Miranda’s taking dance lessons (tap and ballet for 5-6 year olds). The second one was today. At the first one, I got to see what a girl-dominated world might look like: all 10 kids were girls, 8 of the ten were wearing light pink, one was a mixture of pink and black, and one was all-black. One other parent was male, the rest were female. Much more balanced today, though – more black, a few kids were wearing lavender, and one was dressed in white. And I think there were four fathers there.

On the drive there, while passing some fire trucks: Miranda: “Fire trucks can go through red lights because they’re red!”. Me thinking: Hmm… Miranda: “And taxis can go through yellow lights because they’re yellow!”. Me thinking: That would explain some things, wouldn’t it?

We bought an hdtv last week; I mostly actually wanted to use it as a monitor for 480p inputs and sd cable, but this model did a nice job of upconverting 480p inputs to make them look like 720p, so spending the money for an hdtv monitor was worth it to me. (Not all hdtv monitors did as well, though, so be warned: go to a store and get the sales clerk to plug in a dvd player via the component inputs.) And it actually has a built-in tuner, so I went out and bought an antenna for it. Which I’ve had mixed experiences with so far: it’s amplified, but signals still go in and out sometimes. So, with less amplification, it would go between 0 and 2 bars, while with more amplification it jumps from 0 to 5 bars, but the frequency of 0 bars doesn’t get reduced as much as I’d like.

Right now, though, I’m watching baseball on Fox, and I’ve actually managed to fiddle with the antenna to get a consistent signal. It’s being transmitted as hd, according to the tv, but it sure looks to me like sd. So I’m pretty sure that it’s being recorded with sd cameras. And, ironically, the result is in some ways worse than what I get if I switch the antenna over to cable: the tv recognizes that the cable signal is sd, so it uses its clever machinery to improve the quality of the signal, while it leaves the hd signal as it is. In particular, on the hd signal, the interlacing is pretty obvious, while the tv has circuitry to convert the sd 480i signal to 480p. So there are tradeoffs. (Probably better hdtv receivers have less of an issue with this; for that matter, there’s no technical reason why a tv with a built-in hdtv receiver couldn’t display the signal as 1080p instead of 1080i, I think.) (Edit: actually, MPEG can encode interlacing, so there really is a difference between a 1080i signal and a 1080p signal.)

Still, I’m glad to see that I’m getting a consistent signal here, because presumably the playoffs and world series really will be broadcast in hd.

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