Day Eight

I am currently starting day eight of my fourteen day self-isolation. My first day in this position, the very day after BJ announced these conditions, was my birthday. I had a new TV delivered. It didn’t seem so bad, I had time to sort out the entertainment room while also keeping in touch with my duties at work. The new TV was precisely the fault of me “popping” into Richer Sounds and seeing an advert for a Philips Ambilight television on one of their brochures. The price seemed good and I do have a Philips lighting system at home. Along with 4K [I’m skeptical] and HDR it didn’t take much for me to decide to get it delivered.

Blank Wall For TV
Blank Wall For TV

The TV was placed up and the 4K system tested. Now, it turns out the AV Amp and HDMI switch doesn’t pass through the 4K and HDR signal. This is a touch annoying. I devise a work around where HDMI cables go straight to the TV and then sound is returned to the Amp via ARC. That didn’t work, I couldn’t get the ARC signal to send. Not sure why but it was probably one of those tiny settings somewhere deep within the menu system. I must have looked through the TV menus over twenty times. It’s a terrible menu system by the way. So, next option was to use an optical cable to output 5.1 sound from the TV to the amp. I didn’t have a cable long enough so had to wait. For one evening I had to watch TV and have the sound come from the TV’s own speakers [horror].

Next day an optical cable was delivered and the sound signal was tested. Now I would have 5.1 sound output by the TV to the Amp. This seemed livable with. Except it wasn’t. My Amp is 7.2, the PS4 outputs 7.1 and two of my speakers would now be redundant. I tried. I honestly tried. The convincing factor that I wouldn’t cope with this was the sound delay needed adjusting for all inputs. This meant changing the AV-Sync settings whenever I switched TV source. There were too many little bits in between the sight and sound signals. What a disaster.

I went searching through all the instruction manuals [in PDF format on my computer] and sought a solution. I couldn’t find one. What I needed [ha, “needed”, what an interesting word] was an amplifier that would throughput 4K and HDR along with separating out the sound signals keeping my home system as it is. It didn’t take long to find what I wanted. So, I ordered the Sony STR-DN1080.

When it arrived I reckon it took two hours to unplug the entire old system and then wire up the new amplifier. I left the auto-calibration for another day when it wouldn’t be so un-neighbourly and just set up the basics. I checked the inputs worked, check the TV signal, checked the 4K throughput and HDR rendering. It worked and there was no sound delay, or if there was it was consistent between all modules to make the settings consistent.

Gran Turismo looks bloody gorgeous in HDR, can’t believe I’ve been missing this.

I Parish

The lounge is now fully equipped although no longer 3D compliant. The system works well and I have been really impressed with all aspects of it. The ambilight system is very impressive. I can even link the TV light system to existing coloured lights in the house and I did this with a LED strip I had. The strip is on the ceiling in the lounge and looks really nice. But, when connected to the ambilight on the TV it floods the whole room with changing light that is, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, too much. I disconnected that system. Maybe if my lounge was bigger than its current form it would be less overpowering. Can you believe I actually turned a TV feature off!

Entertainment Corner [asymmetric]
Entertainment Corner [asymmetric]

Above is nearly all of entertainment corner. There is a Sonos unit just hidden to the top right, it uses an optical cable to send signals to the amplifier, you can just see two wires top right, one is white [power] another is grey [optical]. So, here we have from the top; a BluRay player, PS4, Shield TV, Amplifier, PSVR unit. Yes, the cabling is a mess. No, I am not going to sort it out – I’m lucky enough that this all fits in this space. If I had rear access I might get in there and fiddle around. Yes, the USB Gran Turismo back up memory stick looks terrible. Yes, the USB hub needs sorting out, I have a plan. Yes, it is asymmetric, but I really like that so I don’t care. Yes, they are Lego bricks separating each unit for heat flow purposes and no, I won’t change that.

Entertainment Centre
Entertainment Centre

This is not a blank wall anymore. I’ve got quite a nice TV along with a decent sound system and games console. All I have to do now is avoid buying the PS Turbo or whatever it’s called. I think I can probably manage to do that.

I did have the issue of what to do with the old TV. I’m not really a TV in the bedroom kinda guy. Bedrooms are for few purposes and watching television is not one of those. I used to find it frustrating with an ex when she watched Tv in bed and all I wanted to do was sleep. The TV programmes were very poor too. I think that’s the first time I became aware of Gillian McKeith, she was presenting a TV show called “You Are What You Eat” which is true but not in the way she meant it. I remember her talking about eating raw seeds and how the whole plant’s energy entered you. It was a seed. Just a seed. Fucking dangerous bullshit.

So, the older television is now on the wall in the dining room. I’ve connected a Roku device to it so I can stream the audio-visual medium to the screen. I have plans to buy a Raspberry Pi and use that as a information screen type thing or possible to have live plane details on the screen. I’m not sure yet what to do with it. Putting this TV up did require some drilling etc but it was fun. When looking at the TV there is an issue where it doesn’t look horizontal but it is, the problem is the ceiling coving which isn’t level. If I had the uber-PS I could place the current PS4 with the dining room screen but I won’t be doing that.

Dining Room Black Mirror
Dining Room Black Mirror

My current project is to build a display onto the DR screen. My Shield TV already has Dakboard running as its screen saver and I quite like that but I don’t really want to pay for the full version so I am looking into using a Raspberry Pi and either a browser running on that in full screen with a self refresh timer or some software that will run a display board. I guess there are plenty out there. So, wait for the news on that.

It’s Almost As If

Our society wasn’t set up to cope with a massive short term change to the way it operates. By short term I mean in the order of months. We aren’t even months in and it feels as though the world is ending. There’s panic in the supermarkets and many many businesses are going to go bust. People won’t get paid and it’s not going to be pleasant.

If only our society hadn’t been chronically underfunded over the last ten years. If only the “gig-economy” wasn’t a thing. If only companies weren’t driven by responsibilities to shareholders but rather to a social responsibility that means they would look after their employees and make sure everyone had a decent standard of living.

We SHOULD be paying for goods and expecting everyone involved in those process to make them to be paid a FAIR wage. It is utterly immoral that they don’t.

This was meant to be the start of something big but I think I’ll have to leave it for a while. I might keep my ramblings short while we go through this.