Panasonic DMP-BD843 Blu-Ray Player (A Review of sorts...)
I've never thought that I would ever need to buy a standalone Blu-Ray player, but here it is and I love it. I bought this a few months ago for reasons that I'll get into later, but it has really enhanced the "movie-enjoying" experience. But before I talk about the player itself, I will like to discuss why I got it (and a bit about my standards of watching entertainment)
The Trouble For a PAL Movie Watcher (A Rant)
For most people, the easiest way to watch a movie is to turn on the telly on a Friday, go to the cinema, or find a movie on Netflix/Hulu/HBO Max/whatever streaming service that you use. That ain't me tho. I willfully go through the trouble of being painstakingly specific when wanting to watch a movie. Maybe a very obsessive-compulsive way of doing it, but I'm all for finding and getting the most optimal and best release of a movie. Still, it's not easy and depending on how you look at at, maybe even pointless. But I have my reasons:
For one, I prefer physical media. There's a myriad of reasons for this, but the jist of it is that I mostly can't find the kind movies that are on most of these streaming services. Whenever I search for a film, the results are mostly movies "related" to the one I was trying to find. Even when I find the specific movie on these services, I maybe only have a limited time period, before the movie gets taken off. The streaming quality can also be a turnoff, when the internet isn't always smooth. Also, the movies on there can either be edited/altered, are released in a different cut and/or have no special features.
So what, you boomer? Just buy cheap DVDs and torrent shit.
Well........ no. I do realize now that I'm acting like a boomer (Impressive for a 21 year old, eh?). But DVDs are mostly outlawed for me because of the awful PAL transfer for movies.
(Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this subject, so I could get some (or most) technical info wrong). If you didn't know, Europeans and Australians (and probably some other nations) uses/used the 576i resolution (the PAL format) for TV and home use as opposed to the 480i resolution (the NTSC format). Now, movies are shot in 24 frames per second. This has to be telecined for TV. I will refer to this page that explains the converting process better, but basically movies in the PAL format will have a 4% speedup, which results in it being 4% faster. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that audio is also affected by this and will usually have a 4% higher pitch, and as a music listener, this really grinds my gears. Once you hear the difference, you can't unhear it, and it usually kills the experience for me. Some DVDs, like music videos, will adjust the pitch down to the normal level, but most commercial movies have not been gone the extra mile to do so. That is why I normally prefer Blu-Rays as 1080p is now a worldwide standard and doesn't have the conversion setbacks of NTSC and PAL, but even that is infected by the most annoying problem of all time:
The one that scares anyone away from Blu-Rays and into the torrents. The bane of all movie buyers*. I don't really need to say much about this, except that I prefer watching video discs on the TV instead of the computer and therefor it's more pricey and difficult to bypass. It's just one of those things, when particular movies are only released or have better releases in certain regions (See also, Discotek and Shout Factory releases).
Yes. This thing is amazing. An upgrade to my small entertainment center, which was a surprise, when I got it. The player itself is surprisingly lightweight. Not that I wanted it to be heavy as a VHS player, but it's a small thing that caught me offguard. An example on how far tech has gone with less of the weight. For Blu-Rays, it plays them well. Same with DVDs, enhanced by the HDMI cable. Picture quality is what you expect all BD-players to do well, and this player unsurprisingly does it well. On the topic of region-free, it's so satisfying to finally watch, what you want. DVDs are relatively straight forward, while BD region codes has to be selected by the remote, before you put the disc in. Not a big hassle, but it also means that because of the custom firmware, this thing can't go onto the internet. Or maybe it can. I don't know. I don't want to run the risk and maybe wipe the region-free aspect away, because of a damn unexpected firmware update. Not that it needs to, considering the multimedia abilities that this thing has. Other than becoming my main CD player, it's codec support for USB media is monumental and dabs on the pitiful boomer PS3 and PS4 consoles. I was able to run every test files that I could throw at it. Video files with subtitles do work, however if there's a scene with a top and bottom subtitle not in sync with each other, only the bottom will display. It's annoying, but doesn't effect that much in my opinion.
The only real form of critique that I have is with the remote. It's ok, but I wish that it didn't have an internet and Netflix button instead of a normal subtitle button. I can sort of understand the inclusion of a so-far untouched Netflix button, but why internet? Was a physical shortcut necessary? Why not have a subtitle button instead of going through the options menu to turn on closed captions everytime when needed? Oh, and the top TV buttons doesn't do anything. Lame.
So in summary, the player is a gud boi, PAL DVDs are trash, region lock is a bitch, and so is life.
*And any ridiculous failbook pages and other, who thinks that people don't have a right to access any kind of media and should be behind the walls of copyright and region lock, should shut the HELL up. I might not do it regularly, but piracy can generate interest in media that you've probably never heard of and also find a new audience. If you like what you like, then by all means support it, but I'm not gonna blame you, if the avaliablility is limited and the price to pay is more than necessary
Thu, 29 Dec 2022 17:01:00 +0100
Living In The City (Learning How To Survive)
(Experimenting with personal life blogs. Pretty mundane post, but that's life)
A month and a half has roughly passed since I got the keys to my apartment and a little later officially moved away from home. What an interesting experience, so far.
It's no secret that such a moment can be daunting for anyone. A turning of a new leaf. To be honest, the switch was fairly mild. As in, "Oh, I just moved out.......Ok cool, I guess". It wasn't a difficult thing to adjust to, as I've sort of done it before but not really (Gonna talk about that in another blog), and I was prepared with having most of the necessary house-holding items and things. Still, it's very much a learning experience just by the fact that I not only have gained a new type of freedom, but also now have the responsibility of taking care of myself and the place. So a lot of new habits are forming, while old ones are altered or tucked away.
Also, I've come to learn that living in the city is pretty different from living in a village. Big duh, I know, but so far, it's been mixed. There's been some shocking events, annoying inconveniences, and disappointing encounters with strangers. However, the big challenge is social life (or rather, the lack of). Always a hurdle for an introverted person like me. Still, I will probably overcome it, as it's important to get out of the house, from time to time, but also for it to not be lonely here. Oh, and also to tame my spending habits. How I'll succeed in that is now uncertain.
So I've learned a lot. Will in all likely hood learn a lot more. So yeah, survive today for a better tomorrow.
Tue, 30 Aug 2022 17:32:03 +0200
Good Clean Family Entertainment at Grøn
Blackmore's note: This is me experimenting with more blog-type posts, so this post might be rough. Also, this would've been published earlier, but I only got internet in my new place just a few days ago. Fun.
So a pivotal moment happened to me, a few weeks ago. A moment that every family member, every friend, and maybe every Dane has experienced before me, long time ago. A burden on my bucket list that I can finally check off.....
It's watching D-A-D live for the first time, of course. Only took nearly 21 years for it to happen, but I digress.
For all of you, who probably don't know, D-A-D (formally known as Disneyland After Dark) is perhaps the biggest rock band in Denmark today. A band who has rocked the Nordic population (and most of Europe) many times with their catchy riffs, uniquely funny lyrics, and cartoonistic stage show in over 37 years. a band, whose music I have listened to since early childhood along with many other bands, courtesy of my dad.
Funny how I bring him up here, as he's been my introduction to music and is also the mega chad for taking me to so many concerts of many important bands in my life. Without him, I probably wouldn't have seen live bands, like AC/DC, Iron Maiden (3 times), Aerosmith, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pretty Maids, Black Swamp Water, The Pink Floyd Project, Nickelback (yes, really), or even Black Sabbath. He's honestly the best dad ever, and I wouldn't trade him for the world, even if it meant having the power to ban either cringe or evil things in the world.
Having said that, however, it is somewhat mindbogglingly that until now, I had not seen the one band, who no only plays multiple dates every year in this country, but also my father has seen more times than he can count. It's a mystery that neither he nor I can make sense of.
Doing the last few years, it actually became a mission for me to attend a D-A-D concert. And I prepared myself. I sat down to listen to every album of their discography (including live albums), and I anxiously waited for a live date that was free of scheduling conflicts. Finally, a live date was set in early March of 2020, and my dad bought the tickets. Unfortunately (and very annoyingly) the Corona from China came to Vikingland, and the show was cancelled one week prior...
...and the whole country was on lockdown later, that day. Yoo hoo!!!!!............
The show was reschedulled until it was eventually cancelled altogether and later replaced by a couple of smallar sit-down shows. My dad and I refused to go, mainly because sitting down at a rock 'n' roll show doesn't really compute with us. We told ourselves that we would just wait until Covid-19 was finally over. It took over two years, but we got there. seperately.
The show was at Grøn Koncert in Kolding (transl. Green Concert. Think of it as Lollapalooza, but smaller and sponsored by Tuborg), so it wouldn't be the whole full-length concert experience from then, and it was packaged with every insert any current Danish pop act ever. But I didn't care. This was finally my chance to take.
I arrived shortly before D-A-D took the stage. My plan was to see the band, buy a t-shirt and go home. Got a burger at Circle K, because I'll be dammed if I have to pay 80 kr for a burger worse than a McD burger, and got to the entrance to see a man yelling at police, while they restrained him for unknown reasons. Good times.
After buying a tour t-shirt, waiting for the band behind me to finish and taking a pic with a group of strangers, the band finally came on stage and happyness turned to eleven, when the opening notes to Riskin' it All started playing. At long last, a dream has been fufilled.
The show itself was pretty good. Aside from the festival-length, they played pretty solid throughout with a good set of songs. I was very pleased with the inclusion of Written in Water. Was not expecting that, but awesome. Cooler still was drummer Laust Sonne on the carousel, which would rotate itself on random intervals. Stig, the bass player, had many of his nice custom two-stringed basses including that big iPhone bass with a camera and a screen. And the Binzer brothers of course handled their axes like champs. Also, my voice was almost non-existent after the show due to singing along like crazy to songs (in key, because I'm kool like dat).
After the band played their final song, Sleeping My Day Away, I went home as a happy man, played some board games with family, ate ice cream and went to bed.
It might be strange to call this a special moment. It definetely not a rare moment, as the band is tour-happy across the country, and I've seen more important bands that I've probably never see ever again. However, I think the waiting out builded up the anticipation and hype for it all. Maybe it's also because it's one of the few time that I'm at a concert without my dad? I don't know, but it feels weird.
don't know how to end this post so........IIIIIIIII'M COUNTING THE CATTLE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5! I'M CAUNTING THE CATTLEJUST TO CHECK IF THEY'RE STILL ALIV--
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 17:09:35 +0200
First update of 2022
It's been awhile, since I updated this site. I'm still alive, but the drive to actually write something for this site has been halted for a long time, now. That, and I'm busy moving out to a new place, which itself is a process and a half. Sorry about that.
But I've made a few changes to the site. Mainly the new implemented blog system, courtesy of Luke Smith (who's making minimalist web much easier). So now, updates are saved, easier to write and publish, and also in sync with the RSS feed (so the main page doesn't have to be re-added to the feed, every time I make an update. Yay)
As for new articles, I've a couple of drafts that desperately needs to be finished. But don't expect a consistent publishing schedule. I'm only doing this as a hobby for fun and I'm naturally lazy outside of work. Still, there should be a new piece coming up soon, so stay tuned.
Sat, 23 Jul 2022 14:37:05 +0200