Print Story Do we really need 1080p
By georgeha (Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:40:39 PM EST) 1080p, discworld, beer, ebay (all tags)
Phil, the beloved family tube, is on his last diodes. We're expecting to replace him any month now. But do we really need 1080p?

Plus, fighting the English with tax-delayed retirement accounts, why I only ebay to Americans, she's back, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork and less in the TGIF diary!

Poll: Favorite part of Saint Paddy's Day?

Our old style Phillips tube tv, a 25 inch standard format, is in hospice. When you change the input mode, it takes about five seconds by remote, the hard switch on top doesn't work. The picture is increasingly concave as the guns deteriorate. Every few weeks I have to completely unplug it, let it cool to ambient, and the plug it in again. Truly, Phil is headed for the unfiltered, lead and phosgene emitting third world dismantler soon.

We could try to cheap it out with a $40 tube from the local thrift shop, but the family wants to move up to a flat screen TV, between 37-41 inches, measured diagonally. My biggest concern is whether in the age of Moore's law and increasingly short electronics lifetime, if it's worth going to 1080p. I'm thinking no, the only current viewing source that comes close is over the air, which is 1080i, and we rarely watch over the air TV. Our dish only hits 720p for pay per view, the Wii doesn't even hit that (Netflix), and we still have an archaic DVD player (720). Sixteen_year_old has mentioned AppleTV, but our DSL download speed isn't even good enough for 720p at 5MB/s, and I'm not sure how much Netflix content comes in at 720p. So, unless there's no price difference, I'm not seeing a need for 1080p. What does Husi think?

Of course, how will we pay for such a thing? Mrs. Ha has a nice gold and turquoise ring she picked up at an estate sale for a buck that she thinks she can get a few hundred for on ebay, which would about cover it. We shall see.

Speaking of ebay, I really don't like selling to non-Americans, which is why I only list American shipping. In the past I've sold to Canadians. I like Canadians, I've known a few, and other than a few linguistic and spelling quirks (using "eh" instead of "like", that "er" dyslexia and a fondness for extraneous "u"s) they seem just like Americans, American who drink bad beer. But, USPS international rates have increased, and the custom's forms are odd (Is this a gift? How much is it worth?) and involves me visiting the Post Office counter in person.

So, when an Indonesian bid on a promotional Lego set I had listed, I was irked. He didn't want to pay $23 for shipping I could do at home, but will pay $13 for shipping that requires me to visit a Post Office counter in person.

In kid news, eleven year old is back safe and sound. The sixth graders at her school do a four cities trip, where they split the class into foru groups and visit four cities that are dealing with issues Rochester faces. This year's issue is bike commuting, and her city was Portland. This story from the Portland BOT shows her class, she's not pictured or mentioned because she was at the hotel recovering that day. Yes, we had to get up a 3 am on Sunday (4 am if you believe in DST) to get her to the airport on time to make her 7:20 flight. We suspect the long flights, inactivity, heavy dinner and exuberantly chlorinated hotel pool combined to make her throw up that night, and remain queasy the next day. She missed quite a bit.

The return plane was late, she got to bed late, she had a hard time getting moving this morning.

In other morning news, we're having trouble getting sixteen_year_old out of bed in time.

There are no school consequences. If she's late without an excuse, she goes to first period detention. Her first period class is Theatre Tech, they don't often do stuff, and while she likes her teachers, they probably don't care. The expectations for that class are low, since she doesn't come to school stoned, or engage in nail gun wars, she's already the best student.

I'll keep using this as examples as to why they need adults for their UK trip. She thinks she and her forgetful friends should be allowed to gallivant around the UK unescorted when she's 18, she doesn't want the Girl Scouts leaders to cramp her style.

Maybe I'll use freezer marbles, too.

In gaming news, I've played a few solo games of Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. I like it, but you need to be familiar with the Ankh-Morpork novels to really appreciate the theme, and you should know all the cards and varying winning conditions if you want to win. Each person draws one character (Vetinari, Vimes, Rust...) who has their own victory condition. Rust has to control so many areas of A-M, Chryosphrase has to earn $50, etc.

For the weekend, we'll probably skip the Saint Paddy's Day parade, it will be barely above freezing. I'll miss the opportunity to say no to the people collecting for the IRA, let the Irish fund their own tax-delayed retirement accounts!

Instead we'll pick up my new very expensive glasses, the lenses alone were about $500. Bifocals, high indice plastic and auto-darkening really jack up the price for my terrible prescription.

Sixteen can lust over expensive frames while we find something more in our budget, and we have to pick up corned beef. Some heavy cream, too.

< Space Age Architecture and The Jetsons | A bird in the hand >
Do we really need 1080p | 38 comments (38 topical, 0 hidden)
Buy the best TV you can afford by anonimouse (4.00 / 0) #1 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:31:41 PM EST
Every family spends a lot of time in front of their TV, why spend the cost of a couple of cinema tickets to buy something you'll be spending many hours in front of?

I'm not sure if I'm representative or not, but I have 1 42" TV (main room), 1x32" TV (Mr minimouse), 1x28" TV (mr & mrs mouse), 1x26" TV (miss minimouse). All of the TVs are 1080p. All except the large TV were less than $300. The only thing I don't bother with is 3D as I've found viewing it in cinemas gives me headaches. There's a 4:3 19" display on one of the two downstairs PCs. All TVs also double as computer monitors.

I'm under the impression that 42" is only about a standard purchase nowadays anyway.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
The $40 thrift shop one then? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:35:59 PM EST
That's affordable.

I'm figuring if we can get five years out of our next TV, we'll be lucky. Why pay extra for 1080p if we have nothing to supply 1008p with? I'm not planning on buying a blueray player soon.

[ Parent ]
a self-fulfilling prophecy? by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:54:01 PM EST
Buy a huge expensive TV and you watch more TV? Large altar, draws in a large flock to worship.

(disclaimer: I don't have a TV at all)
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Well by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:01:45 PM EST
My huge expensive 42" TV was cheaper than my previous huge expensive 32" tube which in turn was cheaper than my  huge expensive 25" Sony Trinitron.

I think they're more of a standard, because a huge TV can be less obtrusive by being bolted to a wall.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
1080p by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #3 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:36:05 PM EST
1080p irritates me because the laptop display market standardized on it, thereby doing away with 1920x1200 display resolution.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
Good on Google by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:32:12 PM EST
for making the Chromebook Pixel with its 3:2 display at high resolution.

As for me, I'm on an oldish 1920×1200 ThinkPad, having held out from upgrading a 1600×1200 one as long as I could.

[ Parent ]
I had a 1920x1200 by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 06:50:50 PM EST
but it died a month ago or so. not happy. :{

if i coul dhave afforded a macbook with retina, i would have done that.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Beer by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:59:38 PM EST
Yeah, no kidding, American beer is...wait.  Did you just say American beer is better than Canadian beer?  This is a first for me, seeing this strange opinion.

I have a 46" 1080p in the living room, but I have a Blu-ray player and an Apple TV (with fast enough internets).  32" 720p in the bedroom, and 24" 1080p for each kid.  Much like posted above, only the 46" cost over $300, and the kids' were under $200. 

The Canadian beer I can get is lame by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:03:36 PM EST
Labatt's, Molson's, etc. Sleeman's is the closest thing I can get to a Canadian microbrew, and it's not all that.

There must be tasty, all malt no corn Canadian beer, I've just never had the pleasure, save for the okay but not all that Sleeman's.

Compare that to Saranac, Sam Adams, Southern Tier, High Falls, Great Lakes, well, you see the difference.

[ Parent ]
See? That's the problem. by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:39:43 PM EST
Labatt and Molson products should be compared to Budweiser and such.  Sleeman's is a step up, but still a mass-market brewery.  I used to love visiting my Beer Store and loading up on bottles of things I'd never heard of before.

[ Parent ]
Right, but good Canadian beer is apocryphal by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:42:07 PM EST
people talk about it, but it never crosses my palate, I don't see it at Wegmans.

[ Parent ]
Well, then you'd better find some Kokanee. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:20:03 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
unibroue comes to mind. by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:02:15 PM EST
i'm not too familiar with canadian beers myself, but unibroue (out of quebec) beats the hell out of all the american breweries you list except great lakes, which is a national treasure. only thing is it tends to be pricier belgian-ish stuff, not your usual pilsners, stouts, pale ales, etc.

it doesn't make sense to compare labatt's, molson's, moosehead, and their like with great lakes. those are just the canadian versions of anheuser busch, coors, etc. the truth is most everyone in north america drinks bad beer because bad beer is what dominates the market there.

[ Parent ]
I have heard good things about Unibroue by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #23 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:22:55 PM EST
and next time I'm flush and foolish I may pick up some.

But, just how Canadian is beer from a bunch of Canadian hating Quebecois?

[ Parent ]
indeed, there's a good argument to be made by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #25 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:59:45 PM EST
that french canadians aren't real canadians, but they make a pretty good belgian style ale. makes sense -- they speak french, but aren't from france, just like belgians.

[ Parent ]
many belgians would take issue with that by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #27 Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:21:00 AM EST

Combined with lots of Trappist and Lambic beers from Brabant and Antwerp.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
also, unibroue makes beer for trader joe's by nathan (4.00 / 1) #33 Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:03:00 AM EST
TJ's Vintage Ale is a Unibroue product at $5 for 750mL.  (Typically, Unibroue retails for $7-10 per 750 mL under its own label). And ten years ago I could get Unibroue's Maudite, La Fin du monde and Trois pistoles at Wegman's...

[ Parent ]
that is an interesting and fun fact. by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #35 Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:14:07 PM EST
the only trader joe beer i ever had was the whatever label stuff, which was surprisingly worse than busch light. i had not realized such a thing was possible at the time.

i've found unibroue to be fairly available throughout the northeast. the main reason people don't notice it is that it's usually sold in 750ml bottles.

[ Parent ]
that explains why it's so good by gzt (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:41:37 PM EST
I was wondering, because it's so cheap but so much better than the cost. mystery: solved.

[ Parent ]
southern tier is pretty good by gzt (2.00 / 0) #37 Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:40:03 PM EST
I would usually choose them over unibroue. well, depends on the individual beer.

[ Parent ]
It's all owned and brewed by the same 4 companies. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 06:22:42 PM EST
Good for making a products that tastes the same every where, bad for every one else.

[ Parent ]
Canadian beer was better than US beer ... by lm (4.00 / 2) #19 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:42:00 AM EST
... back in the eighties.

Beginning with the nineties, the US saw a tremendous surge in craft brewing, micro breweries, and revitalization of regional breweries. It's a whole new game these days.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
I did prefer Canadian beer in the 80's by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #22 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:21:44 PM EST
Moosehead and Grizzly, to be exact. I haven't seen Grizzly in ages, though.

[ Parent ]
And this is how the canadian/usa husi war started! by MrMole (2.00 / 0) #20 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:17:41 AM EST
As someone in the industry by ucblockhead (4.00 / 5) #10 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:06:07 PM EST
In theory, at least.

1080p is currently under supported.  The dirty secret of the industry is most streaming content today is at 720p as is most game content.  Most users don't even notice.  1080p downscaled to 720p generally looks as good as 720p content.  Often, even streaming services that advertise 1080p will downscale to 720p because of bandwidth.

This chart can help.  With a 40" TV, you need to be within 7' to detect the difference between 720p and 1080p.

That said, with prices dropping the way they are, I'd suspect that 720p TVs that are substantially cheaper than the equivalent 1080p TV would be hard to find.

Also, if you want to save money, look for one without a tuner.  This is actually just a monitor with sound, which is all you may need if you are running off of a cable box that outputs HDMI.

I fully expect 1080p to be much more common over the next 5 years.  I'd guess in five years time everything is 1080p.  Whether you actually need to view it at that resolution is up to you.

(My own company is starting to push the next level up, "2k".)
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

That helps by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:26:40 PM EST
when we finally have to do it.

[ Parent ]
right this instant by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:42:47 PM EST
i'm watching a livestream of a music festival via youtube. it's 720p.

it's on my monitor, so i can see the difference, but that's because it's like 3ft away.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I can't argue by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #26 Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:10:10 AM EST
I can't argue with anything that UCB says. 

My point would be that blue-ray players are cheap and play your dvds too.  Blueray requires 1080.  The price difference is miniscule.  Don't buy into the past, that's my rule.

Reccomendations from The Wirecutter:

"So I will be hitting the snatch hard, I think, tonight." - gzt
[ Parent ]
Blu Ray players by ucblockhead (4.00 / 0) #28 Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:39:00 AM EST
I wouldn't buy a blu ray player.  I'd buy a PS3.  It plays blu rays and also has very good apps for Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/Vudu/etc.

It is a lot pricier though.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
i did this by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #30 Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:08:35 PM EST
Well, LO was gaming at the time, but I did this and am now happy to have the backup dvd player and the tv connection to netflix in one box.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
[ Parent ]
16_year_old's classmates prefer Xbox by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #31 Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:57:28 PM EST
but either one would work.

[ Parent ]
Yeah by ucblockhead (4.00 / 0) #32 Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 05:03:52 PM EST
From a functional perspective, they are pretty much identical, except XBox 360s are for dude-bro losers while PS3s are used by cool celebrities.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
My old set was a 24" tube by lm (2.00 / 0) #18 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:39:14 AM EST
When I bought a new set, my objective was to get one that would play standard definition shows at at least the same size as my current one. I ended up with a 36" set with 720p. (The price difference between it and a 32" model was something like $20 at the time.)  It works quite nicely, does everything that I need it to. My only complaint is that two sets of inputs are standard def rather than high def. But given the large number of inputs (2 HDMI, 2 digital component, 2 analog component, 1 coax, 2 regular video) that's not all that much of a draw back.

I expect that this will carry me through to the next great thing. It looks like I'll skip over Blu Ray. But, then again, I just found out that Hammer Films released an updated Blu Ray edition of Dracula with footage added from a Japanese release containing scenes cut out in the US and European releases. I may think my position on skipping over Blu Ray.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
I shouldn't say this, but... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #21 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:09:56 PM EST
Blu Ray will die soon.  Media delivered on disks of any kind is on its way out.  It's clear that the future is in streaming media.

Much of it has to do with DRM.  The content companies have realized that the best way to fight filesharing is streaming because it fights it on both ends.  First, it is easier on users than downloading a torrent, and they've finally realized that people will pay for ease of use.  Second, it makes copying content inherently more difficult.  Finally, it lets them entirely change DRM schemes at any time.  (Once DVD was cracked, it was cracked forever.)

Also, streaming works much better with subscription models, which is what the industry seems to be moving towards.  It's a lot easier to convince people to part with $9/month than $2/movie for long tail content.  (It would not surprise me at all if the Hammer Dracula shows up on a streaming service in a year or two.  That's classic long tail content.)
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Streaming still has a lot of kinks to work out by lm (2.00 / 0) #24 Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:13:44 PM EST
It's getting there. The progress that it's made in the past few years in areas such as captioning and multiple language audio tracks is pretty impressive.

But it has a long way to go to beat out a thumb drive or stack of DVDs when you're on the road or somewhere that doesn't have broadband. And boy are there still lots of places that either have crappy 4G (if they have 4G at all) and no wired broadband.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Yeah by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #29 Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:40:35 AM EST
I expect we'll be there in ten years.  For music, apps like Spotify are already implementing "mark for offline use".

Legal mandates mean that captioning has to be there in a couple years.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
My Discerning Eyes Demand... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #34 Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:58:24 PM EST
...the crystal precision of 1080P to watch my crusty torrents on.
Science-fiction wallah, storytelling gorilla, man wearing a hat: Cheeseburger Brown.
wipo: by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #36 Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:50:00 AM EST
free alcohol on international flights.

Do we really need 1080p | 38 comments (38 topical, 0 hidden)