Monday, June 1, 2009

LED TVs: hyper-real simulacra

Last six weeks have been a whirlwind. Along with the arrival of my baby boy there has been all the effort that goes into outfitting a new cave. Couches, cribs, cutting utensils ... the entire range of modern equipment. Maybe I didn't get my hairy paws on the very the best in each case but the best I could do for my burgeoning family. After all that I decided to reward myself with a shiny new flatscreen TV. I'm very late to this game, as for years I've gotten by on my old 27" tube set. I don't watch a ton besides fights and an occasional film or HBO series. Still now that I finally had a place of my own I wanted a proper TV to invite the gang over for UFCs and boxing.

I searched high and low (meaning in upper and lower Manhattan) and saw some wondrously clear screens. Bear in mind as a caveman I don't have the weakened, over-assaulted city dweller eyesight most of you suffer from, and am blessed with the very acute vision. Well what my vision discerned astonished and frightened me; these new gigantic, LED TVs are so clear they kill the illusion of movies! In other words movies no longer look or feel like movies; the movie looks like a bunch of actors in costume performing on a digitally enhanced set. The small details and imperfections are too perceptible . It becomes more like watching a play on Broadway than a Hollywood production, except without the same warmth that proximity to the players gives on the stage. This doesn't matter for dramas or comedies, but it ruins any movie that relies on visuals or action. What was previously fantastic to my eyes becomes in a way fraudulent.

In the end I went with something reasonably priced and reasonably sharp for it's intended purpose of watching grown men bash each other in rings or cages. Super resolutions can't make combat any less real, however I value being swept up in the latest popcorn flick or sci-fi thriller. These crystal clear LED sets just make our fantasies look so real they feel fake!

1 comment:

Rob said...

lol, that is a good way to put it. That's also kind of related to one of my criticisms about the CG in Transformers. I was arguing with some dude with a hard-on for CD that they were in fact mediocre. Not because there wasn't a lot of work put in or the graphics weren't fancy, but because they were so gaudy and OTT that they actually stood in STARK CONTRAST to the illusion rather than lending themselves to it.