Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Audio and Video

I’ll begin with an illustration. Even though I now know that the Japanese Godzilla movies are about as poorly done as you can get; they still look fine to me. I can’t tell that the English-speaking voices don’t match the Japanese characters’ mouths and I can’t see the zipper on Godzilla’s back that apparently everyone else can. They aren’t the highest quality productions but they still look fine to me.

I can see some difference between video tapes and DVDs, but not as much as there apparently is. I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between DVD and Blu-ray. I noticed the difference between a flat-panel and a normal non-CRT monitor but it became harder after a little while. Big-screen, non-plasma or flat-panel TVs I am unable to see because I have to get too close to see properly. I have the same problem with hand-held magnifiers, by the time they’re close enough, the value is lost. The new electronic magnifier, from Optelec that I have works very well and if the charge runs out, it has a very long cord.

Our TVs are non-flat screen and they are 25, 27 and 32. Even though they are relatively large, I still have to sit close for optimal viewing. I would say within a foot, though I honestly couldn’t tell you. Same story with the computer; even though I have Zoomtext, from aisquared and set it at 8x magnification, I have to sit within a foot. I find that if I go much higher than 8x, which I don’t need anyway, that performance starts to degrade because you can display less and less as the magnification increases beyond 8x.

I like DVDs because they so often let me see what would otherwise only be dreamscapes for me. These can be as diverse as the mountain vistas in The Lord of the Rings to the landmarks of Washington D.C. and other cities. Whether doing a flyover or on the ground I could not see anything close to the natural wonders that are displayed in this and other movies. I’ve been to D.C. and seen many of the monuments up close but it’s not the same. Up close it doesn’t look as majestic as it does in movies or for that matter in the imagination. For me too close it looks ordinary and far away I can’t see that much.

Movie scenery is one of the reasons I like soundtracks. That may seem contradictory, but to me, it’s not. I watch a movie, then listen to the soundtrack and most of the time I can see the scene that goes along with that particular piece of music. Lord of the Rings is the perfect example; the movies went downhill, Fellowship was the best and Return of the king was the worst but not so for the soundtracks. For the soundtracks, there was no worst. Return was the best score and I like the fact that complete scores came out for Lord of the Rings. There are wonderful vistas in the LOTR movies, despite their plot shortcomings, from grassy plains, a scene of snowcapped peaks. I can summon them all with the sound of music.

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