Sunday, 4 December 2005


It must be the season for HDTV; in addition to a big InstaPundit post, both my parents have asked me about HDTV stuff over the past couple of months. I’ve been thinking of getting an HDTV set myself, but I have a rather annoying constraint: my existing entertainment center won’t hold anything much wider than my existing 25-inch Philips 4:3 TV, which I bought when I went off to grad school in Oxford in 1998, and I really don’t feel like replacing the entertainment center until I move elsewhere.

This really limits my HDTV options, as most HDTVs are 16:9 (and I probably wouldn’t bother with a 4:3 screen anyway), and most of them have side-mounted speakers, so most 26-inch LCDs won’t fit, including the el cheapo off-brand ones with lame picture quality that Costco and Sam’s have. My current prime candidate is the Samsung LN-R2668W or one of its same-sized brethren (LN-R268W and LN-R269D), which has the speakers on the bottom and thus will fit my entertainment center; it also looks very pretty in the store (not that I’m going to pay retail at Best Buy when I can save $300 and tax at Amazon). And it has enough connections for the TiVos (yay, 480p, at least for the Humax), the Xbox (yay, 480p), and an HD cable box from the good folks at Time-Warner (so I can see Al Michaels’ lip sweat in glorious 720p)—which will do me until the CableCard HD TiVo comes out sometime next year.

With the big holiday road trip coming up, however, it’ll probably be January before I pull the trigger on the purchase, since if I get it now I won’t have much time to enjoy it. (On the other hand, I could toss it in the car and bring it with me…)

Bad sign

I can tell my downstairs neighbors are currently watching The Big Lebowski; I can only hope it’s because they always have their volume set way too loud, because otherwise I shudder to think what they think of me.

Well, I have friends

Virginia Postrel believes she lacks sufficient buzz to sell books. My remedy: ask you to buy a copy of The Substance of Style; I never got around to reviewing TSOS, but will say—for the record—it is very good, as is her earlier book The Future and its Enemies.

Your purchase probably won’t bring her back as editor of Reason, but it’s a worthy cause nonetheless.