Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Living in High Def

Whether it be poker or technology, I try to pretend like I know what I’m doing. I know very little in some areas of both, but in whole I really have no idea what I’m talking about. Although from time to time I may sound like I fit in with the niche that has been created around either field, it’s only because I get caught in the right conversations with the right people who just happen to ask such the right questions that I can squeeze out answers with what limited knowledge I do have.

I have a fancy phone with cool gadgets, a decent laptop with fancy gadgets, and a massive amount of poker related things, mostly books and an insane amount of assorted poker chip sets according to any sane person. But in reality, I let the hype of these things take place of the actual understanding of putting any of it to use. Don’t let this deter you from thinking I’m a hard and true badass, cuz I definitely am, but I know nearly nothing compared to the world of knowledge that surrounds both poker and electronics.

In any case, I’ve gotten a decent taste of everything over the past couple of weeks. Two weeks ago on the Friday night before our Saturday night game at Paullywood Park, Darsky and I headed down to Hollywood Park for a little poker action. I was planning on a night of drinking with Joe and a couple friends in Santa Clarita, but when I was presented an opportunity to play on Darsky’s dime, I couldn’t pass up the offer.

I have another trip report written up for that weekend which I’ll post soon, but it’s gonna have to go on hold until I write about my faux technology addiction. I’ve been meaning to get an awesome new TV for a while now, but thanks to my misunderstanding of the game of poker over the past two years I’ve been unable to comfortably afford one.

I’ve been wired into the tables of casinos across the nation for a long time now, and I’ve been completely unplugged from the technological world around me. I use it, I want to get to know it, but I haven’t been able to own it or love it as my own. While I’ve spent countless hours dumping my earned money at poker tables and blackjack tables at Chumash, Vegas, and Turning Stone (the won money was put back into the game around a year and a half ago), my friends have been out spending their money on tangible objects that shine, shout, and display glorious visions of the future around their houses.

Most of my 20-21 year old friends are broke anyways, so I don’t feel so bad that I am for the most part as well. However, they always manage ways to fund their addictions to hottest new toys on the market, much in the way that I always manage to scrape up just enough money to help the casino fund their comp for one of their highroller’s $300 steaks; the difference is my friends get to use theirs every day instead for a weekend like me.

The thing I've noticed about myself, though, is that I'm so frugal when it comes to spending money on things (with the exception of dinners), but I feel no restraint when it comes to betting $300 on a single hand of blackjack. I've seen that because I actually refuse to spend money on things that I want on an every-day basis, I've had money in the past to throw away to my reckless fearlessness inside of a casino.

Because I realized all of this stuff, I decided to cool it on the serious gambling for a bit and concentrate on building up a reputable collection of my own technology and house adornments. I started with a laptop, a digital camera, and Motorola Q before I decided to leap into a new TV and an XBOX 360. I was planning on waiting until December to make the plunge, and I had been putting in a bit of time looking at and talking about LCDs and DLPs with friends of mine who are more savvy in the matter.

I also couldn’t decide if I wanted to get a TV for my bedroom or for the living room, which I share with two roommates on a daily basis, one of whom is known for being messy beyond a higher being’s ability to stop it. After a bit of thinking, I had firmly decided that come the last month of the year, I was going to buy myself a birthday present of a 42” LCD and 360 which would be safely located within the boundaries of my bedroom. That was until I found a deal I couldn’t pass up.

Two Fridays ago I was browsing a couple forums when I came across a deal that Best Buy was having. In order to liquidate their DLPs for the new year’s models, as well as to advertise and boost the hype for the upcoming release of the newest addition to the hugely praised Halo series, a huge online sale was being hosted. If a person were to buy a Samsung DLP 50”+, an XBOX 360, and pre-ordered Halo 3 through Best Buy, they were giving $410 off of the TV and free delivery. At first I was skeptical of the deal, but as more and more people chimed in on the legitimacy of both the deal and the products, I had to find something for myself!

Still recovering from financial hell and being on a low budget, I needed something that I could afford yet still feel good about buying. There were a few selections of TV to choose from, yet I decided to go with a price saver that’s around middle of the field for TV’s nowadays. I purchased the Samsung 50" 720p DLP HDTV HLT5075S. After reading the great reviews it got, I felt that it would be an adequate purchase to feed my desire to be seen as a tech guru while staying within an affordable price range.

I know that it isn't the greatest TV out there, and it's not even close. However, HD TV channels only broadcast in 720p, and since the majority of it's usage will go towards TV it's not bad at all. I wouldn't want to cramp my room with a 50" DLP (13" deep), but it fits perfectly in the living room, actually takes up less space than our previous 36" CRT, and with this cheap of a price I won't be too upset if the thing gets crapped out due to roommate conditions. The downside is that without 1080p we can't watch HDDVD's to their utmost capabilities, nor will video games output their max potential. With that being said, the games that I've played so far look insane, and like stated the HDTV channels come in crystal clear.

I decided to go with the XBOX 360 with the knowledge that I'll be getting a far superior TV sometime in the future that will be able to handle anything thrown at it, and even in this new setup the 360 displays awesomely on our TV.

In total, I was able to grab the TV, the 360 Elite, and Halo 3 for less than $1,300. It's hooked up, our HDDVR cable box is hooked up, and just in time for Sunday football (even though the Eagles need to go back to the offseason already so they can learn how to play the game again). We are all now enjoying our weekly shows and weeknight Halo 3 online anger-fests in high def and I couldn't be more content.

I can't decide whether surround sound is next or if I'm going to further fuel my TV want with a top of the line LCD for my bedroom. Of course, knowing me, I'll end up spending zero dollars on either one and I'll be writing another blog entry from my Vegas hotel room a couple months from now, complaining that I should've just bought another damn TV and had something to show for the $2,000 I just dropped only to stare at a grimacing dealer's face and retire to a night long view at the Strip from 30 stories up.

Only time will tell where my money will end up in December, but for right now it's back to the tech forums to see if I can't actually learn something about all the new stuff I'll want to end up buying.

Also, I fixed the internet at our apartment and I have a bunch of stories to tell, so hopefully....just maybe....just....just by a random hopeless chance, I may start updating regularly again.

Until next time.


Brando said...

Nice. Did you get the legendary edition with the helmet? its badass. whats your XBL gamertag? Find me i'm liquidghost0

Sitting the Apple said...

No Best Buy wasn't even offering that one. I've seen it though, and it looks pretty sick. I'll search you later today.