When it comes to electronics, there are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who shell out a ton of cash for the new gadgets the same day they’re introduced; and there are those who wait a little while for the technology to settle down a bit and for the prices to drop. I’m one of the latter…
I remember when Plasma TVs first came out. They were spectacular, awesome, and impressive to a whole new degree, IF you had something to drive the picture. At the time, Cable and Satellite TV had yet to offer hi-definition picture broadcasting, and precious few DVDs had the image quality to drive the new Plasma screens to their impressive limits. The result? An enormous flat TV for $12,000 that showed you the same old stuff you’d been watching on 66% of the screen with two black vertical bars on the left and right edges. That’s not for me. I knew several people who couldn’t wait to plunk down that kind of cash though… Incredible though it was.
Things are finally shaking out in the hi-def world now. Aspect ratios are now fairly standard, Blue Ray won out over HD-DVD, and Cable and Satellite providers have a fairly impressive line up of hi-definition channels to watch. I still haven’t bit the bullet and bought a hi-def TV, plus the extra money to get a hi-def dish and service… but many hotels are doing it!
Maybe that’s a better deal for me, I travel all the time so why should I spend extra money for TV at home? The TVs in hotels are quite impressive. They even have Satellite providers that put 10 or more hi-def channels in your room for you.
Some hotels take it to the next level. They hook the TV up to a console that is mounted to the desk in your room. If you have a couple of short cables, you can hook your laptop into the TV and watch a DVD movie! You’ll need a standard PC video cable… the kind you use to plug your laptop into a standard meeting room projector. You’ll also need a sound cable, and this one is harder to come by. It’s a cable with a stereo mini-plug on both ends… it looks just like the end of your headphone cable, but on both ends. You’ll only need a foot or two of slack in the cables; just enough to route from your laptop to the console on the desk.
With these two cables and a few DVDs, you check out some of your favorite movies in the full glory they were intended to be seen in! I watched Clint Eastwood in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” in hi-def for the first time… it was very impressive!
You may wish to check with the front desk since not all rooms are so equipped. Most of them seem to be reserved for the hotel’s Elite members or those willing to upgrade to a suite or something. Be polite and ask. You may very well get the upgrade at no additional cost!