles and miles away from film however. Film will always be with us, tho the Panvision Genesis’ sure are reducing that cycle a tad.

  12. They look good as they warm film tone it all up, zap unpcontrast and 24P’isms. HD is horrid by itself – too white, too overbright, too vivid. But take that resolution and warm it up, and you have something to work with; still miles and miles away from film however. Film will always be with us, tho the Panvision Genesis’ sure are reducing that cycle a tad.

  13. Other shows that look REALLY good in HD:

    1. Las Vegas
    2. 24
    3. CSI Miami – they must spend a lot of time colorizing that water!
    4. If you think Baseball is pretty, just wait till you see football!!! Don’t forget the 5.1 surround sound too, it IS better than being there.
    5. Rides – on one of the HD channels

  14. Other shows that look REALLY good in HD:

    1. Las Vegas
    2. 24
    3. CSI Miami – they must spend a lot of time colorizing that water!
    4. If you think Baseball is pretty, just wait till you see football!!! Don’t forget the 5.1 surround sound too, it IS better than being there.
    5. Rides – on one of the HD channels

  15. Scoble, there are many solutions here. First, if you must watch it in HD at all times, get a laptop for reading/watching concurrently, this is what I do, and its especially useful during the football season.

    Here’s how my Fantasy footbal setup works.
    1. My 50 inch LCD (I’ve been HD for about 4 years now) is spit in two, where I consume two NFL games at once.
    2. I bring in a second 27 inch SD TV to watch yet another NFL game.
    3. I give my girlfriend a remote, and I use a remote. Using this method, we constantly hit the “last” button and never run into a commercial.
    4. I tape highlights via media center after the games, for watching the reel over and over to analyze which matchups worked out, and what players I’ll be playing the next week.
    5. I have my laptop set up wirelessly to display my whole leagues scoreboard. (I won’t mention how the FOX/MSN BS last year almost ruined my entire league, will you interview this team anytime soon? I’d like to know more about this years offering as I will be setting the league up soon)

    6. I ask as many friends as possible to bring their laptops. Again, more scores in different parts of the house so everyone has their fantasy crack.

    7. When I walk away from the entertainment room, I have my “Blue Angel” smart phone, to constantly watch the live situation unfold.. (it’s branded as a seimens SX66 for cingular, but I have it cracked/unlocked)

    Okay, I showed you how much I enjoy HDTV, and I am really happy for you man. You seem like you deserve it!

    One more thing, I recomend getting MCE 2k5 set up asap. In this way you’ll be able to watch the game and consume MCE newsgator, via your xbox 360.

    Oh, please send me a friend request man, my Live tag is Mystopas.

    Talk to you later… =)

  16. Scoble, there are many solutions here. First, if you must watch it in HD at all times, get a laptop for reading/watching concurrently, this is what I do, and its especially useful during the football season.

    Here’s how my Fantasy footbal setup works.
    1. My 50 inch LCD (I’ve been HD for about 4 years now) is spit in two, where I consume two NFL games at once.
    2. I bring in a second 27 inch SD TV to watch yet another NFL game.
    3. I give my girlfriend a remote, and I use a remote. Using this method, we constantly hit the “last” button and never run into a commercial.
    4. I tape highlights via media center after the games, for watching the reel over and over to analyze which matchups worked out, and what players I’ll be playing the next week.
    5. I have my laptop set up wirelessly to display my whole leagues scoreboard. (I won’t mention how the FOX/MSN BS last year almost ruined my entire league, will you interview this team anytime soon? I’d like to know more about this years offering as I will be setting the league up soon)

    6. I ask as many friends as possible to bring their laptops. Again, more scores in different parts of the house so everyone has their fantasy crack.

    7. When I walk away from the entertainment room, I have my “Blue Angel” smart phone, to constantly watch the live situation unfold.. (it’s branded as a seimens SX66 for cingular, but I have it cracked/unlocked)

    Okay, I showed you how much I enjoy HDTV, and I am really happy for you man. You seem like you deserve it!

    One more thing, I recomend getting MCE 2k5 set up asap. In this way you’ll be able to watch the game and consume MCE newsgator, via your xbox 360.

    Oh, please send me a friend request man, my Live tag is Mystopas.

    Talk to you later… =)

  17. Paul, check out HDBeat.com. I’ll disclose up front that I was the lead blogger there for 8 months until last month. I’m no longer contributing there but still recommending it, which should tell you something about the bloggers and the content. ;)

  18. Paul, check out HDBeat.com. I’ll disclose up front that I was the lead blogger there for 8 months until last month. I’m no longer contributing there but still recommending it, which should tell you something about the bloggers and the content. ;)

  19. The best thing I did to change my habits this past year: cancel the evil Comcast HD service. Its tough when there is crystal-clear content available that you sometimes do want to watch. But 2am does come so quickly.

    I can still watch CSI (over the air HD); I can still watch the Sopranos, Jack Bauer, or even the Discovery HD Theatre – I just have to take a few beers to a friends’ house who has it.

    Good note: Microsoft is one of only a few companies that seems to be broadcasting HD advertisements (People Ready)

  20. The best thing I did to change my habits this past year: cancel the evil Comcast HD service. Its tough when there is crystal-clear content available that you sometimes do want to watch. But 2am does come so quickly.

    I can still watch CSI (over the air HD); I can still watch the Sopranos, Jack Bauer, or even the Discovery HD Theatre – I just have to take a few beers to a friends’ house who has it.

    Good note: Microsoft is one of only a few companies that seems to be broadcasting HD advertisements (People Ready)

  21. Greetings,
    Mmmm…Discovery Sunrise, and Destination HD (or something like that). I watched a whole show on the water supply under Kyoto, because it was just Soooo Beautiful, even though it was Soooo Boring. And it’s not even using my HD sets maximum resolution.

    I actually am willing to watch *LIVE* TV when watching CSI: * and Numb3rs, rather than watching through my Tivo, because Tivo doesn’t have Digital Cable HD yet, and watching them live is Sooo Pretty.

    I just got the AVIA tuning DVD, so I’ll be tuning it tonight, and making it look Even Better(tm)!

  22. Greetings,
    Mmmm…Discovery Sunrise, and Destination HD (or something like that). I watched a whole show on the water supply under Kyoto, because it was just Soooo Beautiful, even though it was Soooo Boring. And it’s not even using my HD sets maximum resolution.

    I actually am willing to watch *LIVE* TV when watching CSI: * and Numb3rs, rather than watching through my Tivo, because Tivo doesn’t have Digital Cable HD yet, and watching them live is Sooo Pretty.

    I just got the AVIA tuning DVD, so I’ll be tuning it tonight, and making it look Even Better(tm)!

  23. Is it just me or does Discovery have the best HD programming? I find myself watching their ‘Sunrise’ shows (which are way more boring than a show about cars) just because of the stunning clarity and color. The sports and stuff are nice too but it seems like Discovery has made a significant investment in the technology – and it shows.

    Also wondering, if you have digital cable, do you experience pixelation problems with Hi Def movies – especially in action sequences?

  24. Is it just me or does Discovery have the best HD programming? I find myself watching their ‘Sunrise’ shows (which are way more boring than a show about cars) just because of the stunning clarity and color. The sports and stuff are nice too but it seems like Discovery has made a significant investment in the technology – and it shows.

    Also wondering, if you have digital cable, do you experience pixelation problems with Hi Def movies – especially in action sequences?

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