Monday, January 25, 2010

Is that going to fit in the car?

I posed this question to Mike while we stood in the electronics section of Costco. We were looking at the 52'' TVs that they had there. "Yes, I measured the trunk, it will fit" Mike replied with great confidence. I had my doubts of course, but Mike said he measured, so I figured it would be ok.

On Sunday we went to Costco to look at the TVs they had available there. Mike had an urge to buy a new TV (not sure why, our old one worked). So we ran around running lag test on these TVs with Mike's laptop, a timer program, and a digital camera.

The idea behind it is this:
  1. You have a laptop with HDMI out that outputs a timer to both its screen, and the TV
  2. You take several pictures showing both the laptop and TV screen
  3. The time difference between the laptop screen and the TV screen is the lag on the TV
So Mike would get a helpful Costco employee to hook up our HDMI cable, set his timer running, and then I'd snap several photos for samples. This got us several odd looks from other people in the store, but the Costco employees didn't seem to mind. When we first ran these tests, the results of all the displays were rather disappointing (90+ ms). Turns out Mike was doing it wrong. He had an incorrect resolution set for his laptop and this was causing extra delays.

So we went around testing all the TVs a second time, this time with his resolution set differently. Mike was much happier and less baffled with the new data that we got. Satisfied with the ~20 ms difference shown by our tests on the Sharp TV, he ran off to get a cart to put the TV on. (While he was away, a couple came up to me and asked which TV I thought was best, to which I had to reply that I hadn't done the research on the models, I was just assisting in taking pictures). So he paid for the TV, and then we pushed it in the pouring rain all the way to the back of the parking lot where our car was parked.

Upon attempting to put the TV through the trunk with the seats down, a critical problem was discovered. The opening at the back of the trunk through the seats was too small.

"That's ok," said Mike, "we'll just put it in the back seat instead."

Of course, it didn't fit through the car door into the back seat either. Seems like his measurements weren't quite so accurate. I made sure that Mike quickly discarded his next idea of tying it down sticking out of the trunk. So then we pushed the TV all the way back to the Costco entrance. I stood by to guard it for 20 minutes while Mike went to get a UHaul to transport it in.

We managed to deliver the TV safely with the UHaul, but I'm going to stick with my assertion that the TV is too large.

TLDR version: We got a new 52 inch TV