DTV wizardry

It was a dark and stormy night. Rain pelted me as I stumbled up the unlighted and rocky path. I again asked myself, “Why am I out here on such a crummy night?” Then I remembered.

Always looking for the latest news on digital TV, I received a tip in my e-mail saying that a new DTV chip had been discovered, one that claimed to make DTV reception easy and reliable. The secret behind this new chip was credited to the great Wizard Seetooths, master of the FOX cult. The wizard lives way up in the Californo mountains, hence my trek towards the wizard's cave at this ungodly hour.

As I neared the mountain's peak, a flash of lightning reflected off the opening of a small cave partially hidden behind an outcropping of rocks and heavy brush. The cave opening was surrounded by relics of time long ago — VHS tape machines, Plumbicon cameras. Near an ancient pine lay an old quad machine. The cave opening was surrounded by mounds of worn out VHS cassettes.

As I moved forward, I stepped on a small tree branch. It broke with a crack. I froze.

“Halt, who goes there?” roared a voice from behind the cave's dark entrance. I almost jumped out of my skin at the bellowing from beyond. “I said, who goes there?” demanded the voice.

“It is I, editor of the famous magazine Broadcast Engineering. Who are you?” I asked.

“I am the great Wizard Seetooths, knower of all things broadcast,” the voice replied.

“Oh great Wizard Seetooths,” I said, “I've heard that you have solved the DTV reception dilemma. It is true?”

“Yes, it is true. I've solved all DTV reception problems, large and small, with my new Philips chip. Now, away with you,” he shouted.

“But sir,” I pleaded, “could there be some mistake? You see, others now dispute the IEEE report and your predictions. Even Philips has said it has no plans to manufacture the DTV receiver chip as you claim.”

“Those are lies, all lies. Now away with you, peon,” boomed the wizard. “I've said these things so they must be true. It works, trust me it works” continued the wizard. “Now beat it before I cancel my subscription to your magazine.”

Having come this far, I tried again, “But Mr. Wizard, I implore you, the tests were merely theoretical. Shouldn't at least a prototype chip have been developed before you claimed such predictable results?”

Suddenly, the Wizard's voice boomed even louder from behind the cave opening, “I've solved the DTV reception problem. Trust me, it works. Now get out of here before I turn you into a mere pixel.”

Suddenly, a strong wind whipped across the mountain. Lighting flashed. As if by magic, the dark curtains hiding the cave opening parted and I was able to see behind them. There was the Wizard Seetooths frantically stomping his feet and waving his hands. Smoke bellowed from a fire at his feet as he yelled into a microphone, “480 is truth; 480 is truth. 1080i and 720p are lies, damned lies.”

By now I'd heard enough and quietly backed down the mountain trail away from the wizard's cave. As I turned to go home, I could still hear the wizard shouting, “Trust me, the chip works. Wait, did I tell you 480 rules? Come back, there's more. Did you know HD causes pimples?”

Must be the altitude, I thought to myself.

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