Monday, June 11, 2012

Breaking in our new TV with T3

It had been since 2007 that we bought our last new living room TV, and we have been using one of those old-school box TVs for our bedroom viewings. So when our tax refund check arrived, we decided it was time to upgrade both viewing scenarios.

On Tuesday of this week our 47" 3D TV from LG arrived, having been a veritable steal from Amazon. Neither of us had ever bought a TV online before, but turns out, it's possible.

We set it up on Thursday, and one of our first challenges was learning the crazy ways of smart TVs. You know, instead of using a remote control per se, you choose things on screen with the equivalent of a laser pointer, whose on-screen icon is a sideways triangle not unlike your ship in the video game Asteroids.

Then it was adjusting the TV so it would not have what I call the "Masterpiece Theatre Look." If you have a TV like this, you know what I'm talking about. It's that setting where you can see the depth of the screen really well, but in a really ugly way -- it basically looks like the real world with really poor lighting and production values. Oddly enough, the picture setting called Games is actually the one you want.

Finally it was time to watch something, and somehow, that ended up being Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

Odd choice, maybe. If you want to watch something that takes fullest advantage of the new dimensions (figuratively not literally) of your TV, you probably figure to choose something made more recently than 2003. But we just re-watched Terminator 2 a couple weeks ago, so when we saw T3 listed among our choices on Cinemax OnDemand (which we're getting free for three months with our new DirecTV subscription), it seemed like a winning choice.

Turns out, it was.

The movie looked absolutely gorgeous on our new TV. It boasted a depth and clarity the likes of which I hadn't seen before -- certainly not on a TV in my own living room, anyway. Like its most immediate predecessor in the series, the movie starts out with images of a post-apocalyptic future, and even terminator models conjured with visual effects that are now nine years old looked breathtaking.

Seems I don't know what I've been missing by not having a TV like this before now.

So now I'm licking my chops about what comes next. T3 was Friday night, and we got a late start on Zhang Yimou's Hero last night, as we first had to endure the Celtics losing Game 7 to the Heat and a failed attempt to download the first episode of the first season of Game of Thrones on HBO OnDemand. A day's worth of work sapped my energy, and I had to bail on Hero (which also looked gorgeous) about halfway through.

But oh, there's so much more still to come.

To continue the parlance of the Terminator series, we've got our T-1000, and all other models now seem obsolete.

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