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The Day The AV Dream Died, Cont.

But it shouldn't have. The HTPC-Radeon/PowerDVD setup was still very good, and the whole thing can be home built for about the cost of an Oppo BDP-95. An HTPC also gives you great flexibility for things like creating playlists, playing games, accessing all that Net content, plus all the other things a PC can do, including freezing up, of course.

But no matter what you use—Plasma or LED HDTV, an HTPC or standalone Blu-ray player—it will still only be about twelve months or so before the next new whatever arrives, proclaiming sensory wonders you never knew you absolutely needed. And once again you are left with that empty feeling of missing out on all that cool new action.

The existentialists got it wrong. It's not knowing that your life is finite that causes you dread. It's knowing all your credit card charged AV stuff will be technically absurd long before you pay off the bill.

Good weed or just gave up, can't tell...

The Day The Mitsubishi Died marked my end of the Dream for buying a big TV and living a happy decade or so in its company. Also gone kaput was the idea of owning any AV gear of enduring value. The Consumer Electronics Chevy must be traded in almost every year if you want to continue speeding down the great digital highway.

But life on the open road has become jammed with one-way vendor exits and cluttered with new equipment tollbooths that pick your pockets clean at every opportunity.

Get used to it, Bubba, or hand in your digital keys.

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21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com