Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: On the Box

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  • Samuel Scott,

    I am really, really looking forward to District 9. I hear very good things from people about town who have been working on it (as opposed to exhausted, smarmy things, which are more common amongst post production types - me included I guess).

    I have been thinking about upgrading my 15 year old TV ever since I saw one of the new LED TVs at LV Martin. My goodness they look awesome. I see that the more expensive ones come with built in youtube//wifi that sort of thing. But if Blueray recorders are going to come out with that stuff it doesn't seem worth it.

    I am pretty into Blue Rays destroying DVDs as a format. DVDs look crap to my screwy eyes (which as an aside do not allow to view anything in 3D). Supposedly Blue Ray is much more scratch resistant too, which should be good for rentals.

    $1999 seems a lot for media playing device (I mean whats the difference between that and a laptop with a built in blueray player?) but that is about the difference in price between a Wifi ready and regular Samsung L.E.D


    ...of course there is no point to my post as I will never be allowed to spend $5k plus on a fancy HD tv. Ah well.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    do any of these new thingamybobs come with an installer geek person who can plug everything in right?

    My gadget illiterate father can program his Mysky HD...I cannot. This is a first in our relationship and he is quietly very pleased with himself.

    I can't work out if technology is getting easier to deal with or if we are just collectively getting better at navigating our way through menus.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Craig

    Torchwood: Children of Earth was just warmed over Quatermass with some chaste gay attraction thrown in. I thought it weak.

    @Russ

    Home 3D may be closer than you think, just to confirm my slight geekiness I reveal I read The Register:
    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/07/23/fujifilm_3d_w1/

    Note it takes 3D video and you can buy a 3D screen to view the pictures/video on and no silly glasses required. So bums on seats required at the moment, but give it 3 to 5 years and it's Pirates a gogo.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Sam's right, webweaver: the great genius of MySky is that old folks can use it.

    The blessed Freeview DVR is good, but there's one big difference: the remote. The MySky remote works well, it's sculpted and solid, and it doesn't have a million buttons.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Re: 3D

    Its all well and good and gosh-oh-wow, except for the 10-20% of the population who for various reasons can't see it. If your eyesight varies significantly from one eye to the other, odds are 3D won't be that wonderful for you. That's fine when its an option, but if it gets to the point where significant movies are 3D or nothing, then the outcry will begin. Cause they tend to look like crap without the glasses.
    </parent of child with amblyopia>

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Its all well and good and gosh-oh-wow, except for the 10-20% of the population who for various reasons can't see it.

    Wait - is it going to be the stereogram thing all over again? I might just kill myself to save time.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Wait - is it going to be the stereogram thing all over again? I might just kill myself to save time.

    Nah, not that bad. If the old-school blue & red lens 3D glasses work for you you'll be fine. If not, headache city.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    To what extent would Coraline freak the fuck out of my kids, should we choose to take them with us?

    The book creeped me out. Looking forward to the flick. Might not take my youngest The Wolves In The Walls freaked him out enough, and that was a picture book.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Regarding ComicCon, EA certainly haven't done themselves any favours with their ridiculous "commit acts of lust with the booth babes" competition.

    So they either assume all ComicCon attendees are just there for the "babes" and they're all men (well, I'm a dyke - perhaps I'm the target audience too), but if they're trying to move beyond insulting ideas of what demographics comic fans fit into, or encourage a broader range of participation, they are FAILing mightily.

    Of course, when you encounter reactions like Randall Schwartz's (read comments) to the observation that booth babes really don't provide a welcoming atmosphere to most women (not to mention the men who find them unnecessary/distasteful), it's no wonder that there's a perception that certain events/industries are not exactly inclusive.

    /slight off-topicness

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 415 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    TiVo in New Zealand will be more open, more networkable and more expandable than MySky. It's a powerful brand. But the 30,000 people most likely to want a TiVo already have a MySky. It's not going to be easy to sell an $800 box to the rest of the country.

    I lust after a Tivo. I'd have a MySky, except you gotta pay for Sky to use it, which doesn't work for me. Sky doesn't offer me the bang for my buck that would make it good value for me. Plus the kids would constantly need crowbarring off the cartoon channels.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Re: 3D

    We will need to developer good 3D glasses that with focus adjustment knobs.

    But then we might decide to ditch big screen model, if we all wind up sitting inside the fantastic goggles, that could just as easily be plugged into the picture theaters high definition system.

    Then watching contemporary silent films, backed by some-sort of techno wurlitzer, will start to become all the rage.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2285 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The most interesting presentation was by Shaun Brown (SBS, ex-TVNZ). I could share some of his comments, if people are interested.

    Sure enough. I will do that tomorrow. Tonight I have to read my way through the final draft of my student's 50,000 word masters thesis.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2219 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Sam's right, webweaver: the great genius of MySky is that old folks can use it.

    Haha! So can I! It's not the programming/using the gadgets I have problems with (they're like computers once they're plugged in, and I can do computers...) - no I mean literally the plugging in is what causes me the nightmares.

    Does the DVD player cable go into the MySky and from there into the TV? Does the stereo go into the amp first and then into the back of the telly? What about my old video recorder?? Does that plug into the telly first, or the DVD player, or the MySky??? Or all three????

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Fish,

    3D = crap for people who wear glasses...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    3D = crap for people who wear glasses...

    Fear not! The new giant-fly 3D glasses I tried out to see the U2 movie went over my Big Nerdlinger Tortoiseshells no sweat. (They don't look as cool as the old-school red and blue 3D glasses, admittedly, plus wearing two pairs of glasses at once is guaranteed to get you beaten up in the playground, but hey, it's dark. No one will know.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3583 posts Report Reply

  • Stupid,

    Can anyone recommend a <$200 Freeview HD box?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Stupid,

    3D = crap for people who wear glasses...

    BEOWULF 3D at the iMax was pretty awesome full colour 3D and the glasses fit over the top of mine.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    Hey, anybody out there who can tell me a solution for sending tv from Sky, PC etc to HD tv wirelessly please. I have wireless n

    Media extenders weren't that suitable is there anything else now or in the immediate future.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 69 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    We're not that far off the trigger-point for the minister declaring a digital switchover date

    The Freeview site says in part:

    At 60% digital homes (primary TV only) a target date will be set. At 75% digital homes or 2012 (whichever is earliest) they will set a date. A one region switch off trial will be completed followed by region by region shut off (all completed within one year). ASO will therefore take place sometime between 2012-2016.

    So when analogue signal is switched off, all our old TVs will only be good for playing DVDs and (gasp) VHS tapes? Are they figuring that when the signal is switched off the only people impacted will be a few late late late adopters and so there will not be an avalanche of discontent?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    So when analogue signal is switched off, all our old TVs will only be good for playing DVDs and (gasp) VHS tapes?

    No. They will however need a freeview box (or a Sky one) to view television.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2971 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Can anyone recommend a <$200 Freeview HD box?

    You can buy mine :-)

    I upgraded to the Freevo recording thing after a few months, and it's now sitting in its box.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2971 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    Can anyone recommend a <$200 Freeview HD box?

    I reccommend getting telstra internet (if you are in a cable ready 'hood) then get a splitter for the cable coming out of the and an RCF converter (about $5 worth of bits from Dick Smith).

    Voila great reception (mind you it doesn't give me TVNZ 7 so I'm not sure quite what I have tapped into.

    Is this dodgy? It just seemed such and easy thing to do, and it is only providing free to air TV but it seems like the sort of thing Telstra would not like people to know about.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Hey, anybody out there who can tell me a solution for sending tv from Sky, PC etc to HD tv wirelessly please. I have wireless n

    There was talk, back in 2007 of wireless HDMI but no news since.
    However, this could be interesting to those with lotsa cash, around $5000 for starters.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4453 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Ballantyne,

    Some thoughts about 3D and Avatar:

    I like to think my hero Raymond Durgnat, who never let critical rigour come between him and a good time at the movies, would have greatly appreciated the impending crop of 3D movies. Especially James Cameron's Avatar.

    I spent the best part of the last fortnight in Los Angeles, where I learned a few things: one was that Dolby has a 3D system that uses very narrow-cutting dichroic filters to encode 3D information into red and blue channels in such a way that the rest of the colour image on the film is undisturbed. You can read about it on Dolby's site.

    People who've seen it (not me) say it's preferable to even RealD, currently the best polarizing system on offer. Despite what some say, I still think that with most polarizing systems you can get cross-talk between the left and right images if you don't have your eyes and the glasses properly aligned to the horizontal. This doesn't happen with the Dolby system.

    The disadvantage of Dolby's high-tech anaglyph glasses is they cost about $US40 a pair, although I bet that's cheaper than the LCD shutter glasses IMax originally used for its 3D experiments.

    Another advantage of the Dolby technology is that if you slipped a couple of the dichroic filters into the colour wheel of a Texas Instruments-based DLP projector you could show proper 3D movies on the wall of your living room. Bugger – I was hoping my 42in LCD panel would see me out....

    I also happened to see the Avatar footage shown at Comic Con and reported on by Quint at Ain't it Cool News. Quint is far too cautious about this material – the thing that struck me about what was shown was that, apart from being a terrific return to the dynamism of Cameron's earlier films, it is also a fantastically beautiful film to watch.

    It really is much more than just another gimmick. Even the interior sequences had a unique texture and atmosphere – but the exterior sequences were astonishingly lovely, almost entirely alien (except for the odd NZ-style fern) and completely convincing, and it's mostly shot and rendered down in Wellington.

    I used to be a film reviewer a long time ago, so my professional-ish opinion is that crowds will line up to see Avatar, then come out and join the queues to see it again – three times. And that's just the general audience – the real fans will be even more enthusiastic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    In response to the Cameron approach to film-making (even bigger is even better), I can only quote British film critic/film-maker Chris Petit, Most American films come now in one size only: XXL. Dragged down by their own size, they're monster productions, buried under the weight of cast and crew, whose end credits last longer than a short story
    (Film Comment, May/June 2009)

    Anyway, for some more thoughts on the From Broadcast to Broadcast--Is That It? conference in Christchurch last Saturtday:

    Shaun Brown (MD, SBS) had the most interesting things to say--as in "Nobody knows what is happening in broadcasting [television, particular], or what is going to happen. I am very suspicious of those who have the answers. There is a failure of new funding models to replace existing ones and govt-funded PB may be the only model to survive the storm.' He suggested that the current structures of commercial TV in Australia won't survive, as will Aussie TV quotas--which will be have to be 'modified or abandoned', giving problems in filling them or justifying such regulation. One suggestion he made was that one outcome of the siphoning of traditional sources of income to other sectors (such as online) might require an obligation or levy on the latter, to fund imperatives of national interest etc, for 'the market has consistently failed to provide all the needs of its citizens'.
    An interesting proposition but you could see fellow panelists like Mediaworks Brent Impey clenching their buttocks. Nevertheless, a similiar model of cross-subsidisation works in other broadcasting environments eg in Finland, commercial TV operators such as MT3 used to cross-subsidise the PB network YLE (and still do, as far as I know).

    I can post more later..

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2219 posts Report Reply

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