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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Monday, 30 July 2007

waiting and TVs..

It looks like the 'steady state' of this blog is a weekly update of what's going on in the family. I tend to document the minutiae of life with Twitter, since it only takes a couple of lines, but I do keep forgetting to link to the more interesting websites I encounter.

The week's been a fairly busy one - Belfor made their final visit, to clear out the carpet from the studio and remove all the beyond-economical-repair items (mercifully few, to be honest, but without PC monitors and a mixer, and with the furniture moved to one side of the room, my studio activities remain somewhat limited). Now we wait for Crawfords to co-ordinate the reconstruction work and supply the money to replace the carpets and flood-damaged items. Considering this happened shortly before all the floods hit west of here, I can imagine we're part of a long list of administrative tasks...

The roadworks around here are continuing apace - I found a very interesting link to a M1 project page with a photo gallery of the bridge demolition works. I would have loved to have seen it at close quarters, but a brief drive around last Saturday evening didn't really afford a decent view, so I'm glad of a chance to see what went on. Ironically, the main delays in my coach journeys to and from London are being caused by congestion in the heart of London - although the motorway can be slow at rush-hour, I sometimes have to wait 45 minutes for the coach to arrive at the bus stop, by which time the traffic on the M1 is at least a little lighter.

Lenni and Chris playing Bejeweld 2 on the the new TVSince the speakers stopped working on the TV in the lounge, we've been looking out for a fairly economical new television. Beth discovered something of a bargain on the Ebuyer website - a 37 inch flat screen television for £400 - comparing that with over £1500 for an equivalent Sony product, it's a good deal. Having read up a little about high definition TV, it seems that 720p (720 visible lines) is fairly good quality - not quite at the standard of 1080p, but the picture's good when - for example - I play an HD AVI from my laptop through the VGA input. Christopher and Lenni love to play computer games together on this giant monitor, too! (see the photo to the right)...

It's been a bit of a TV content-fest of late, in fact - I received an email inviting me to try out Joost on Friday, and finally managed to reach the end of the queue for the BBC iPlayer beta yesterday. Despite being 'on-demand' TV services, they work in different ways - Joost requires to you watch the TV using an application on your computer, while iPlayer actually downloads the shows and uses Windows Media Player (either on a PC or a portable media player that supports that kind of licencing, I believe) to play them. The quality's about the same on both, though, and the range of shows is - of course - limited to the content that's available on each service (with no noticeable crossover).

I'm wondering what it would look like played onto the big TV - to be honest, being a Virgin Media subscriber, and having access to their on-demand services, the appeal is quite limited to me.

In fact, I was musing upon the whole idea of 'downloadable media', especially in terms of podcasts - the audio medium on which anyone can create and publish content; in short I believe there'll always be a place for conventional "switch it on and see what's playing" radio, since too much choice can be a little overwhelming. More on this in another blog entry, I'm sure.

Links of the day:

Posted by james at July 30, 2007 6:42 PM

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