Samsung LE-40F86BD, sweet rock ‘n’ roll

Being someone who enjoys good quality and performance, I’ve been holding off on getting a “flat-screen” TV. Until now that is. Getting a new flat-screen isn’t without its due share of problems. LCD or Plasma? A zillion reviews to read, 6-8 manufacturers to choose from, and many many different needs that should be satisfied.

The equipment that I hook up to the TV is a Shuttle PC, a DVD-player, and a DVB-T box. I also had a feeling Santa Claus would be bringing us a Nintendo Wii, so I had to take that into account when looking at the specs.

After having gone through a number of “disqualification rounds”, there were two brands left; Samsung and Sony, with Pioneer being the last brand to be edged out before the final round. Picking a clear winner between Samsung and Sony was hard but pleasant. Regardless of my final choice, I knew the outcome would be good since both Samsung and Sony delivers some serious TV equipment.

It came down to personal preference pretty much. Samsung makes very good LCD computer monitors, and have been for many many years. Sony on the other hand have been a brand of choice in the television business for a long time. And their CRT Trinitron series equipment delivers some serious imaging quality.

So my choice fell on Samsung.

After having looked at some Samsung alternatives, the final choice wasn’t all that hard (except for the impact it had on my wallet).

The LE-40F86BD LCD-TV features some pretty impressive specs; including full HD, 100Hz, 25000:1 dynamic contrast, 3 HDMI (1.3) connectors, 8 ms response time, Picture-in-Picture (PIP), component input, PC VGA connector (and PC audio input), and a slot for a CI-card for the built-in DVB-T decoder. The display also features “Game Mode” which gives nice and crisp images/motion for PC Gaming and other Video Gaming (XBOX, PS2/PS3, Wii, etc).

I cannot think of a single thing that I don’t like about this TV. The only downside that I can come up with is that it becomes very obvious that the current “older” DVD picture quality leaves quite a bit more to wish for. And sine most “soft movie rips” (where movies are converted from DVD media to .AVI or .MPEG files and played from a PC or similar device) are made for lower screen resolutions than 1920×1080 (full HD), it gets a little messy when you play such media files from the Shuttle PC standing under my TV 🙂

One thing the plasma display monitor fans have had on LCD display monitor owners is the level of “blackness”, or lack thereof, possible with LCD displays. This is no longer a problem, at least not with the Samsung LE-40F86BD.

It is expensive. It delivers. It delivers sweet rock ‘n’ roll, but the visual kind; LCD-style.

Rwanda, a tragedy by any measure

I’ve finally gotten around to watching the movie “Hotel Rwanda” from 2004. I’ve read countless of documents about this tragedy, as well as having watched documentaries; and now I’ve seen this movie. It’s a sickening thought that we were out partying, at home sleeping, or at work thinking about our “hardship at the office” while this was going on in Rwanda.

I’m sure that no movie nor book can do the nightmares of the Rwandan genocide justice, as sure as I am that this clusterfuck by the U.N. and the so called civilized world cannot be exaggerated.

Had there been oil or some precious metal at stake, the conflict would have been resolved within two weeks, of that I’m convinced. As convinced as I am about the fact that we so quickly return to our daily grind, possibly entertaining the thought that “It must have been terrible”.

It is for no one alone to carry such a burden on their shoulders, but the actions of people like Roméo Dallaire need to be carried onward, their story told.

How can we have allowed this to happen, less than fifty years after the second world war?

I don’t know how many trillions of dollars the “military intervention” in Iraq has cost to date, but a 1/10000 part of that would have ended the Rwandan conflict without a doubt. The difference? There’s oil in Iraq.

Website: Orphans of Rwanda
Documentary: Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire
Another movie: Shake Hands with the Devil (2007)
Book: Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda (ISBN 0099478935 and 0679311718)

Now that girl can sing!

You can say a lot of things about Swedish vocalist Carola, and people do. You can think a lot, a little, or nothing of her, and people do. But you cannot take away her earth shattering vocals. That girl can sing!

Most of the lyrics on her recent album (“I Denna Natt Blir Världen Ny – Jul I Betlehem II” or “Christmas in Bethlehem II”) are in Swedish, but when she takes on “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, she does it with such awesome power, such amazing control, and phenomenal feeling that it makes the hair (if I had any) stand straight up.

What I cannot understand, is why Carola hasn’t made it really big on the international scene. Perhaps it’s by choice, but that contradicts most common images we have of “artists” and “divas”.

You don’t have to agree with her views, you don’t even have to like her.. but if you like music, you’ve got to recognize her talent. Famous divas like Celine Dione and many others don’t hold a candle to this girl IMHO!

Now, if we could only get her to sing a duet with Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) or Axl Rose (GNR).. we’d have some really interesting stuff going on!