Festival season is a great occasion for buying, especially goods that you have no need for. Just pause and take a look in your house. What did you see? The electric chappathi- maker, the foot-massager, the vegetable-chopper. No good has ever come out of them, except the fact that they are convenient spots for cockroaches and other household pests to luxuriously linger.
But a true connoisseur of stylish living like you can never be put off by the fact that none of the modern devices can survive the test of practicality. If you were of the reasoning kind and realistic, you would not have sat down to read this piece at all.
Anyway, before you set out to buy any new technological thingy, the thing is to get a good lowdown on it and whether it will suit your taste and budget. Make no mistake about it, the law of the universe is: If it is tasteful and likable, it will be beyond your budget. So you cannot have it both ways.
Okay then, we will leave out the budget and focus on the many items that will dance before your eyes, seeking your attention this festive season. The following check-list has been painstakingly prepared with all the attendant effort that goes into looking stupid. If, in spite of all this, you actually find this useful, you can sue me. That’s a guarantee, which like all guarantees on household items, is never useful.
LCD TVs and their cousins in household entertainment, Plasma TVs, are a good example of the scientific rule, which lays out that technology will keep improving and be easily available to the common public in fields where there is actually no need for it.
The world has been desperately looking for a cure to the blighted common cold ever since it realsied that vapour-rubs and cough syrups are nothing more than a prank thought up by physicians when on vacation. Probably researchers and scientists were all these days busy thinking up ways to put sparkling lights on shoes, which needless to say is what the humankind was waiting with bated breath for all these centuries, that they couldn’t devote their time to anything else. On behalf of the scientists, let me assure you that the sure-fire medicine to treat everyday cold is on its way once they are through with their labour of putting the life-saving USB port on combs and the emergency bluetooth apparatus on toothbrushes.
Getting back to LCD/Plasma TVs, they have taken home entertainment to a bigger and beautiful canvas by doing away with the previously grainy TV telecasts with the easy-on-the-eye pixels that all but blur out human faces and surroundings. Watching every-day telecasts on a high-definition LCD/Plasma TV is to experience the rare phenomenon of Censor board officials at work even on Vazhalum Vazvum.
For, every face on LCD/Plasma TV comes in unscrambled pixels, joyously providing you the guilty pleasure of watching an X-Rated telecast even though the mug behind those pixels could be that of the eminently ‘un-arousing’ Solomon Pappiah or Arnab Goswami.
It is a fact that these pixels are not so evident when watching the telecasts from a distance. Say if your house and TV is in Vadapalani, you have to hire a house in Tambaram to serenely enjoy the clarity and precision that inevitably come along with the expensive but stylish LCD/Plasma TVs. You may also buy yourself two spouses to give you company in the two houses. Technology, as I said, is all about giving you more choices.
In the passing, it is pertinent to point out the vital technological difference between Plasma and LCD TVs. The science behind both is actually same: If you have bought Plasma TV, LCDs are better. And if your choice is LCD, then Plasma scores. A prayer is handy for both.
LED TVs are another important step in the evolution of technology that is entirely based on the thumb rule that people are fools and they can be convinced into buying any product as long it is possible to feature a beautiful girl in its advertisement.
The 3D television that was in the market not log ago is a good example. People went ahead and bought it even though practical experience suggested that the only thing connected with that TV that possibly gave the 3D feeling was the remote-control unit that came with it.
On the face of it, there may be very little to choose between LCD and LED TVs. But LED TV’s superior technology and its array of impressive features immediately come alive when you put in huge amounts of money in buying an LCD TV. The technical beauty of LED TV is the picture it is able to deliver to you that whatever TV you have now is worthless.
Almost all the LED TVs sold in the market today come with the built-in feature of becoming obsolete and useless the moment you buy it.
You would have always wondered, and even marvelled, at such desirable descriptions like Dolby, DTS, DiVX that you came across at classy multiplexes. Now with the arrival of home theatres, those vaunted specifications are available in your drawing room itself but without in any way you being wiser about what they actually mean and deliver.
The great thing about home theatre systems is that they help to elevate your simple every-day DVD-viewing experience into something more superior, by which I mean, complicated and difficult.
The beauty of home theatre is that it can intrinsically promote and upgrade art. That is, even a Vikraman’s lurid and bright-coloured movie, on a pirated DVD, will play out in dark and muted hues as if Manirathnam had conceived it.
Home Theatre systems come with a plethora of speakers, and a sub-woofer, whose technical virtuosity lies in the fact that it is no more than a speaker but still gets to be called a sub-woofer.
The surround speakers help provide the unmistakable flavour and fervour of movie-watching provided you are a moron to believe your dinghy, constricting drawing room to be commodious like a 1000-seat theatre.
With your home theatre system you get an all-purpose remote-control unit that help you operate every function available except the one you need. And operating the remote control is not to be attempted unless you have majored in every science subject on offer at Harvard. Otherwise you may end up activating the nuclear warheads stationed in distant North Dakota.
This should be the highest on the list of must-buy items, as 3G technology allows for high-speed, high-resolution exchange of voice and data files that you will not need top send.
You should not allow the minor fact that 3G technology lines are not ready in India, and the phone’s features are as useful as logic is in Rajnikanth’s movies.
Till the phone is anywhere near usable, you can play with many of the games that handily come along on the phone. One such wonderful high-end thought-inducing game is dices. Yes, modern technology has evolved to the brilliant level where games that are available free in the market can be put in on a high-end phone and can be marketed as its USP.
I am already looking forward to the 4G phone.