DVDs & AV...

I enjoy watching films, and a fair few TV shows, preferably with decent quality sound.

I hesitated (until the great radiator flood of January 2010) to reproduce my first-ever hifi magazine article1 (but you can now read all about "Living with Dolby B" in a small, unsuitably-shaped flat) from 1975. And here is some evidence of my audio-visual adventures. These include my ever-evolving hifi-audio/visual components and my ongoing attempts to document my current system.

A message to people who email asking for copies

I receive occasional requests for copies of various items. My position is very simple: I do not distribute copyright material.

Back in Spring 2009 I entered the wonderful world of HDCP-compliant 1080p hi-def Blu-ray on a 60" plasma screen. Later that year I upgraded the audio amplifying and video scaling side of things. I added the Netgear A/V media streamer. Replaced that by a tiny Western Digital "Live TV HD" media player. Replaced that by my second Oppo (network-capable) Blu-ray player. And treated the screen — now my oldest video component — to a stand.

The August 2012 iteration

Glittering delights in store

I transcribed my several hundred expensive analogue video LaserDiscs2 on to DVDs before "laser rot" finished rendering them all unplayable. And I thus retired my top of the range third Pioneer LD player (they manufactured the last 3,000 or so of these in January 2009) after seven years of faithful service. (This is surely what's meant by "paying your dues to the video industry".) I shudder to recall the depressingly-poor technical quality of VHS audio and video. How did we ever put up with such fuzzy, jittery, low-resolution, pan-and-scanned rubbish? Hi-def, thank goodness, is usually a different story.3

Caveat Voyeur:

Kodi's SQLite DB of my Films and TV Shows has been charmed by Python into generating a simple list.


1  I found a cache of these that Christa had kept all these years. She used to type them for me at a tedious 39 characters per line (to make the magazine column lengths very easy to predict). I also used a variety of pseudonyms to help disguise the fact that I might appear as often as three times in a single issue.
2  I once calculated that a LaserDisc could store three complete IBM MVS/XA address spaces — we used to think that was a lot. Now (after hiring my first LD player for a year in 1983 while I waited to see if this technology would ever catch on here in the UK — it never did) even my tiny iPod Classic 160GB MP3 jukebox has (far) more capacity. Not to mention a tiny colour video screen.
3  My Kuro plasma screen's resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 does my old eyes fine, clearly revealing all the inherent digital weaknesses of standard definition UK broadcasts. Blu-ray discs and hi-def channels are (generally) an entirely different, better, story.