Monday, April 1, 2013

The Awkward New TV


Last week, Spousal Unit and I got a new TV.

It's a 39-inch Insignia, and we paid a damn good price for it. (This doesn't change the fact that my thrifty Norwegian sensibilities were all in a tizzy at shelling out so much money.) We spent a good deal of time in the store debating whether to get 60Hz or 120. What's the difference? I'll tell you.

60Hz looks like normal TV. Good, but normal. Nothing about looking at it makes me uncomfortable.

120Hz is for action movies and things that move quickly - higher quality, sharper picture. It makes me intensely uncomfortable.

One of the first things we watched on the new screen was the finale of Trinity Blood. (We can now watch Netflix on the TV through Blu Ray.) That was fine - wonderful, even - because it was animated. The details were sharp, and we saw so many things we'd missed on our little computer screen.

But then, we watched Star Wars Episode I.

Believe me, I was against it. The event was delayed for a day when the disc went missing. Spousal Unit accused me of throwing it away, because I'd so vehemently opposed it. I did not. As much as I dislike Jake Lloyd and JarJar, the lightsaber finale is awesome.

The next day, we found the disc in the XBox, rather than the Blu Ray player. So then we had to watch it.

Here's what makes me uncomfortable about such high-quality TV. You can see everyone's pores. All the little details show up - the things the director probably worked very hard to hide. And when the movie has a mix of CG imaging and reality, it just looks awkward. Here's what I think it is: the people look so much more real, that the graphics look more fake by comparison.

It also makes me feel like I'm intruding on something. Like I'm standing right in front of these people as they act, but they don't see me.

It's like I'm standing in someone's bedroom without their consent.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed.

    I have a working theory that the affect you describe is worse for older movies that are given this treatment than newer ones that are made with high definition in mind. Greg played around with the settings on our TV/Blu Ray to get some of our movies to look more normal.

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