TV Update

  • First movie on the new TV – Pirates of the Caribbean.  I showed my parents the beginning of Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers on it as well.  It was hard to turn it off, but as the kids were around…
  • South Park on a 73 inch TV is something to behold (no seriously).
  • The new Mitsubishi’s (at least the one I have) has a new mode for handling standard tv images called Stretch Plus.  In the stretch mode, the square picture is stretched out to fill the rectangular screen.  The problem with this is that people tend to have wide heads or shoulders, etc.  The Stretch Plus format does a much better job of keeping things proportional.  At my normal viewing distance I have to look very hard to see a problem with the picture.
  • Lighting is a problem, as we expected.  During the day you have to pull the blinds and turn off the light to watch the TV.  Even with this, some of the viewing angles are pretty poor.
  • Standard tv images look blurry if you are too close to the screen.  Most shows are fine when viewed from the couch (15 ft away), but The Planets Funniest Animals looked like crap even at 15 ft.  I think it is the poor video quality amplified by the big screen, but even the studio shots were pretty bad.
  • I have tried multiple antennas, but still have not found one to meet my needs for getting a decent HD signal.  I have tried an amplified rabbit ear style and a Terk Tube antenna.  Neither gave me all of the local HD channels consistantly.  The Terk antenna can be mounted outdoors, but I am not ready to try that.
Submitted by La at 1/30/2004 9:53:24 AM
    The picture on our 27inch and our 25inch, and even our 19inch is sharp and clear no matter what distance I am from the TV and sunlight is never a problem. Southpark is crap no matter what size the screen is.
Submitted by ElMillero at 1/30/2004 11:48:59 AM

    Jim – If you haven’t already, check out, but it is a wealth of information for AV enthusiasts…

    To assist with your antenna issue, check out

    Hope this helps –
    (Friend of Canada’s)

Submitted by jim at 1/30/2004 2:29:35 PM

    ElMillero – Thanks for the info. One of the AV forums is what turned me off on the Sony Grand Wega. I had seen something similar with the antenna calculator at Terk.

    La – pppptttt.

Home Theater Update

I have decided to go with the 73 inch Mitsubishi (73713 – Platnum Series).  Further investigation into the 70 inch Sony Grand Wega presented some interesting complaints.  There are reports that the TV’s frequently have bad LED’s, resulting in one or more green dots permenantly on the screen.  If there are a significant number of these, Sony will replace the TV, but just a couple of dots is not enough for them.

From what I have seen and read about the Mitsubishi, I have pretty high expectations.  It is a rear projection TV with a built in HD tuner.  Beside numerous normal inputs, the TV has a firewire port and supports a number of memory card formats, (Compaq Flash, etc), so you can display digital pictures directly on the TV.  In theory I should be able to hook my Digital Camcorder up through the Firewire and control it using the TV remote. [[So in otherwords, its a big tv with a bunch of features I will never use]].  The difference between the Mitsubish 73713 and 73513 is primarily the picture.  The 73713 (the one I’m getting) has extra hardware for focusing, in theory providing a better picture.  I never got to see the 73513 in a store – the answer the sales rep gave me was – it looks like that 65 inch, only bigger (gee thanks buddy, off to the next store).

I will provide more info on the TV once I have it in my house under my lighting conditions.

For the sound system, I decided on the Yamaha 1400.  I also considered the Yamaha 2400, but for the price difference it didn’t seem worth it.  The 2400 has 10 more watts/channel, 2 more surround sound modes, and an RS232 port – which I wouldn’t use.  Other than that, according to the manufacturers specs, the 2 are equal.

The feature that sold me on the Yamaha 1400 over the Yamaha 5660 was primarily the Night mode feature.  This will allow me to watch movies in surround sound after the kids are in bed without worrying about waking them up.  The night mode cuts out the subwoofer, and clips the highs and lows.  John O, and I tested this feature at the Sound Room, watching Spiderman.  We could still hear all of the dialog, but the background noice was clipped to an acceptable level.

The coolest feature about the Yamaha 1400 from a techie point of view is the dynamic equalization.  You sit with a microphone in your primary viewing area.  The receiver sends sound to each of the speakers independantly, and then adjust the sound level and equalization based on feedback from the microphone.

For speakers I decided on the Klipsch line.  The front speakers are Klipsch RF-15 floor standing speakers.  The Center channel is the RC-25.  The rears are the RS-25’s.  For the subwoofer I chose the RW-10 – a 10 inch powered sub.  I had considered the Velodyne DLS4000, but I decided to buy everything from one place, and Ultimate Electronics did not carry Velodyne.  The Sound Room was in the running for this deal, but my sales rep quit right before I was ready to pull the trigger.  Also, Ultimate offered free delivery.

While I was in my home theater mode, I decided I needed to upgrade DVD players.  One of ours is messed up, and I wanted a progressive scan for the new TV.  The Pioneer 563 does all the latest tricks, including DVD audio and SACD.  The receiver and speakers were out of stock, so the DVD player was the only thing I actually walked out of the store with yesterday.

Answer to obvious questions from friends and family – Yes it will be, and no we are not.

Conversation with Justin this morning.

  • Justin: Dad, you know that new invention that lets you pause TV?
  • Me: Tivo? yes.
  • Justin: I don’t think that’s very nice.
  • Me: No??? Why not?
  • Justin: If you pause it to go to the bathroom, all those people who are watching it have to wait until you unpause it.

Help fix the Missouri State High School Athletic Association.

Please take a minute to look at the request below and see a copy of the proposed Missouri state legislation HB920.  If you agree with allowing high school student athletes to train with a club team above and beyond requirements of their high school sports team during that sport’s season, then I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to contact your district representatives in the state legislature and ask them to support this bill.
The following link will assist you in determining who your representatives are and how to contact them.

The Missouri State High School Athletic Association (MSHSAA) is one of the
only state athletic associations in the country that restricts its athletes from
participating in High School sports and club sports simultaneously.  This
means that High School athletes are forced to choose between competing for
their School and their club team when they enter High School.  (A club
team includes any USA Sanctioned team; the springboard for athletes with
Olympic dreams.)

If an athlete chooses to compete for their High School they will be forced
to comply with strict rules that forbid them from practicing, or working
out, with their club coach. While there are some exceptions, most high
school practices are designed to accommodate athletes of all levels;
they are generally easier and less effective for athletes who have been
participating in a high caliber USA Sanctioned program.  The MSHSAA rule
undermines athletes that want to improve themselves in their sport with
additional workouts.  Year after year arguments have been made against the
rule, but to date the rule remains unchanged.

Recently, a Kansas City Blazer swim Mom, Kathy Waller, has written some
persuasive articles about the MSHSAA rules, which have appeared in
publications such as Splash Magazine.  Kathy, along with other active swim
parents, including John Lubus of St. Louis, have blazed a trail leading to a
proposal of a Bill (HB920) before the Missouri House of Representatives.
The Bill would allow athletes involved in individual sports to participate
in additional workouts with their club team while they are swimming for
their High School.  Athletes, parents and coaches are hopeful that the
positive approach of the bill will make a difference by August 2004.

This rule that has restricted Missouri athletes for so long can be changed,
but everyone needs to help by contacting their District Representative.
More information about the bill and how to contact your representative can
be found on the Kansas City Blazers web site:

HB 920 -- Student Athletes

Sponsor:  Walsh

This bill prohibits any entity from preventing a student athlete
from competing in or training for any sports event recognized by
the United States Olympic Committee and sanctioned by the
national governing body for that sport.  The provisions of the
bill apply only to those sports under the jurisdiction of the
United States Olympic Committee and known to be "Olympic" sports.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
92nd General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated January 21, 2004 at 11:03 am


I chipped a molar on a chocolate covered almond the other day.  Today I went to the dentist and they placed on a temporary crown (I get a permenant one in 2 weeks).  My mouth was pretty numb, but I thought it was getting better so I decided to get a Coke.

Drinking a Coke with a semi-numb mouth is a very weird sensation.  The Coke feels warm on parts of my tongue and where my mouth is still numb.  Some of my mouth still has no feeling, so I can’t even feel the Coke when it is in those locations.