It’s been two weeks now with the new Panasonic, and we’re well into the 100-hour break-in period. Since this was my dream lusted for so long, it would be prudent to list some thoughts and impressions so far. In no particular order:
- Although we subscribe to the FiOS Extreme HD package (no movie channels though), I’ve noted there are no where near as many HD channels as their are SD channels. Standard def channels are 2-499, and then HD is just 500-599. I’ve also looked for HD versions of Cartoon Network, Nat Geo Wild, the Military Channel, but either they don’t broadcast in HD or Verizon doesn’t offer them. Rats.
- Even though the Verizon FiOS DVR contains an internal 160 Gb hard drive, this will only provide you 16-18 hours of HD recording time. You throw in a few 1 hour shows, a sporting event, kids shows, and whap! you are done. In just two weeks, we’ve been at the 90% mark where previously recorded shows were deleted, and today hit 100% capacity. There’s really not much on there that’s different — we didn’t go and record Bass Masters on the fishing channel in HD. It’s our usual coterie of shows. Interestingly enough, the Motorola DVR that Verizon uses has an eSATA port (that we could use to expand our capacity with an external drive), but Verizon has disabled it. Grrrr.
- HD shows look great vs standard def, so I’d rather live my life never watching standard def again. Sports in HD look cinematic. The scenes from the Tour de France hovering over the French countryside and the Alps are breathtaking. I probably could watch Bass Masters in HD.
- Netflix streams their video in 720p, which looks pretty good. However, Netflix only offers stereo sound for their streaming service. Maybe later this year, if the reports are correct. No 1080p anytime soon though, but I think it’s okay. Surround sound would be nice though.
- Speaking of sound, 5.1 Dolby surround sound for television shows is a nice plus. While I like surround sound, we have one too many remote controls. One for the AV receiver (sound), one for the tv (to change inputs and formats), and one for the FiOS DVR (changing channels and watching recorded shows.) I’ve got my wife seriously contemplating agreeing to move to the Logitech Harmony One universal remote. At least she’s beginning to understand my thought process. I have reasons for why I do the things I do, folks.
- I know Blu-ray is supposedly great and all, but from what I’ve seen, the PS3 is doing a great job upscaling my old DVDs. Nothing has looked choppy or soft yet.