Press-Republican

Columns

January 6, 2013

TV size matters

When it comes to television, size matters. 

When I first saw it in Radio City as a child in the early 1940s, I remember a screen that measured only a few inches. It was a real miracle.

When my aunt and uncle bought their first set in New Jersey, the box was huge but the screen was about 6 inches. I remember straining to watch “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” through the snow in black and white in about 1949.

When my dad could finally afford a TV, our living room was graced with a Fada set. I’m guessing the screen was 13 inches.

Kaye and I finally graduated to a 24-inch screen with stereo sound in the ‘70s and thought that was as good as it gets. Wrong again. In the ‘90s, our wonderful kids got together and gifted us with a 35-inch set. It served us well until a few weeks ago when it began to snap and bang, and I thought it was about to blow us to oblivion. I pulled the plug and headed downtown to find a replacement.

Our living room is 30 feet long, so we decided to go for 50 inches and 40 pounds in weight compared to more than 200 pounds for the old one. I know, because I had to roll it end-over-end to get it out on the back deck where it will rest till spring.

As we set up the new TV and worked to make the picture fill the screen for every program and every channel, our son Dale told me I should write a column about that “aspect” of modern television.

I have read thousands of words purporting to explain aspect ratios, pixels, resolution, SD (standard definition) and HD (high definition). In the interest of full disclosure, I failed physics at Clarkson back in 1956-1957. The more I tried to fathom the reasons the picture on my new television didn’t always fill the screen, the more frustrated I became. I zoomed and stretched and closed one eye, but none of that helped every time. I finally found a button that seemed to work most of the time and stuck with it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time