Saturday, September 25, 2010

HDTV + Computer = GuyCool

One of the true ironies of my life is that, as a PBS employee, I was up-to-date on the whole HDTV-thing for years before most people had ever heard of it. I had to be. It was my job and the ability to do it depended on knowing all about that stuff. I attended seminars, meetings, showcases and read books and articles all about the new birth of digital television.
But, since my existing analog TV's were still working, I couldn't justify the expense (to myself and CERTAINLY not my farthing-pinching wife) of buying one. Besides, when it finally came time to plunk down the ca$h to buy one, I wanted a GOOD one. That was one of the downsides to knowing so much about the digital TV world... I knew what I wanted but also knew how much it would cost.
Then, as anyone who has read my scribblings in the past will know, I lost my job. Getting an HDTV was the last thing on my agenda at that point.
We managed to save up a bit of "safety-net" money from my vacation payout to use if/when my unemployment money ran dry. My wife, however, perhaps in an attempt to keep my spirits up and give me something to look forward to, declared that if I managed to find employment before we had to dip into the reserve fund, I could use some of that money to purchase an HDTV of my choice.
Long story short, the local Fox affiliate decided to live up to their environmentalist "Green Team" hype and recycle an old PBS retread.
And I got my HDTV. Not just ANY HDTV... a ginormous one with 1080p, 120Hz screen refresh, 100,000:1 contrast ratio, etc., etc., etc. And it was even on sale! In short, it's damned awesome! It seems somehow right and just that - since, like the mafia, once someone starts in television one never seems to be able to leave - I should have a decent TV. Fer Chrissakes, there had been people living in trailer parks with better TV's than I had! It was no less than a blot on the natural order of things, I tells ya!
One thing I can't wait to see in hi-def is hockey! My beloved Red Wings in full 1080p 16x9 glory! Of course, the first time I'd have a chance to do that is 5pm tomorrow. Fate, of course, decided to spit in my eye due to the fact that I have to leave for band practice at 5:10pm. Wrong. Just wrong.
Today, having a small bit of extra cash from some unexpected overtime, I decided to stimulate the local economy by buying a 15-pin male-to-male (stop snickering... it's a perfectly legitimate electronics term! Look it up, you pervs!) cable so I could hook up my laptop to the big honkin' HDTV.
When I announced my intentions in that regard my wife simply asked "Why would you want to do THAT?"
My teenage son and I merely stared back at her incredulously... as though she asked why we like to breathe and consume nutrients.
Call it gender misunderstanding and miscommunication if you will. I just call it "Chicks just don't GET it!"
Come on: Computer. Big HDTV. Connector Cable. BIG computer picture! I mean, DUH! For guys this is nothing less than a complete syllogism; an entire self-contained system of values, philosophy and logic.
Anyway, I got the cable and, tonight, after some setup adjustments and (I'm almost ashamed to admit it but some valuable assistance from the aforementioned teenage son... it HAD to happen someday) I managed to get big computer stuff on the HD monitor.
I thought it was cool. My son thought it was cool. My wife? "When are you going to be done playing with that thing? I want to watch the Christmas stuff on QVC!"
And so I had to relinquish the HDTV for the time being. But one thing I can tell you for certain. There's no way ANYTHING from the Bethlehem Light Company could EVER be as cool as a laptop hooked up to an HDTV!


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  2. Paying $9 a month for Netfflix, getting commercial-free tv episodes and alternative cinema AND sticking it to Comcast? I don't think that's gender specific my friend! I'm IN!
    But, alas, I have a 10-year old Sony TV so I'm doubting that I can hook it up to my laptop.
    Any suggestions?