Showing posts with label Magnevox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magnevox. Show all posts

Friday, November 16, 2012

Technology marches on.

My nice Panasonic DVD player croaked the other day.  It had been getting fussy, and rejecting certain disks as unplayble, but it would play some.  Finally died by announcing that all my disks were unplayable.  It ran well for seven years, longer than a big Samsung TV (which died after four years) and a Mitsubishi VHS player (5 years).  They don't make consumer electronics the way the used to.  I remember a couple of Sony TVs that ran for 20 years, Radio Shack stereo receivers running for 30.
   And you cannot fix consumer electronics anymore.  The chips are all surface mount which requires an artist to change, with pins spaced so close you cannot get a scope probe on them.  When the TV, and later the Mitsubishi VHS died, I did some calling around, looking for anyone who might try fixing them.  No luck.  I didn't even bother looking for someone to fix the DVD player.  
  So down to Walmart.  They had Sony, Magnevox, Lucky Goldstar and Samsung.  The DVD versions were all cheap ($35) , about a third of what I paid for the dear departed Panasonic.  They all had Blue Ray versions for double that, but since I don't own any Blue Ray discs, I didn't care.
   Bought the Magnevox.  It was much smaller than the old Panasonic, and it has digital output, HDMI they call it.  One thick cable with funny 8 pin connecters (not included with the player) and bingo, the digital bits coming off the disc get shipped right to the digital TV, skipping the analog-to-digital conversion in the DVD player and the inverse analog-to-digital conversion in the TV.  My day job used to be care and feeding, design and sales of  AtoD and DtoA converter, and believe me, there are a zillion ways a converter can mess up the signal. 
   Anyhow, the direct digital connection gives even nicer video.  DVD video has always been good, but the HDMI connection made it even better,  crisp, clean, fine textures visible.