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01/02/2004 Entry: "The Billy Rhythm TV and Web Page Design"

So the other night, the fam and I are watching Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. In the extra stuff, you'll find the THX audio/video set-up utility. I decided to try it, and see how it worked. I ususally use the Video Essentials laser disc. (Video Essentials has long been considered the standard set-up utility by most audio/video mags.) Anyway, I went into by RCA Home Theater series TV set-up, and pushed the "Reset" function. Ouch! Did that look bad! So I followed the DVD directions, and set the white and black levels. Then I went into the color and tint settings. Using the blue filter included with my Video Essentials LD, I set the color and tint. Once I got those set, they played some footage from the movie to show you how everything looked. How'd it look?


Very red.

The RCA has always looked too warm, but this was bad. Real bad. Lobster red bad. I double checked my settings. The color was jacked up to about 75% of what was available. But I used the blue filter, and it measured ok. Still, it looked bad. So, I set the color to where it looked good, and then looked at the correct measurement screen with the blue filter. It was telling me the color needed to be boosted. And yet when I set it where is measured correctly, it was way too red. After fiddling with it for about an hour, I went to bed.

The next day, I took out the Video Essentials LD, and decided to use that instead. I was working through the settings, and found that you could scroll down on the screen. There was more than what was visible at forst glance. One more option down was the "Auto Color" function. I had forgotten about that! When I reset the picture, it turned the Auto Color back on! So I shut it off, and ran the test again. AHA! Now things looked right! Much better, thank you. Back to how I normally view video: as close to NTSC standards as I can. Wow, though, were the default RCA settings way off.


More on video. I'm looking at replacing my VCR and DVD player. I was thinking perhaps a dual deck combination unit would be the ticket--especially since finding nice VCRs on their own is harder and harder to do. Anyway, in doing research online, I find this common compaint: "The S-Video output only works on the DVD player, not the VCR." Look at this quote.

"I've gotten to the point as a consumer of electronics devices that the minute I find that my device doesn't support some necessary functionality, I return it. I'm tired of having to adapt to poorly designed electronics. Thus, after purchasing my new SLV-D300P, I discover that the s-video output of the device only outputs video from the DVD player. This is unacceptable."

Name me one standard VCR that does have an s-video output. They don't have them! If you want an s-video connection on a VCR, you need an S-VHS VCR. These combo units don't have (usually) S-VHS decks. It only stands to reason they won't have S-VHS outputs!


I've done a little more web design work. See what you think of Bayview Concierge. It's a neat lifesylte management service here in Maine, and they seem to be doing well already. (Just a note: color scheme and logo were already in place.)

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