Category Archives: How Things Work

Power, chemical and electrical

I was reading this Blog post on Depleted Cranium in which the spin of an Italian energy company is being highlighted. It has built what it calls a ‘combined cycle’ solar/gas power plant. The gas part has a capacity of 752MW of electricity … Continue reading

Posted in Eco, How Things Work | Leave a comment

Crosstalk – 3D and audio

I have reviewed five different 3D TVs. All five of them had noticeable problems with crosstalk. Crosstalk is a word that has been used for decades in regard to consumer electronics. It is used to label a legitimate signal ending … Continue reading

Posted in 3D, Audio, How Things Work, Imperfect perception, Vinyl | Leave a comment

Lip Sync

About eighteen months ago I did a substantial piece on lip sync which was published in Sound and Image. I’ve just uploaded it, and here it is. It deals with what lip sync problems are, the processing in our brains … Continue reading

Posted in Audio, How Things Work, Imperfect perception | Leave a comment

‘I’ frame rate

MPEG2, VC1 and MPEG4 AVC are all video compression systems that work both intra-frame, and inter-frame. Intra-frame is like JPEG (or like DV for that matter). Each frame of the video is treated as its own independent entity and compressed … Continue reading

Posted in Blu-ray, Codecs, Compression, How Things Work, Video | 4 Comments

Don’t Crush at the White End

Crushing is what happens when you have the ‘brightness’ control of your TV turned down too low, or the ‘contrast’ control turned up too high. Ignore the names. The brightness control does control the brightness … of the black levels. The … Continue reading

Posted in Blu-ray, How Things Work, Video | Leave a comment

Resurrecting Polaroid, but don’t knock digital

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article about how an enthusiast has acquired the last Polaroid factory in Europe and started producing instant film again (monochrome now, colour to follow). Great stuff. But I would note that the piece … Continue reading

Posted in Analogue, How Things Work | 2 Comments

Video vs PC settings

As a comment to this post, Victor suggests: You made some recommendations on settings in your S&I artical which I found useful, at least to confirm my own observations and assumptions. There was another setting I changed which was not … Continue reading

Posted in BD-Live, HDMI, How Things Work, Video | 2 Comments

The Whole Tangled Mess

Go into any number of specialist home entertainment equipment retailers and you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on high quality cables to carry digital audio from your DVD player to your home theatre receiver. It is alleged that these … Continue reading

Posted in Audio, Cables, How Things Work | Leave a comment

More Know It All

I have uploaded my three latest ‘Know It All’ columns from Geare magazine. Feel free to check them out if you want to see an overview of hybrid cars, how video compression works, or why 576i and 1080i are sometimes … Continue reading

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Possible reasons for differing video quality

Regarding my earlier post (two down) on possible differences between US and Australian Blu-ray discs for quality, Sandra has written to me: I was also present the night John talks of. There is an alternate hypothesis to encoding variations or … Continue reading

Posted in Equipment, How Things Work, Mysticism, Video | Leave a comment