Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Gettin' Kinda Tech-tic

So, here we are - on the eve of the one-year anniversary of my moving into my new (and first-ever) home. What a milestone. I still walk through my house and sometimes think, "I can't believe this is a house... that I'm paying for and living in." It's fantastic. And while I'll admit that I could've done more with it in my first year to "make it my own" - I've no complaints. There's plenty of time left (29 years, to be precise) for me to get down and dirty.

Things like... well, replacing my decrepit mailbox. Yeah - never happened last year.

But that's not what I'm dwelling on right now. After having moved up a step in where I'm living, this is about what's going on with how I'm living.

Last week I took the plunge and updated my Audio/Video status. I jumped into the glorious world of High Definition Television by ordering a new TV and Blu-ray disc player. The Blu-ray disc player came on Tuesday and the TV arrived this morning.

Holy Crap... This is ridiculous ! It's not like I haven't seen HDTV in other locales - it's just very different when you experience it for the first time in your own space.

The TV is an absolutely perfect fit in my living room at 52". The screen looks so huge... and crisp. It's almost (almost) as if you could fit two of the old 32" analog tube screens in this thing. I'm sure I'll get accustomed to the size but, right now, it feels as if a multi-plex cinema theater screen has invaded my living room. And I don't have one complaint about it.

There must be a zillion options to play with but the setup was so simple. Plug in the HDMI, turn on the cable, et voila - there it is. Turns out the cable box is 'only' 1080i and the set is 1080p, so I'm not sure how detrimental that is (not very, by the looks of it). I'll worry about that later. Right now, I'm light years from where I was last night in terms of viewing experience. Right now, I may as well be playing shortstop in the Sox/Rays game...

Without even breaching the myriad options available on the set (the manual is the size of a 125 page magazine - and that doesn't include the alternate languages) I'm stylin'. The set, itself, should be enough, yeah?

Hold on though... The Blu-ray player adds even more to the ensemble. It's like a high-tech wet dream. The player has built-in software that connects to both Netflix, for instant streaming of available movies and televisions series, as well as the Internet Radio service Pandora.

Each on their own are great services - being able to access both of them through my television and Blu-ray player is... well, it's just obscene, is what it is. And, again, the setup was an absolute breeze. Plug in the LAN cord to the player and the router, click a few buttons, enter a key-code at each site and - bingo! - it's all set up.

It's really unbelievable. I've yet to stream anything from Netflix (maybe tonight) but the Pandora works brilliantly. And if you don't know of Pandora I suggest you check it out. Set up an account, pop in an artist, and it will play songs from that artist along with similar artists. Great way to check out new music without having to actively search it out. I highly recommend it - and it's free. Then go from there. Set up different 'radio stations' based on different artists, rate songs (yay or nay) and it adjusts what songs it'll play... good stuff.

So, yeah, here it is - one year later... and with all this newly acquired technology, I'm not sure if I'll ever leave the house again.

Now I'm off to play and enjoy my new toys.


March to the Sea said...

awesome. my blu ray is just a PS3..but I love it...welcome to the man cave!!

beemac said...

congrats on the 1 year mark!

you sold me on getting blu ray and pandora!!

enjoy the new toys!

Viszlát Sjáumst said...

March > I was debating getting the PS3 and using it for the Blu-ray, too. Decided on the 'traditional' player due to the Netflix, Pandora, and the $200 discount from Amazon!

Beemac > Thanks! Can't believe it's already been a year... I haven't used the amenities much, yet, but they'll come in handy soon enough.

Rachelthefantastic said...

Congrats! I dig the blog.