The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

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A/V Upgrade: A Big Day

Posted on Nov 13, 2009 by billsimmon in Life of Bill, TV | 1 Comments

Today was pretty major in the A/V upgrade plan. The Panasonic G10 arrived — a day and a few hours late, but it was unharmed and ready to rock. The TiVo HD XL came last night and I set it up and got it going today — the appointment to get the CableCARD(s) installed is set for tomorrow. There were a few hoops to jump through with TiVo, but their customer service is really pretty great, so it was all sorted out in a speedy fashion.

The nerdiest thing about my day was following the instructions (with some guidance from Alex W) to load a series of 1920 x 1080 colored slides onto an SD card and run them as an infinitely looping slide show on the G10 for 120 hours. That’s 5 days. The plasma screen is brand new, all set up, and I’m running a series of 20 colored slides on it for 5 straight days before I even play my first Blu-ray disk on the thing. Why? Because apparently I believe in this voodoo. The idea is that the slides will age the plasma’s pixels evenly so when I go to the trouble of setting it to proper THX picture specs, the image parameters won’t drift out of spec as the pixels age from normal use. Apparently it’s in the first 120 hours of use that most of that happens so the A/V dweebs are recommending this crazy procedure — sort of like washing your blue jeans a bunch of times to break them in before you wear them out.

So the G10 is sitting in my living room running this slide show, and let me tell you, 50 inches of very bright plasma TV cycling through colors on the “vivid” setting adds quite an odd vibe to the room. It’s not as distracting as I thought it would be though. The worst part is having to wait 5 days before getting to enjoy the purchase.

The other thing I’m considering adding to my A/V set up is a 4-port version of one of these. Apparently, you can get respectable network speeds through your home electrical wiring. That actually solves one of my main problems — getting decent network connections for all of the various home theater components that go online — the TiVo, the PS3, the Mac and even the TV itself. I have to read more before taking that plunge.

I’ll check in after the CableCARDs appointment tomorrow. Onward!



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  1. Awesome! Congrats! I’m basking in my Sonos system right now. There are advantages to this crazy age.

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