I went down to Sharper Video (the TV repair shop) at noon to verify with my own eyes that the problems I was seeing aren’t there anymore. I took my test DVD along with me.

All that shit is so right there. 100% reproducible.

I pointed it out to Terry (the repairman on the case) and then he finally saw it. With a moving picture on there it’s harder to tell; but when you get something like a commercial where it’s all white background with just the company logo or something like that, BAM! there it is.

Then Terry ran some of his own tests and, sure enough, it’s there. Apparently he wasn’t the one that proclaimed irreproducibility, just the one who was showing me what’s going on.

I don’t know what the next steps are, though, and neither does Terry. He says that it’s a combination of several parts that do what the set is doing and just replacing the tube isn’t going to fix it. He’s going to call Sony to see what they say. If Sony says the TV is still within factory spec (even with the image defect), I’m hosed, because that’s the best it’ll get (even though that’s not how it was when I bought it). However, if it’s not within factory spec and Sony can’t provide a way to fix it… well, then I’m also hosed because I’m going to have to fight the warranty company for a new TV.

Terry showed me that at this point the best they can do is try to adjust the picture with various pincushion and other adjustments to make the picture as good as possible, but every time they adjust one thing, something else goes out of whack. They don’t have the equipment to “refocus” it (or whatever the TV-tech-speak term for “refocusing the TV” is) at the repair shop; apparently Sony does that at the factory with some serious computer-controlled equipment.

In all honesty, I’d just as soon have a new TV and not hassle with this. I’d even be willing to settle for a check (or store credit at an electronics store) for the same amount of money that NEW authorized the repair for. I’ll get one of those DLP sets. I guess we’ll see.

Even though it’s not fixed, I felt pretty good going down there and seeing that I wasn’t just crazy - the problem really is there, and it’s not “environmental.”

I was so stoked (again, not pleased that it’s not fixed, but pleased that it’s reproducible and is something they can now aim to fix) that I went to Target and bought myself a copy of Elektra. While I was there, I saw that 13 Going On 30 (another Jennifer Garner movie) was only $10, so I picked that up, too. Oh, and Star Wars Episode III figures were only $5 so I got Yoda (with “spinning attack” action) and R2-D2 (with “droid attack” action). (I get the Yoda figure from every movie. I just dig Yoda. But I didn’t have R2, and I needed him to fly in my Millennium Falcon, didn’t I?)

The TV repair shop just called me and they say they’ve been playing the set for four days now and haven’t seen the problems I’ve been talking about. No distortions, no color changes, no nothing.

They can’t reproduce that shit?

Unbelievable. I told them precisely what to check (solid colors on the screen, straight lines like the bars that show up in widescreen mode, etc.) - and how I illustrated it to the guy who came to my house - and they’re going to ensure the tech who’s working on the set has checked all that. I also mentioned that we used to live in the same area as the TV repair shop and if the North Pole plays a factor in this thing, that’s going to be less of an issue in the same geographic region.

If they can’t reproduce it, I’m going down there to see with my own eyes that the problem isn’t there.

If it turns out it really isn’t there when it’s in the shop… well, it looks like I’m screwed. They will claim it’s “environmental” (sure it is

  • the North Pole is environmental) and they can’t reproduce it, at which point I have to fight with the National Electronics Warranty company to get them to replace the tube, which, I’m told, rarely happens for environmental issues.

So I’d have to get a new TV, which I’m not anxious to do. Or try moving this TV into a different room, which really isn’t going to work. Or try changing things around in that same room to guess and see if I can figure out what’s going on.

If the guy calls me tomorrow, they’re sending the TV back to me next Tuesday. If he doesn’t, then they’re checking into it some more.

Let’s hope he doesn’t call me.

media, movies comments edit

On Sunday we went to see Sin City with Stu and Tiff.

Hands down, that movie rocked.

I was always a big fan of the comics (and have all of them) but when I saw they were making a movie I could hardly wait to check it out. I wasn’t disappointed.

They combined the original Sin City story (with my favorite character, Marv) with That Yellow Bastard and The Big Fat Kill. The really cool thing was that they sort of intermingled them so you could see how the timelines overlapped (which is also in the comics, but not quite as obvious if you’re not paying attention).

I didn’t really picture Mickey Rourke as Marv, but he did a great job. I was also pleased to see Nick Stahl (who I’ve grown to love through Carnivale) as the Yellow Bastard.

The best part of the whole thing was that they stuck dead on to the comics. I mean, so dead on that you could hold the comic up to the screen and match the various shots with panels in the book. The dialog was word-for-word out of the comics. That was awesome. I hate it when they adapt a book for film and then totally deviate from the original work. This was everything I hoped it would be.

Check it out. It’s worth full price. Especially if you liked the Kill Bill series, this is right up your alley. I can’t wait until it comes out on DVD. I’m getting the super-mega-ultra version (in whatever form that takes). Too cool.

This new Visual Studio Hacks book looks kind of interesting. I might have to pick that up. I wonder how relevant it is to VS 2005. Eric J. Smith reviewed it and gave it 5 stars, which holds some weight (even though he did contribute to the book…).

Elektra is out on DVD today. Might have to pick that up this weekend. It wasn’t terribly faithful to the comic, but it was reasonably entertaining, and how can you pass up Jennifer Garner?

I’m trying to figure out the best way to track my comic collection. In order to get a rider on my homeowner’s insurance policy, I need to be able to provide them with a complete inventory and estimated value of each issue.

I thought about how you could have a bar code scanner that you could use to easily scan comics into a database, but not all comics have bar codes on them, so you’d have to go by ISBN or some other unique number… but then, you also need to have the database to look the information up in, which is not something I’m eager to start maintaining.

I searched around for a while and found ComicsPriceGuide.com, which seems to be as close as it gets. You can track your comics online (which is a little disturbing to me from a backup perspective, but I guess you gotta trust folks) and they keep a running tally of what you have and what each is worth. I signed up for the free membership which will let me track up to 50 books just to see what they offer. If it’s any good, maybe I’ll sign up for the $45/year premium membership and just start tracking things there.