Monday, January 30, 2017

Welcoming Our New TV

Following my previous post on the subject, our new television arrived last week and we have been enjoying it, both as a beautiful new piece of furniture and for its content.  

This is a picture of our TV before:
These are pictures of our new TV after:

As you can see, the images are beautiful and clear and the 4K content is remarkable - at moments, the details are so crisp that it feels like the objects are coming out of the screen. The colors are incredibly rich and vibrant. One particular shot of an ocean wave rolling toward the shore made me gasp, as it was so life-like and stunning.

Curved TVs seem to be all of the rage right now, and while I don't buy into the whole immersive hullabaloo (at this size and viewing distance a curved screen really does not make your viewing experience more immersive - you need it to be on the size and scale of a movie theater screen or an IMAX theater), it is undoubtedly very pretty.  

The store delivered the TV in a big box within two days as promised, which was very exciting.  Isn't it so fun to unwrap packages?  The technician then arrived separately (on the same day) to set up the television.
The TV is bordered by a light silver frame and backed by a piano-black panel.  The screen is less than half an inch thick and perches on top of four thin, nearly invisible silver legs, giving off a very clean, modern, streamlined aesthetic.  The remote is also very minimalist, with just a few buttons, and has a curved profile as well.  It is a smart TV, which means that we are able to directly access the internet and watch all kinds of random YouTube videos.
Michael has also managed to set up the Now football TV app (thanks to me, because the entire thing was in Chinese), which allows him to watch the live streams of soccer games in the premier league.  Unfortunately (and this is so typical of Hong Kong), the app is just a live stream, not even in HD, and the commentary is only available in Cantonese.  They marketed it as a one-year package, but really the free app is only available until the end of May 2017 season.  As you can see, Hong Kong is a prime example of the terrors of a cable monopoly.  PCCW is the only available cable provider, so they can get away with charging a lot of money and offering approximately ten channels in HD.

In sum, the only trouble with the new television seems to be that a lot of content is not yet available in 4K - and even when it is available, bandwidth and streaming capacity are limiting factors that constrain our ability to watch the shows in full 4K format.  There are clearly still improvements to be had, but overall, we are quite happy with our new toy.

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