Musings & Thoughts for Friday, December 4, 2020, or: 21 Shopping Days Till Christmas…and My New 4K UHD TV Rocks!

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Hi there! As I start this latest installment of A Certain Point of View, Too, it is mid-afternoon on Friday, December 4, 2020. Currently, the temperature in New Hometown, Florida is 74˚F (23˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 66% and the wind blowing from the south-southeast at 9 MPH (14 KM/H), the heat index is 74˚F (23˚C). The forecast for the day calls for a high of 75˚C (24˚C) and sunny skies. Tonight the low will be 63˚F (17˚C) and we can expect scattered rain showers in our general vicinity.

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

Can you believe that we are exactly three weeks away from Christmas Day 2020? I can’t, at least not emotionally; this year has been a weird, stressful, and depressing one for everyone, what with the COVID-19 pandemic, the seemingly-endless train wreck of the Trump Presidency, Brexit, and socio-political upheaval throughout the world. And while I have been fortunate enough to have – thus far, anyway – avoid the novel coronavirus that has (as of 2:28 PM) infected over 65,627,738 people and killed over 1,514,034 worldwide, including 277,693 Americans since late February, I have broken up with a woman that I once thought was The One, even though I still live in her house and we still are on friendly terms (most of the time, at least).

Image Credit: COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

So, as I cope with my own circumstances and Donald John Trump continues to sow discord and angst to a polarized and divided nation as a defeated, impeached, and petulant lame duck President, and as the COVID-19 death toll continues to rise, I find it hard to get into the “Christmas spirit.”

That’s not to say that I am not trying. On Tuesday, I ordered gifts for almost everyone currently present – the one exception I am pointedly making is my ex’s new beau – from Amazon. I bought a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo for The Caregiver (as I now refer to my ex-girlfriend) and $25 gift cards from Amazon for each of her college-age “kids.” I almost didn’t – I, am, after all, only human, and I am not immune from feeling such emotions as anger, resentment, or even pettiness – but I decided to go ahead with the Christmas shopping. I can’t afford to move out of here, and the people I live with seem to care about me.

So I ignored the voice inside my head that kept saying “Screw them! Don’t buy anyone anything,” and bought presents to place under the Christmas tree. It’s what my mom would have wanted me to do, and I’m not about to turn to the Dark Side and become a Colombian-American version of Ebenezer Scrooge just because a romantic relationship went sour.

In any event, I finally got to see a 4K UHD TV in action, although I had to buy a new and smaller set than the one that I bought for what was then our master bedroom to do so. It is a Samsung 32″ Class Q50R Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV, and although it is slightly larger than the 720p Samsung HDTV it replaced, it looks smaller somehow.

I ordered the Q50R Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV from Best Buy last month when it became clear that the larger TV I bought in 2017 (but was only installed late this summer) would not fit in my small bedroom. I didn’t like the idea of just letting The Caregiver keep it so she could watch it instead of having it moved here, but the reality is that unless we totally redid the room and moved some of my Ikea CD and Blu-ray/DVD cases out, there’s no way that a 45-inch TV would fit in here. (Plus, where would all of the displaced stuff go? Our garage is already full of stuff from two households!)

So even though I was not thrilled about it, I went ahead and bought my new 4K UHD set; I already had the 4K Blu-ray player, plus I’ve already bought 14 4K UHD titles (including the 27-disc Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga box set I bought in April, Rogue One, Solo, Jaws, and Superman: The Movie. I told The Caregiver that since the TV in the master bedroom had to stay where it was, she could keep it. But since I already had discs for the player, I was taking it and putting it in my room. I had, of course, paid for it on my own, so I am entitled to it. Happily, she didn’t object.

Normally, whenever I ask The Caregiver to do something that I cannot – such as install floating shelves on the walls or set up TVs and Blu-ray players – there is a long waiting period between my request and its fulfillment. This is natural; the woman works for the local county government and has to do the “remote office” thing four days a week – she gets a “floater” day off in these times of the pandemic. And she has a lot of responsibilities with her young adult kids and me to take care of. Even when we were dating this was always the case. So I’m not mad or bitter that life here is not the same as my old pre-2010 life in Miami.

The reason I got my TV set up in record time is because J, the Caregiver’s middle son, heard me asking his mom if she could take some time to set up my TV before Christmas and her reply of Probably this weekend. J, who is quite expert at setting up electronics and building his own gaming PCs, wandered over to the kitchen and said, “Hey, I’m not busy right now; I’ll do it.”

And so he did! In less than 30 minutes, my new Samsung 32″ Class Q50R Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV and its compatible Blu-ray player were set up, although J could not place the TV on the wall mount where the older Samsung TV had been because they were not compatible.  The Caregiver was disappointed, but it is what it is.

So far, I’m happy with both the TV and Blu-ray player;  the video and audio are the best I have ever seen in a television set, even though I still regret the fact that I had to get a smaller set than the one I bought in 2017.  

For instance, Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss, which I have only seen on my computer and streamed on a 1080 HDTV, looks and sounds so much better on a 4K UHD.

I don’t know how to describe what I see on my Samsung Q50R Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV without sounding like I am exaggerating. Ronnie, for instance, is so much more vivid and lifelike than what you see on a “regular” HD set or on your computer.

Same goes for Rogue One  and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, parts of which I watched last night to see how a big-budget film looks on UHD. (I wish I could say something about how the TV sounds with the small ONN soundbar I already had set up here, but I don’t think J connected the TV to it.

Well, that’s all I have to say from New Hometown today, so I’ll wrap things up here. Stay safe, Dear Reader, stay healthy, and I’ll see you on the sunny side of things.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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