Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Worth Waiting For?

I am what the marketing people call an "early adopter" so, when I heard about the future of TV being Ultra High Definition, I immediately went out a bought a UHD ready set (just as I did with HD and 3D some years ago). I looked forward to watching a wide variety of films and TV shows with the sharpest images imaginable and, indeed, some of the Netflix and Amazon Prime offerings were amazing. The problem was that the UHD output was limited and there are only so many times that you can watch YouTube videos of The Grand Canyon and coral reefs. 

It was with great excitement therefore that, eighteen months after buying the set, I read about the arrival of Sky Q. Finally there was going to be regular programming in UHD including football. So, once again, I ordered it straight away (before the current price cuts) and waited to be delighted by a new viewing experience. I waited...and I waited. Two months after forking out for the service and numerous emails, phone calls and internet chats with Sky operatives we finally got an installation date.

Was it worth it?

Here's a photo of the screen from the Liverpool Watford match on Sunday. The sharpness was amazing and it certainly is the highest picture quality football match I've seen. Touch wood, the Sky Q system is working well and I look forward to enjoying plenty of Ultra High Definition programming.

A consequence of getting Sky Q is that the ordinary Sky boxes are obsolete. Our son Paul works in TV and for some time we've recorded and saved shows that he developed and awards ceremonies in which his work featured. We realised that we would lose these recordings. It would be possible to copy them to DVD but, although we have recordable DVD players we never watch DVD and I wasn't confident that they would last. 

I wracked my brains about how to save these numerous bits and pieces for posterity. We decided to forget about the series of programmes (after all, most are readily available somewhere on the internet) and opted for just the awards shows. As the latest iPhone has a 4K video camera Marion played the clips she wanted saving on TV and I filmed them. We're pretty satisfied with the results. I've uploaded this one in low resolution but the quality of the clips we've saved is very high.

A League Of Their Own

I've loved art and antiques for years and for around ten years from 1999 I spent hours on eBay buying and selling ceramics and other bits and pieces. When we downsized and moved to Framlingham, most of the collection had to go and I had to hang up my "boots" or whatever antique traders hang up when they stop dealing. However I still get the occasional itch to get back into it and when I saw a fabulous piece of pottery in friends Rob and Richard's In Da Cottage shop last week I couldn't resist the urge to buy it.

Yes that really is a full size coffee mug alongside it.

I've no idea where to put it and had no idea who made it when I bought it although, after hours of painstaking detective work I've discovered that it was made in Germany in the Westerwald region in around the middle of the last century by an art potter called Wim Muhlendyck. He's not a massive name but this is a gigantic piece and a real statement that would not look out of place in a museum.