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Over Indulgence part II
Written by John   
Friday, 23 December 2005

More on Over Indulgent parents and the Xbox 360.

First, let me give some background on this thing called the Xbox 360.

Technology wise, it truely is a masterpiece.  3 processor cores and video that is out of this world.

That said, it's nothing but another video game if you hook it up to a regular television.

Intersting, no?  So... you buy this $400 gift for your kid.  You hook it up to the $149 television that you bought him for Christmas last year.  What do you end up with?  Picture that is at best marginally better than the old Xbox that he was playing with last year.  Marginally.

You may ask yourself - "Why is that?".

Well, my dear watson, the answer is quite simple.  Nothing about the TELEVISION has changed.  The 20" flat tube television is still just a standard definition tv.  It may have "component" inputs, but that gives 480i (Four Hundred Eighty interlaced lines) resolution, or at best 480p (progressively scanned lines.)  And no matter what you connect to it, that's all the TV can show.

So, hooking up the Xbox 360 to a standard definition television is like trying to put a 10 pound Prime Rib into a toaster oven.

Now, if you're rich (and I'm not even close), and you own a High Definition TV then you'll experience the vast improvement - but only on the newest 360 designed games.  The older games will look better - sharper and with better contrast, but they're designed around that old 480 line standard...

Oh, and don't  - please don't - connect it to a Plasma television.  Plasma TV can suffer from "burn in".  Intense colors and brightness can age the pixels at an irregular rate.  So you pause the game for 30 minutes on the plasma tv and you'll end up with an "after image" of that paused screen that might persist forever.

Where am I going with all this?  Nowhere special, I guess.  Except maybe to conclude that Xbox 360 - to do it up right - is really going to cost the consumer something like $3000...

Just putting up some more of my random musings.

Hey - by the way, if you've not heard it yet, grab a copy of the new INXS album, Switch!