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Archive for January, 2008

Pogue Covers HDTV

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

We’ve had our big screen LCD television since the summer, and boy, do we love it.  Of course, that’s not saying much, since our previous television was purchased by myself and my college roommates in 1998 for $100, and had awesome green and purple spots if you watched for more than 30 minutes.  But we have the television, we have the surround sound, and it’s perfect.  And the Yule Log, broadcast in HD, looks totally awesome.

I came across another great David Pogue article in the Times today, in which he gets a Best Buy employee to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about HDTV.  I figured I’d know all the answers, but I’ll be honest: this one got me.

Q: OK, how about this one: 720p or 1080p?

A: These are measurements of how many fine lines make up the picture.

You’d think that 1080p is obviously better than 720p. Trouble is, you won’t get a 1080p image unless you feed it a 1080p signal — and that’s hard to come by. There’s no such thing as a 1080p TV broadcast (cable, satellite, anything), and won’t be for years. Even most games, like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, generally send out 720p (or less).

So the *only* way to get a 1080p picture on a 1080p set is to buy a high-def DVD player (Blu-ray or HD DVD). That’s the only way. *** Xbox????

[D.P. adds: Even then, you won’t see any difference between 720p and 1080p unless you sit closer than 10 feet from the TV and it’s bigger than 55 inches or so.

And even then, you’re not getting any additional sharpness or detail. Instead, as CNET notes, you’re just gaining the ability to move closer without seeing individual pixels: “In other words, you can sit closer to a 1080p television and not notice any pixel structure, such as stair-stepping along diagonal lines, or the screen door effect (where you can actually see the space between the pixels).”]

Q: But a 1080p set costs a lot more than an identical 720p set, doesn’t it?

A: Yeah.

[D.P. adds: At this point, he showed me two plasmas, same brand, same size, same model line, mounted one above the other: one 720p, the other 1080p. The fancier set cost $2,000 more — and the image quality was pixel-for-pixel identical.]

You learn something new every day.  (Like I probably paid too much for my 1080p television.)

Adventures In Construction

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

There’s always a lot of construction going on around my place of employment.

Here’s a picture of a building they’re working on, just a few blocks away.


A bit closer up:


Every time I pass this building, all I can think of is, “JESUS CHRIST, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE BUILDING! YOU’RE STANDING ON NOTHING!

That is all.

Introducing Popdose

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Happy New Year! It’s time to officially announce the worst-kept secret in the world!

For all of you who have wondered for months on end about the eventual return of Jeff Giles, aka Jefito of Jefitoblog, gather ’round, for I have news. Effective today, Jefitoblog moves to a brand-new, even bigger-and-better location. And, as most of you could have predicted, I’m packing up my bags and moving in with him.


Simply put, Popdose is going to be everything you love about Jefitoblog and more. Jeff has assembled a crack team of staff writers to cover all aspects of pop culture: music, film, television, books, current events – you name it. And, as you’ve come to expect, each article will be full of thoughtful – and yes, sometimes snarky – commentary.

As for me, I’m signing on as Managing Editor, which means I’ll be doing a fair amount of work behind-the-scenes. I’ll also be bringing over my two series, Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold (which has become an occasional feature these days, but you try covering one shitty song a week for a year and see how far you get), and of course, CHART ATTACK!, which will now run every other Friday opposite Jeff’s collaborative feature CHARTBURN. I’ll be featuring over a dozen guest writers over the course of 2008, so if you’re sick of my writing style, don’t give up – a new perspective is just around the corner!

As for what happens with jasonhare.com, I’m still working that one out. (I can’t have all the answers, you know.) I will continue to use my site to promote my artistic endeavors (I have more music gigs coming up in the new year, and I’m doing a fantastic Off-Broadway production in February), and will post items – probably short, link-related posts that aren’t appropriate for Popdose – as I have time. If you’d like to keep me on your radar, I’d love to have you around, but if you’re here merely for the music-related posts, you know where to find me.

So…thanks for reading. And what the hell are you waiting for? We’re having a housewarming shindig over at the new place, and it’s not a party until you get there.

See you on Popdose!