Creating My Home Cinema aka Making the Most of a Scary Movie!

SPONSORED FEATURE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PANASONIC

If you read my blog regularly you’ll know I’m a massive film buff. You might have seen I’ve already started to share some of my old horror movie posts, ahead of some new ones coming up, all in the name of October and Halloween. So when I was asked if I’d like to talk about the new Panasonic 4k TV range, I of course said yes!

The first TV in my bedroom was about 4 inches square, had an aerial you had to move around. If you watched it at the wrong angle everyone looked like they were in negative. I then upgraded to a little tube tv which also had an aerial so when Channel 5 came in, I had to get up and re-tune it every time I wanted to watch Sunset Beach.

I have a vivid memory of going to a friend’s house to watch a show I’d watched many, many times, and they had a widescreen TV (which we didn’t have in our home), but they’d not tweaked the settings so everything was set to widescreen – even full screen shows – so my favourite characters were stretched and looked so odd. I supposed they’d gotten used to it, but I was baffled by the idea that people would happily watch things in a way that was, let’s face it, just plain wrong!

Times have changed immensely since then. Not only are televisions so much lighter to carry and sleeker in design, but they’re also incredibly intuitive and even customisable. Not to mention with the addition of apps, YouTube has simply become just another TV station to me.

But when it comes to my film viewing experience, I’m a bit of a geek. If I’m going to watch a scary movie, it needs to be perfect – how can you expect to get the required scares if there’s glare on the screen, the sound isn’t perfect or there’s actually ghosting on your ghosts?

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When me and G-Man decided to upgrade our old Panasonic TV from 42″ to 50″ a few years ago, we did our research, and ended up sticking with the same brand. I say we, but to be honest Gary’s such an AV geek that he did most of it, and then said to me “we’re getting this one”. Which I was fine with!

One of the things I love about our TV is that the blacks are REALLY black. Meaning, and especially for horror films, that you’re seeing things as dark as they were intended when they were filmed. So if films like Paranormal Activity are your thing, you’re going to see the dark shapes and changes exactly as you would in the cinema, with no additional shading or shadowing that could possibly spoil your experience.

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Another majorly geeky thing we did with our TV as soon as we got it, was to set up our own personal picture settings profile. There are loads of suggested setting changes on places like AV Forums and YouTube, specific to your make and model of TV. These people have done all the hard work for you, so you can simply make the settings changes to the darkness, red, green and blues etc (and make sure you take off the default IFC setting which alters the frame rate you view things at and smooths the movement) and then apply this custom profile to each HDMI slot you use (so Sky, DVD player, console etc…) I know, after doing this, that I’m watching everything the way it was intended to be watched! It’s so important to me.

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It might seem like a lot of effort (and it is a little effort) but you’ll be so much happier with your viewing experience.  And wow, this is all without even beginning to mention the clarity of a 4k display and how bright and beautiful the colours are. I can’t wait for the new BBC Blue Planet series to begin, because the trailer looked breathtaking on our TV.

When buying a new TV it can be so overwhelming. There are so many brands, all offering special things and so many different prices. But when it’s all said and done, and you’re in your living room it’s just you and the TV – and you want the best viewing experience possible.

We’re made up with our TV and the little cinema we’ve created in our set up. We just need to get around to getting some kind of surround sound system set, and my horror film binge sessions will be that much more enthralling!

 

DISCLAIMER: Though this post is sponsored by Panasonic, this TV was paid for by me and my opinions and choices are honest and my own.

 

 

 

Embracing my inner Geek

Hi there. My name is Erin and I’m a geek. And I’m rather proud of it too, thank you very much.

I’m quite happy to admit I have a very obesessive personality. I recall my first obesession was short lived. I was in love with Macaulay Culkin – for about 2 days. Then I was head over heels for Blur. I loved Damon Albarn and had pictures all over the wall. Then The X-Files – I knew names of episodes, actors, seasons, orders…. I even knew Mulder’s badge number off by heart…. Then it was Buffy and Angel. I must say I met a lot of great people through them. I had a pen-pal called Rick that I met in 1998 through an X-Files message board. We got along so well, that he even brought his new fiance to meet me 4 years later (we’d been writing that long!). We met for the first time at a Buffy meet in London. I’d been a regular visitor on a private Buffy forum called The Espresso Pump – I met some amazing people on there, who I’m still in contact with now.

When I met Gary he became my obsession so geeky stuff kinda took a back seat. Then I discovered that he was a huge Beatles fan, and all fell into place! He appreciates my geekyness as much as I appreciate his. It’s a match made in heaven!

So when I discovered my latest obsession (Yes, it’s the Twilight thing again) I was very surprised with how understanding he was. You see, the last time I had a geeky fan thing going on, I was a teenager and you expect that it’s all part of the growing up hormonal thing. But apparently that never goes away. And thinking about it, when I was meeting with my Buffy friends I was the youngest there – the rest ranged from early 20’s to mid 30’s.

I also am a bit of a merchandise whore, so it’s rather dangerous being a fan of something. My weekly emails include the Forbidden Planet newsletter! I have badges on my work lanyard, and i’m currently awaiting an order of US Twilight merchandise….. yes it costs a lot to be a geek. I remember saving money so hard once to buy the season 4 boxed set of the X-Files – it cost £80 (about $130)! 4 videos for £80! Then about 5 years ago you could get all the re-issued ones for peanuts in discount stores – that’s the rise of DVD for you.

I guess it’s all part of wanting to be part of the movement that’s created by being involved with something like this. That’s something I’ve noticed by becoming part of the Twilight fan thing. The fansites all co-operate with each other and share information. Even Summit (the movie production company) give priority information to the fansites with quotes from the directors. In my time of webmastering, you had to beware your content for fear of being sued! But it seems it’s a big Twilight family, and I like it.

So that’s me. A proud geek and never a sheep 🙂

And now I shall perform the dance of geekdom….. watch me now!