I’ve paid no attention to home theaters for the last four years (really!) because there has been a major format war between HD DVD and Blu Ray and more over I can’t imagine throwing away the gigantic 200 kg 72″ rear projection TV monster I have, but with HD DVD dying this February and so many plasma’s coming out, its time to see what the story is. Here is the scoop:
* This old Mitsubishi 72″ rear projection actually doesn’t look too bad. It produces 1080i60 (that’s 1080 lines vertical, interlaced at 60 frames per second. Confused yet?). It also handles 480p30 (which is 480 lines progressive at 30 frames per second). It is amazing, but even though acquired either years ago, that’s really not all that bad. Today’s flat screens can handle 1080p30 which it turns out is essentially identical to 1080i60 in bandwidth).
* It only has component inputs which means it uses three wires rather than the new HDMI (HDMI gloms it all together and also adds audio while DVI used by computers is similar but doesn’t carry audio). All Blu Ray players have component output. Right now, the Comcast HD DVR for instance products full 1080i60 and also Dolby 5.1 via optical output, so the Mitsubishi is actually well matched to this.
* There is a scary set of “flags”:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=985228 (that no one uses today) that tells the Blu Ray player not to send 1080i60 signals to “component outputs”:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1010206. But no discs today actually implement it.
The net of it is that in order to upgrade to Blu Ray, it looks like it will work out OK mainly because all the source material produced by Hollywood is in 1080p24 form right now. When they send things out as 1080p60, so double the frame rates, then that year 2000 RPTV is obsolete. Whew!
OTOH, will you really see a difference with “Blu Ray”:http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=841 most good DVD players that are stuck with 480i60 and actually doing upconverts to 480p30, so it doesn’t look all the bad. While that doesn’t sound like it, it turns out that in terms of resolution 480p30 is like getting 960i60 so it is pretty close to 1080i60. Net, net, it isn’t clear how much better the picture is. The key again is that source material is actually in 1080p24, so that is the best you can see in the end.
There are many “comparisons”:http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/apple-tv-20-vs-blu-ray-dvd-hd-cable-the-comparison/?source=rss_tech that show how much better 1080p images are as single images. I actually find these pretty strange since they really aren’t right. If you show a 1080p image as a single frame you will get double the resolution so it will look better as iLounge shows. This is because the 1080i image is actually done as two fields of 540 lines that come out twice as fast. If you do that math, it is better clear that 1080p24 source material has to look more or less the same at 1080p30 or 1080i60. If there is ever 1080p60 film from Hollywood, then everyone needs new televisions. Even some new films like “Star Wars”:http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=26751&page=3 was shot in 1080p60, these have not yet seen the light of day and most traditional films were done 24fps.
Even in digital movie theaters (drool, drool), the standard formats are 1080p24, 2160p24 (whoohoo!) and 1080p48.
Spent a day thinking about nothing but music in the US. Strange to just have a meeting about music in China and then go directly to the US. Interesting sites:
* “lala.com”:http://lala.com. Spirit of full disclosure we are investors, but what the heck kind of cool
* “nutsie.com”:http://nutsie.com. Ditto
* “Pandora”:http://pandora.com. I haven’t played with it in a while. Same basic idea. Experts categorize music and then you create stations based on a single song or artist. Kind of neat. Good way to explore (vs. by recommendations which La La and Nutsie do). Nice user interface.
Cool new artists (no account for my tastes):
* “John Mayer’s Say”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ0z86LmXBM . OK, he may be dating Jennifer Aniston (who hasn’t gone out with her???), but the song is pretty cool.
* “Kat DeLuna”:http://www.pandora.com/music/artist/kat+deluna and 9 Lives. Discovered by a choice from Cassie’s Me & U, some great tracks like “Whine Up”:http://www.nutsie.com/song/Whine%20Up/4631672 and I have to say the Nutsie search for Youtube for the video is hilarious and intercuts a kid video with a movie “Feel The Noise”:http://www.lala.com/#album/504684633539399264/.
Now I just wish I could actually find my iPhone. I can’t figure out where it went
Cupertino â€œsourcesâ€ report that itâ€™s â€œhighly probableâ€ the iPhone 2.0 Gold Master will ship this Friday, two weeks before the iPhone 3G ships and just close enough to the end of June to keep Appleâ€™s promise to ship the software this month
Have yet another backlog of sites. The “Time”:http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/1,28804,1809858_1809957,00.html list is pretty good:
GasBuddy has real time prices from the community. Save a few bucks!
TripKick since TripAdvisor isn’t good enough. It tells you which floor to stay on 🙂
AfriGadget are simple things that can work in the developing world
PopSugar shows I’m a bad person. I love reading gossip!
Picnik uses flash so you can do basic picture editing. I don’t think I’d actually use it, but amazing user interface and the future of applications imho.
http://www.noslang.com/ is the way to figure out all the slang being used on the internet. For instance l33tspeak which means you replace letters with numbers like she1b0y. Lots of things I didn’t know like P911 or W/E (my current favorite!).
Hat tip to Bill on this one, a good source of overview information that shows the size of the internet advertising business. “Clickz”:http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3630011 which is mainly from Neilson Online (really “Netratings”:http://www.netratings.com/). Some tidbits:
* Web Media (what ever that is?) is largest at 74B impressions per month
* Financial services is the largest segment I understand at 52B impressions per month
* Retail goods and services 35B (which is different than consumer goods at 10B)
* Telecommunications is 26B. I imagine these are cheap long distance
* The other interesting ones were travel at 7.5B which is much smaller than I would have thought
* Public services is 9.6B whatever that is.
Final interesting thing is latest search share. “Netratings”:http://www.netratings.com/pr/pr_080619V.pdf says it is 59% Google. Yahoo is 17% and Microsoft increase share by 72% to their share to 13% since last year in May. Overall search grew 9.5% YOY. Google by 15% so share growth is modest at best.
Finally I thought the top 25 companies buying sponsored links (you know the right hand side of google) was interesting and sort of unexpected too. Here they are along with the top three search terms they bought. Most of the top searches look like people typing into the toolbar a URL. But I would never have guess term 3 for ebay, nextag and others was google:”refrigeration tools”
Top 25 Companies by Top Three Search Terms, May 2008
| Company | Search Terms |
| eBay | ebay trucks refrigeration+tools |
| Interactive Corp | priceline priceline.com match.com |
| Internet Made Simple | calorie+shifting oprah.com weight+watchers |
|True | match.com my+space.com online+dating |
| Yahoo | natru-vent trucks prom+dresses |
| Pickamortgage | no+cost+refinance mortgage+refinancing+
companies refinancing+a+mortgage |
| Wu Yi Source | nutrisystem weight+watchers.com south+beach+diet |
| Amazon.com | amazon.com samsung+series+6 “richard+pepperman” |
| Target Corp. | the+sockman+socks nintendo+event global+stone |
|Experian Group Ltd. | endurance+saddle+pads free+credit+report equifax |
|driverTV | santa+fe+ volkswagen+beetle hyundai+santa+fe |
|Fidelity Investments | car+insurance car+insurance+quotes united+health+care |
|MillionaireMate.com |wealthy+men.com match rich+in+new+york |
|Zencon Technologies LLC | blackplanet blackpeoplemeet match.com |
|Mate1.com | match.com chat chat+rooms |
|NexTag Inc. | refrigeration+tools toter+trucks fayetteville+state+
| BizRate | natru-vent endurance+saddle+pads homes+for+rent |
| Shopzilla Inc | refrigeration+tools cost+of+helicopter abetta+saddles |
| Gigmasters.com Inc. | sweet+sixteen+party+ideas cinco+de+mayo+music cinco+de+mayo |
|Google | google mail google+homepage |
|Smarter.com | refrigeration+tools citizen+cmp-10 portable+dvd+players+
|Time Warner | trucks mapquest aol |
Money And Markets | g+e+stock korea+free+trade fed+rate |
|FUZZ | independent+labels promoting+music lyrics+for+spanish+
|Esurance car+insurance car+insurance+quotes free+auto+insurance+quotes |
Kind of amazing, this guy travelled around the world twice doing the same dance in different places (hat tip to the fake “Steve Ballmer”:http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-just-liked-this.html) for this rocking good video. I mainly love the soundtrack. What a great job and what a great adventure. 14 months of travel, 42 countries at “Where the Hell is Matt?”:http://wherethehellismatt.com and thank “Stride Gum”:http://stridegum.com for the imagination to sponsor him. I wish every market was as adventurous:
I’ve been using beatup sunglasses for a few years now, but I’ve always wanted to get another set of “Oakley M Frame”:http://www.sunglasses-int.com/09-130.html or whatever is the coolest set these days. I still have a bunch of the blades and somehow lost my bright yellow ones. These are $110 now, so a little bit less than they three years ago when they were the hottest sunglasses in town thanks to Lance Armstrong using them. These things list for $120 these days and not too many discounts. “Sunglasses-int”:http://www.sunglasses-int.com/09-130.html has them for $110 including shipping. “Zappos”:
So what’s new:
* “Asian Fit”:http://oakley.com/category/1046. They have a whole line for smaller faces. Nice since the Hybrid S just about fits me, but is still large.
* “Oakley Radar Path”:http://www.backcountry.com/store/OAK1314/Oakley-Radar-Path-Sunglasses.html. These won Outside’s 2007 Gear of the Year and look like the follow-ons to the M Frame Pro, although they is more side frame so maybe more stylish. These have a new coating that is supposed to keep the water (or sweat) off of it. You can even get a “LiveStrong”:http://www.backcountry.com/store/OAK0522/Oakley-Livestrong-Radar-Path-Sunglasses.html version! These are about $157 so a little more expensive at “zappos”:http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/28484653/c/125383.html