Newest technology doesn't mean quality.

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by rightct, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. rightct

    rightct Active Member

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    There is a lot of technology quality hype in what concerns the newest "improvements" for TVs. At the time we were amazed by Full HD resolution, now we can even find 4K one!
    But, the true question is: Is it worth spending additional hundreds of dollars for technology that doesn't even have the slightest content to be compatible with?
    In my country, and I suppose that everywhere in the world, the fancy features that ultimately serve us nothing cost us every single penny we own; I know because I learned it the hard way, when I bought a $1500 TV which I couldn't use for "4K" videos, simply because there weren't many. I do agree that it's a really enjoyable experience to have, I don't question this specific aspect, but I advise everyone to not go for this technology unless you know you will find suitable content.
    What about you? Do you own this kind of TV? If yes, share your experience!
     
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  3. Big Dan

    Big Dan What cord? Founding Member

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    I always wait for video technology to become more widely adopted before I start buying it. I didn't buy my first flat screen/HD set until 2009. While HD is nice and all I get along just fine watching SD reruns of old shows. It's not something that's *needed* in my option. Heck, we didn't know any better until 1080 HD came along.

    A few years back with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray war, if you bought a HD-DVD player you're now SOL. Whatever content you have is all you're ever gonna get for it. You probably paid top dollar for both the player and content because it was shiny and new. What do you have to show for it? A limited movie collection that you pray never gets scratched because you cannot replace it. Hopefully you got movies you really like watching over and over again. :D I bought my first Blu-Ray player in 2013.

    As for 4k, it looks like it will stick around for a while but adoption has been slow all around. You need a very fast internet connection to stream 4k. A good portion of Americans don't have access to that kind of internet speed. I'm not sure if Blu-Ray is 4k capable but you may need a special and more expensive player for that anyhow and pay more for 4k discs.

    Who knows if 4k will be around for 3, 5, or 10 years. 8k or 12,000,000k could supersede it tomorrow or 10 years from now. That's the gamble you take with the speed of "innovation" now a days. I put innovation in quotation marks because a lot of it feels like a money grab by the manufactures. No one needs 4k but the manus have to come up with something new to tout as the latest and greatest every couple of years to spark people's interesting in buying new TVs, players, etc.

    Now we have curved TVs - supposedly a much more immersive experience. It'll be years before I ever set eyes on one much less consider buying one. If they stick around. Right now it looks like a fad product.

    Same difference with the different Dolby varieties. First it was 5.1, now it's 7.1, and I believe there's a standard for 9.1 in the works. There's sub-standards of each of the 5.1 and 7.1 standards. It's a full time job just to keep up with it. Heck, I was happy with wiring up 4 speakers to my 2 channel stereo back in the day without all the fancy Dolby technology.

    When does it end? It never does because Sony and other manus don't want you buying TVs and Receivers every 10-15 years like we used it. TVs and Sound Systems are now obsolete two or three years after you buy them even more so with "Smart TVs". If you subscribe to "keeping up with the Joneses" you're gonna keep spending big money for marginal improvements.

    Even your home appliances aren't immune to this feature creep. We have WiFi connected refrigerators now. Oven ranges and washing machines that you practically need a PhD in engineering to operate. The trouble is the new stuff with all these additional computerized components adds more to pieces to break and repair down the the line. The old stuff just worked and worked for years on end. You were more likely to buy a new fridge and stove for a remodel then you were because it conked out on you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
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  4. olandir

    olandir Well-Known Member

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    As someone who deals with television production, I know what you mean. Most stations who have HD feed do not have true 1080i HD so all of these 1080 HD TVs are all upscaling and 4K is just a waste all around, no station broadcasts that, and there are very few options even in streaming (I think Netflix is the only one who has some content).

    I myself have a 720p HD tv (old obviously) and still have an old school 480 downstairs (rarely used).

    Honestly I've never really gotten the whole idea of why we need 70inch ultra HD televisions where you can see the individual blades of glass.

    But I don't knock those that like that. Everyone's different. I do understand your point that the quality of content hasn't caught up with the quality of television being sold, but that's on purpose. They want to make sure that the consumer market actually wants the technology before they start churning out the content to go on it.
     
  5. rightct

    rightct Active Member

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    Olandir, I'm not really sure that people do want technology or the fancy names that it merchandises. What I'm trying to imply, is that I haven't even met one single person that knows what 1920x1080 resolution means, but that respective person still buys the TV that has it implemented simply because it's superior to 1080x720 (bigger numbers), or at least he thinks it is. :)
    About 4K resolution, we can see it implemented even on smartphones; we don't have much content available already for computers nor TVs, so we can't expect miracles from smartphone developers - yet -.

    Haha, Big Dan, I like how you've emphasized that we need superior studies in order to operate our "up-to-date" technology. We could probably change this "injustice" if we weren't so ignorant and swallow everything they give us; in the end, they rely on us the consumers for their profit!
     
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  6. Big Dan

    Big Dan What cord? Founding Member

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    I'm only 30 years old so I hate to sound like I have that "Damn kids get off lawn" mentality but it's gotten really out of hand. I've been doing laundry half my life using both the old school turn dial machines and some of the newer digital ones. A couple weeks ago a friend of mine let me use her new high efficiency washer and I felt like a complete idiot. This thing was touch enabled and wanted me to tell it what kind of fabrics I had it and how soiled they were. What the .... -- Whatever happened to selecting hot or cold and the standard or heavy duty cycle? I was always satisfied with those two options.

    I hate to see the repair bill when something goes wrong with one of the sensors or the control unit. We all know water and electronics don't mix so it's bound to happen a lot quicker then an old school machine with the dial. In a lot of cases with those old school machines the metal rusted and rotted away before the mechanics broke down. When this "smart washer" needs a repair 3-4 years down the line, the product will be discontinued and she'll have to buy a whole new washer. "Planned obsolescence" is an awesome business plan.

    Sorry to pull this thread off topic with my mini-rant about washers that are smarter than me but I got to typing and kept going. :nerd:
     
  7. rightct

    rightct Active Member

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    Haha, I might be the only one around here who hasn't already heard of these "smart" washing machines. I've looked them up just now on Google, and just... wow. I'm really surprised that people buy these unpragmatic appliances, which do the same thing as the ones that are 60% cheaper; but hey, we're the "blessed generation", we have everything at our disposal.
    About the repair bills, I don't even think they will have their appliances fixed in their - the machines' - life span, simply because people will treat them like smartphones or PCs: they will be changed yearly or each 6 months.
    Seeing these accomplishments coming from big companies, my entrepreneurship senses become more intensified, lol. :D :D
     
    Big Dan likes this.
  8. IcyBC

    IcyBC Well-Known Member

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    I love technology, but I am the last person who will run out there to buy the newest one on the market. I like to have it settle down, working out all the madness first before I will invest in it. You won't see me staying in line to buy new Apple phone, or sleeping on the sidewalk to wait for the store to open in order to buy the newest toy. Consumers like this set the price high in the market and the rest of us have to pay the price.
     
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  9. Big Dan

    Big Dan What cord? Founding Member

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    That's a shame though - so much money wasted. Growing up I can only remember my parents buying major appliances maybe once or twice and that's only if the old ones were irreparable. Most of the times we bought used and still got very good usage out of the appliance.

    Nowadays people buy a new refrigerator, stove, and microwave every 5 years or because they decide to change the color of their cabinets or countertops. Just seems wasteful to me.

    It's also the manufactures fault. Nothing is made to be repaired nowadays. Ther'es more money for them if you buy new rather then buy part to repair what you already have. Circuit boards, firmware, and software become obsolete and more than likely no longer made after the manu releases the next generation of products. If you cannot get parts for it you cannot fix it. Cars are the same way with all these computer and sensor controlled systems. I doubt you will see the cars of today lasting 20-30 years with normal maintenance like the cars of yesteryear.

    Nowadays the barrier to entry into the repair business is a lot higher. Repairing a washing machine or fridge isn't as simple as swapping out a few valves & gaskets, maybe a motor/compressor or mechanical sensor.

    My mechanic is an intelligent guy in his mid-50s. He says he is slowing phasing himself out of mechanic work as he doesn't have the technical know how to repair today's cars. Everything is done on the computer. He says one computer station he bought for his repair shop cost him upwards of 5k and then there's constant updates to the software that are a hefty yearly subscription. The cost of maintaining just 1 computer system squeezes his profit margin and he really needs 2 or 3 to have the shop run smoothly.

    He was telling me how one European car he worked on needed to be "told" via the computer that he'd changed it's oil or the engine would run rough. A simple oil change requires a computer? That makes absolutely no sense.

    What gonna happen? The independent guys are gonna get squeezed out of business eventually and you'll pay top rate at the dealer for servicing.

    I'm pretty much the same way. I'll usually wait a generation or two to see where the chips fall. The only thing I've ever gambled on is the first generation Roku. I bought the XD|S model with the USB port before Roku had an official USB "channel". It turned out to be a good gamble. I've bought the top end of all 3 generations. It's probably most useful $300 I've ever spent.

    Tablets are one that get me. I just don't see where they fit in the computing paradigm. I have a desktop, laptop, and smart phone along with my Kindle. I can do some of the same things I do from my phone on the Kindle but not nearly as much as I do on my computers. The only thing the Kindle has going for it is the screen size - it's a lot better for reading books and more convenient than staring at a laptop screen to read a book. My Kindle mostly gets used for looking up stuff on Wikipedia from bed.
     
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  10. rightct

    rightct Active Member

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    In what concerns these supposedly 'smart' cars, I don't really see their point of developing such advanced technology for the average consumer, without offering us an alternative most of the time, when there are simply not that many people who know or would like to possess such trivial information for them; you can't teach a human who's in this 3rd age about this technology, not even the essential information, for example. And I must also agree with you in what concerns the "oil change" ludicrosity, too. In fact, I've heard of such commands being given to cars nowadays, but not mechanically wise. I don't know what kind of peak these manufacturers seek, but it's surely not going to be effective for the majority of us people. I could be surprised though, seeing how much money people have at their disposal to waste, but we'll see. I'm very skeptical nevertheless. :rofl:
     
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  11. Big Dan

    Big Dan What cord? Founding Member

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    As a geek I like the smart car stuff. An app on your phone that tells of any problems arising, allows you to remote start, or authenticates you for push button start, and reminds you to change the oil -- that's pretty cool and arguably useful/usable for most consumers. Not sure it's worth the cost of all the future maintenance on these sensors and computers though. Are cars going to become like the phones? You upgrade for new tech features every year or two? That's expensive and bad for the environment.

    What I'm not sure of is what happens when you lose your phone. We're increasingly moving towards an age where we won't need to carry keys with us any longer. Our cars and home will detect our smart phone is within range and unlock for us either automatically or with a tap of our device. Nor am I sure of how secure these systems are going to be. Your "smart" car gets stolen due to a breach of it's security systems. Who is at fault? The owner, the manufacturer, or your phone's manufacturer? Questions to consider for the future.

    I don't like the new cars with a 9" touch screen front and center in the console though. This controls the heat, radio, GPS etc. It's distracting. In any car I've ever owned I can change the radio station, volume, turn up the heat, etc without taking my eyes off the road because I know where all the buttons are. This isn't so with a touch screen often with few to no physical buttons. In an era where we're seeing more and more public service announcement blitzes about distracted driving this cannot be a wise move.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
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  12. rightct

    rightct Active Member

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    Well, yeah, the majority of us would enjoy having these future-proof "toys", but as for what it goes actually driving one in the street, it's a different kettle of fish. I personally wouldn't venture too much and say I'd trust the car itself more than the voice recognition accuracy, anyway.
    What happened to the obsolete break pedal, gas pedal and clutch pedal though? What is it going to be in, say, 25 years? The very advanced flying cars our 80s fellows imagined?
    I'm quite skeptical that in the future we'd even be able to control these cars by another method than vocal commands, haha. :think::think:
    As for what it goes about switching to new equipment - or cars in some cases - "yearly", yes, it's a possibility that some people would consider doing it. They would sell their "outdated" equipment - or car, by case - for the respective year's exclusivity and ultimately afford it. We can always find solutions to our problems if we want to. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
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  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    While the new technology is certainly a lot better, quality wise it is a bit of a joke. There seems to be a throw away mentality, its fine for 18 months or until the guarantee runs out then its off back to the store to buy a new one.
    Growing up I remember my parents gettingba new fridge freezer to replace the one we already had, and has for about 25 years! And it was a massive day in our house! I've been living on my own for 10 years and I think I'm already on my 3rd!
     
  14. libretos121

    libretos121 Active Member

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    My husband is always telling me this. Also best marketing does not mean good technology.
     
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  15. TinVanMan

    TinVanMan TinVanMan

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    Totally agree. I just got a 4k television and there is almost nothing I can watch that is 4k. However, if what the salesman told me is true, there will be a lot of content for 4k in the next 5 to 10 years. Also, he did say that all other televisions will be obsolete in the next 5 years. Of course, I expect a certain amount of this was for the purpose of making the sale.
     
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  16. Big Dan

    Big Dan What cord? Founding Member

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    Never trust a salesman. :D Conflict of interest he probably made a bigger commission off of selling you a 4K TV vs a standard HDTV. ;)
     
  17. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Well-Known Member

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    Well, 4K technology isn't used by a lot of people so I can't justify to buy a 4k TV right now.
    Full HD is already so clear and smooth that I don't want to upgrade for at least an year or two. 4K doesn't really seem like a very big step forward for me, though it definitely looks nice!
     

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