I have a problem: I want a new HDTV, I have very specific requirements, and I’m not which models match, or even how best to find that out. There’s always the LazyWeb, and it’s showing new signs of life, in the form of Dave Sifry’s Hoosgot. Let’s see if it can help me find the right TV.
The TV Problem · I bought an HDTV setup to watch the 2004 World Series; a Hitachi plasma set with only 480 lines of native vertical resolution. For its original purpose, watching high-def sports broadcasts, it works just fine. Based on what I’ve seen on other sets, even the latest 1080p sets, I’m not sure that the nominal-1080 coming out of the satellite receiver has much more to offer than the Hitachi can handle; and in any case it seems like there’s not much of a case for going past 720p in my form factor (see #2 below).
But there are two apps for which I really want the 1080. First, my video camera shoots 1080i. Second, I want to use the TV for outboard display of my pictures. I grew up in a family where we took slides and sometimes set up the screen and projector for a family slide-show. I liked that and want to recreate it, and the current screen does a really bad job. Also, it looks like 1080p is a technology plateau that should last for a while. So here are my requirements:
There’s only one place in the house to put it, so it can’t be more than about 41 inches wide, which means 42" in whatever units they use to measure TV screens.
Needs to be really shallow, which means either plasma or LCD I guess. When I go to the stores, it seems that the LCD screens please my eye a little better, but probably either would be OK.
Needs to be suitable for watching live sports via satellite (but this seems pretty well a wash with the good modern sets).
Needs to appear to my Mac as a 1920x1080 display, no fuss, no muss, no SwitchResX. They say DVI input is better than VGA, but I’m not sure I can see that.
Multiple inputs is good. Currently we have the DVD player, the satellite, the Wii, and the DVI wire all plugged in, and I have to unplug one to plug in the camera, which sucks. I may have to get some sort of video switcher/receiver.
There you have it. I’ve done some poking around and it’s gonna be laborious to find a box matching all the above. But I bet there are quite a few Mac owners out there who could put up their hand and say “Hey Tim, my Pioneer or Sony or Toshiba or whatever is just the ticket”.
Hoosgot · Hoosgot (About page) scans the Technorati flow (including blog feeds and twitters) for anyone mentioning its name or “LazyWeb” (thus, it includes the article you are now reading), and aggregates short summaries. Obviously, credit is due to Ben Hammersley for the original LazyWeb idea.
If it becomes popular at all, subscribing to Hoosgot will become untenable. I currently follow it on Twitter and even in its pre-announce phase, it’s kinda noisy.
I suppose the notion is that if it gets some traction, it’ll develop good Google-karma and someone like me, looking for a TV (or for an android assistant or blues bassist or chlamydia cure) might turn up the answer on Hoosgot. Anyhow, it belongs at the very least in the “worth watching” category.
Something else interesting; I note that that Dave used WordPress to build the front-end for this new thing. I wonder what other strange and wonderful uses will emerge for well-engineered personal publishing platforms.