The New Hotness
Fully Equipped to Participate in any TA Discussion Forum
I should be blogging more often. I've been up to quite a lot lately, not the least of which was getting outside and test firing my not-really-new-anymore XM42 Flamethrower
. Heck, if you follow that link, they already have a whole new-and-improved model for sale!
I picked up the flamethrower all the way back in April; it was a spontaneous combustion
purchase that I had hoped to bring to a big camping event, but windy conditions shut that idea down. Work was insanely busy all year, and summer here is "fire season." So I waited patiently for the weather to cool and tinderbox conditions to improve, then I hauled the flamethrower out to a local shooting spot to see just how crazy-dangerous it is to shoot flaming gasoline up to 30 feet.
Turns out, it's not so bad. I did get the occasional flaming rain drops, but they were few and they burned out quickly on the bare ground. I thankfully did not set the desert ablaze (I had a fire extinguisher on hand just in case).
In any case, the XM42 is quite the nice design. And it's even more fun
than it looks.
Theater Improvements: Stick a 4K in It!
In other news, I didn't plan to overhaul my home theater setup. It just kind of happened.
All was well when I picked up my Scorpio edition X1X on launch day. Although my whole network of consoles and screens is primarily 1080-based, my projector is native 4K. The plan was always to plug the Scorpio directly into projector input #2 and use it for Enhanced titles only. I can still run any other console on any screen (including projector input #1). It's a stretch to call it a "compromise" that I can only
fully enjoy Enhanced titles on a 115" screen with full theater sound.
When (your friend and mine) Mr Granstaff
asked me about 4K TVs, I didn't have the slightest desire to get one myself. In fact, I've barely been paying attention to the market. Still, I'm in a good position to evaluate the state of things and offer opinions on what matters and what really doesn't.
For example, I know that HDR is at least as important as pixel-density for image quality. And I've been reading about OLED for a while, so I know that it's a major step forward for display technologies. The buzzwords you'll hear are that older LCD technologies are "transmissive" and OLED is "emissive." That means you need a light source to shine through LCDs, so even when they're "off" you still get a little bit of light bleeding through. However, OLED pixels are
the light source, so when they're off, they're off
. Translation: OLED offers pure blacks, which is a really big deal for digital displays.
What I didn't
know (until I started digging) is that LG owns the patent for OLED jointly with Panasonic, and they apparently made a deal to divide the market: LG gets North America and Panasonic gets Europe. Furthermore, LG manufactures all
OLED panels; other companies like Sony are simply wrapping an LG panel in their own shell. Finally, what really blew my mind was learning that LG uses the exact same panel
for their entire line of TVs! The only difference between their entry-level TVs and the top-of-the-line OLED is industrial design and better integrated speakers. Seriously, that's it.
So let's review: OLED is a disruptive technology that unequivocally offers the very best 4k picture you can get, and when you boil it all down there's really only one OLED panel on the market
. LG's base model OLED TV has the best picture you can get at the best price you'll find. And because of this odd monopolistic situation, LG has fixed the holiday sales price with its authorized resellers, so there's not much to do in the way of bargain hunting. Nor is there any realistic prospect that competition will drive down prices or that unexpected sales will pop up. The next best opportunities to buy will likely be pre-Superbowl or next Black Friday.
Will next year's models improve enough in quality or drop enough in price to consider waiting? I don't see how. If you want a 4K TV, the only real question is whether you can justify the expense to get the one clear choice now....
Because Of Course I Did
It's a question I had to ask myself again, despite my conviction that I didn't need or want new TVs. That's when I realized: my projector
is 4K. My monitors
are all 4K. My only displays that aren't
4K are ... my TVs.
It turns out true 4K matrix switches are available now, too, so there's a path to upgrade my setup so that I can play Enhanced content on any screen! Better still, the matrix I'm eyeing has integrated network access, so I could use any browser (like my laptop or my iPad) to change sources!
Suddenly what once seemed so unnecessary.... OK, let's be real--upgrading my TVs is the very definition
of unnecessary. The fact that the final justification to pull the trigger was that the 55" TVs looked too small next to the 115" screen and 65" would just fit
is without a doubt the most pathetic First World Problem I've ever had the urge to solve. And yet it's hard to argue with the results.
One small caveat for anyone else considering getting these LG TVs and mounting them on a wall. The mounting hole pattern and placement LG chose was a royal pain to deal with and required me to assemble an elaborate custom adapter. Full story and pics behind the spoiler tag:
There's plenty more I'd like to share, such as:
- Seeing where Autumn grew up around Pittsburgh and going to her childhood friend's wedding....
- Meeting Paul for the first time in person and standing up for him (and Dawn!) at his wedding....
- Making friends with Sven, whom I've seen on the site, but didn't know well....
- Visiting filming locations for The Walking Dead in and around Sonoia, GA....
- That whole 12 Days Challenge I just wrapped up....
Each of those topics is worth a blog of its own, but I've written too much already. Another time....
Posted by SpeleoFool
on 20 December 17 at 00:01
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