David’s rant on AV Idiots
In a recent podcast, I mentioned a story by a listener David. Here is the entirety of his email:
Around this time last year, as a favor, my girlfriend and I babysat for her co-teacher’s infant. In the same spirit of the season we were planning on going over there again tonight. My girlfriend called to make sure we were still on for tonight. At some point during this call she was told something to the effect of, don’t let David touch the electronics.
Now I can understand how someone could be protective of their gear and the hours of careful calibrations that can go into them, but these people had no idea what they were doing when they set up their equipment.
When I was first in these people’s home, I admired their decent sized Sony LCD. I’m not a fan of Sony myself, but it was a fine TV. What I saw on the screen, on the other hand, was a bit disturbing. The picture was both letter and pillar boxed, yes, there was a black border all the way around. Upon closer inspection, I saw that they had an HD capable cable box and had NBC on, but were watching the standard def NBC channel. I quickly changed the channel to HD NBC, to find that the broadcast was still letter boxed.
Why oh why could this be? Checking out the back of the set I found that it had been connected with COMPOSITE cables. That, however, was not the most shocking thing I saw behind that television. There, connected to the display, hanging unconnected to any source was a Monster HDMI cable. I’m not going to rant about this monstrously over priced HDMI cable, but the fact that they had an HDMI cable hanging unused from the back of the TV.
I immediately connected it to the cable box and went to switch inputs on the TV, where I discovered it was in torch mode. I changed it to movie mode and thought, well this is better. They were still using TV speakers, despite the fact that there was a receiver in their entertainment center along with a pair of bookshelf speakers, but I left that alone for the night.
This particular model allowed for independent setting and names for each input. So if they really liked using composite, they could switch it right back and get their original settings. I simply gave them the option of something far better on a previously unnamed input.
I’m not exactly sure what happened after I left. Perhaps the man’s wife saw the new beautiful picture and loved it leaving the man feeling emasculated by that fact that someone else could so easily make such a dramatic improvement and is now throwing a hissy fit over it.
In any case, I will not be setting foot in their home again.
Great story David, thanks for sharing.