ON ANIMAL CLONING ; HDTV DEMYSTIFIED

The Korean government had confirmed the news that it had successfully cloned seven Labrador Retrievers from a super canine skilled in sniffing drugs and explosives. The Magnificent Seven , being replicas of its cloned source are expected to inherit their biological master’s exemplary skills and are therefore deployable at the front lines with minimum training. We dread the thought of this Frankenstein-ish experiments proliferate in our world today as we all know that policing the four corners of the earth to regulate such an activity is a daunting task.

Here’s a question that had been nagging the human race since the fictional days of Dr. Victor Frankenstein – is cloning justifiable and what are its limits? The conservatives among us of whatever religious persuasion consider tampering the human genes an affront to the sanctity of creation and must never be condoned. What about animals ? What about the cloning of animals for the utility of man ?

We have heard about cloning of sheep, to produce a superior breed that provides quality meat and wool. Imagine a specie of pigs, cattle and chickens – all cloned so man could avail of the perfect meat. But then there are those that would clone for different reasons , like a California woman who was willing to spend $150K to clone her dead pet dog, a pit bull that had been preserved in a freezer. She wants her dog back, an exact reincarnated replica of her beloved pet. Aren’t we likewise tampering the sanctity of creation with this eerie proposal albeit they are animals with supposedly no souls? And what happens next – cloned super race horses that would win forever, cloned vicious dogs that would be marketed as guard dogs. If we open the door to animal cloning with no restriction, we might just admit to playing God and risk the destruction of animal life in this planet.


Demystifying the HDTV ( Warning – long post !)

Most of us are allured by the attractive, clear and crisp images we see on the large screen HDTV ( High Definition TV) units we see at the applicance show rooms that we immediately check our plastic card balances and say – “hmmm, looks like I have room left for this baby“. There’s nothing wrong with HDTVs believe me, as long as you get the HD (High Definition) quality you crave for. Sad to say most consumers fall short of their expectations or perhaps I should re-phrase, that consumers may have ,in the first place, a case of misguided expectations. Remember the showroom folks aren’t around to educate customers, unless they ask.

Let’s face it. Ideally you would want to purchase an HDTV to view HD resolution images – no more no less. The HDTV only plays the image that is fed into it so it is critical that if you desire HD ( High Definition) resolution, you MUST input HD data into it. If you input any lesser quality signals like analog or ordinary digital, you will get the corresponding analog or digital resolution which will be no different than your ordinary TV. So why buy a HDTV in the first place? A large screen doesn’t necessarily mean better picture quality unless it is formatted appropriately.

Suggestion 1 : Do not be tricked by sales clerks who will sell you HDTV’s lower than 1080 lines per minute resolution, like the 720p. Look for 1080i as minimum or the newer 1080p ( more pricey), which will allow you to view super hi resolution Blue Ray DVDs if you so desire.

Suggestion 2: HDTV’s must take inputs from an HD capable device, through the HDMI ( High Definition Multimedia Interface) to be able to play HD quality pictures. Look for the HDMI interface from your HDTV. It should have more than one ideally so you won’t be plugging devices in and out. If it doesn’t have HDMI, then it is NOT a true HDTV.

The two most important inputs to your HDTV that will offer HD quality pictures you can enjoy are :

A. DVD player
B. Cable or Satellite receiver

DVD Player

DVD Player is the easiest to change. I bought an LG upconverter DVD with a HDMI interface for $60. The upconverter reformats the stardard low resolution format ( 480 lines per frame) to the HD standard 1080 ( 1080 lines per frame). This unit will allow you to view the regular DVD’s with HD resolution. I have great results with $2 bootleg DVD’s believe me. I spent another $50 bucks for a gold plated HDMI cable ( connect DVD to HDTV) to minimize signal loss. Do you need the gold plated cable ? NO. But if you have extra bucks to spare, I strongly recommend.

If you have money to spare, you can opt for the HD DVD player and you will be able to play true HD DVD ( Toshiba standard) discs or Blue Ray (Sony standard) DVD discs. If you the desire the industry’s best resolution with the Blue Ray quality, you must buy your HDTV with the 1080p option. But then be prepared to buy astronomically priced Blue Ray discs. Incidentally, Toshiba gave up on the race and quit manufacturing the product. Sony’s Blue Ray is now the official standard for high definition DVD movies.

Cable or Satellite Receiver:

Cable and satellite TV providers nowadays offer HD channels in their programming but not a whole lot. For example, Bell Expressvu, a Canadian satellite TV vendor offers 60 HD channels out of their 500 regular digital channels. What’s the difference ? Quality and cost, obviously. You must also pay a premium to watch the HD channels and change your cable or satellite receiver to an HD capable version. We’re back to the HDMI interface – HD receivers are equipped with such to be able to feed HD signals to your HDTV. In the example above, you will be able to view the 60 HD channels in HD and the rest in the standard digital 480p resolution quality with the same HD receiver.

What if you don’t have an Upconverter DVD and HD Capable Cable/Satellite receiver ?

You can still use your HDTV but the resolutions will not be that great but depending on the features of your equipment, you can get a bit better resolution with your widescreen view.

A. Check if your DVD player has the component video interface to connect to the TV. These are the blue,green and red jacks. Use this to connect to your HDTV. For better reception buy quality , gold plated component video cables. Can you use ordinary cables? YES.

If your DVD doesn’t have have the component video interface , use the S-Video interface.I also recommend you buy the gold plated S-video cable. Lastly you can use the standard single video jack (yellow) or RF interface (coaxial) in order of quality. RF will be the lowest resolution.

B. The same with your cable/satellite digital receiver. Most receivers have S-video outputs to connect to the TV. Use it with the gold plated S-Video cable to avoid signal loss. If you don’t have S-Video, use the standard yellow video jack jack or RF input.

In my opinion, the minimum video connection for a DVD player for the HDTV would be a component video interface and for the cable/satellite receiver, the S-Video interface otherwise you better stick with your standard TV set because buying a HDTV with less than these features would bring you no substantial benefit.

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39 Responses

  1. ikaw ba? would you like to be cloned?

    bumili ka ba ng hdtv? 🙂

  2. Cloning is very dangerous because we never know what we will end up with, what if it was not perfect and we get a monster 🙂

    I am also lost with this technology. All I know is I like the way the pictures look like and I’m assuming thats what I get when I buy the HDTV.

  3. cloning, do we need it? how? why? conservative as I am I guess I would okay it when used to clone animals who are nearly extinct; but other than that I see no point to utilize this technology.

    the new HD technology zips over my head 🙂 let the mister figure that one out.

  4. Scientists have been cloning plants for years and I don’t see anything wrong with animal cloning. With the inevitable increase in human population, it seems to be the logical way to increase livestock production. Also, it is the perfect solution to save the endangered species from total extinction. But for humans? Well, I’ll just let the scientists, the clergies and politicians fight over the issue… 😀

    I’m on a digital satellite connection these days (not HD though) so I think I won’t have any problem, picture quality-wise, if I were to buy that wide screen LCD TV. I will have to dump my old DVD player though and get a better one. But that is only IF I decide to buy that thing.

    As for the gold plated signal cables, yeah they’re nifty little tools bro. I used to have a couple of those monster cables attached to my sound and home entertainment system and it did help in bringing out the overall quality that would otherwise be lost using ordinary copper-based cables.

  5. I am against cloning. I can’t imagine a replica of our dog, Miyake, owned by another person. Our Miyake is unique and should remain at that. 🙂

  6. did you buy the hdtv?

    on animal cloning, i am against it. tinkering with mother nature is not a good idea.

  7. I’m totally against human cloning but I haven’t made my mind up yet regarding animal cloning. Although farming and animal-raising methods are becoming more efficient in the industrialized world and in other growing economies, there are a lot more countries in the world where the methods have not progressed that much, the Philippines included. Thus, at the end of the day, whether we like it or not, I think what would finally resolve this issue is how desperate Man has become in looking for sources of food.

    Ok, now on to the HDTV matter. Hehehe

    I have a Sharp Aquos HDTV with an HDMI interface. Luckily, my cable company does not charge extra for the HD service. What they did was replace my old digital cable box with an HD cable box. They also offer a lineup of channels (courtesy of the VOOM networks) that offer purely HD programming. I still have to attach a DVD player to it but maybe later in the year or next year, I might get myself a PS3 just to utilize its Blu-Ray capability. Yeah right.

  8. Sleeping Beauty – I’m not too sure I want to see a clone of myself 🙂 But if people want to clone me for whatever reason after I’m gone, I guess I can’t do much about it 😯

    Yes, I have HDTV and since then I don’t fancy going to movies anymore 🙂

  9. Ryan – LOL 🙂 looks like you’ve been watching the Scream Channel a lot 🙂

    I have a friend who bought a 60 in LCD HDTV and my eyes were sore watching a screen that looks like a magnifying glass. Unfortunately, there’s much more to HDTV than the thought of watching a large screen 😯

  10. Ewok – point well taken. It seems that there is no logical reason to clone animals other than to prevent its extinction. However some people believe that animals are the property of man and can do anything with them for man’s benefit and survival.It’s a question that will be debated in congresses and parliaments of the world I’m sure.

    Re HDTV , you’re just like the wifey – she only wants to watch hehe 🙂

  11. Sngl – there is also a big movement toward vegetarianism because some people believe that animals have the right to live like us humans. THere is an increasing concern about animal rights and we have seen people demonstrate against the whale and seal hunts, animal testing in labs, cruelty to animals etc.. Cloning may have its benefits to man but it’s still a tough sell in some countries, esp the 1st world.

    Digital satellite ( non HD) transmissions on smaller HDTV’s in the 20-30 inch range will have a degradation of quality but not as pronounced as the larger ones, esp the 50in up. The Cable/Satellite receiver must support the 16:9 aspect ratio for the widescreen effect to be viewed properly other wise, the screen will be disproportionate. Even then, the HD clarity is far superior than ordinary digital, especially the screen formatting. Incidentally here the cheapest solution is always to buy the upconverter DVD which is far chaper than converting to cable/satellite HD.

    All my friends who bought HDTV have no clue about what they’re getting into except that they have a coupon for a 1 year free rental of the HD receiver from the local cable provider ! But at least when they get the HD cable, they’re viewing HD quality that justifies the purchase 🙂 Some of them never heard of the upconverter DVD until I told them hehe 🙂

  12. Abaniko – that’s precisely the point, that with cloning, identities of animals and people can be compromised !

  13. Mari – when we tinker with the processes of mother nature, suprises will always emerge 🙂

    Yes I did buy a HDTV only for the family room 🙂

  14. Panaderos – many people are concered with mass production of clone animals and the profits these large corporations will harvest duh 😦

    That’s a great bargain – imagine no extra charge for HD service. That’s a good idea to buy a Blue Ray DVD player but it’s still pricey and the DVD discs are 36 bucks each ouch 😦 But it’s great and I’m hoping the prices will come down and I’m going to get one for myself. Problem is I have three systems at home and it’s too expensive to forklift everyone of them to HD !

  15. no to cloning of animals 😦 i cannot understand the need. i am so afraid that after this, the next attempt would be on humans. the world will become more and more complicated with this.

  16. i don’t know though, cloning is way too extreme to my understanding. parang feeling ko eh that’s againt’s the law of nature na.

  17. Cloning… you can’t stop those things… it is human evolution… I don’t know where it will bring us but every major discovery changed the face of the earth for good or for worse… you can only hope that people use the technology wisely.

    But we might ban further research on HDTV since TV is a waste of time… 😉

  18. LOL at Sidney’s comment. Yes to cloning, no to TV. haha. And why clone dogs, cats or sheep? Aren’t there enough of those in this world? If scientists are going to clone, they should clone the geniuses in this world so we can solve the world’s problems. 😉

    but seriously, there are those who will say that there are a lot of things that medical science has provided that are “unnatural” yet we accept them.

  19. I think they’ve been using CLoning already on some animal stocks. I’m not sure if it can be really applied to humans. Must be really creepy to come face to face with yourself somehow. And I wonder, would cloned humans have the same minds? Hmm….

  20. I would clone my dear cat anytime but not with $150K goodness. How about $150.00? 🙂

    If I buy a HDTV I will show your post to the showroom clerk so I can get the right one 🙂

  21. Bing – that’s the natural progression I think, that the positive experiences with animals might be carried on to humans ! Animals as we know are the test beds for drugs and new medical technology.

  22. Sardonicnell – same here – I’m not exactly conversant with the intricacies of cloning. It definitely tampers with nature’s way and the debate is whether we must harness it freely or with certain restrictions.

  23. Sidney – it is part of the human evolution, much like the ultimate harnessing nuclear energy which is extremely beneficial to mankind but at one instance caused horrific loss of lives. Cloning has its benefits but many are wary of its misapplications – lesson learned from the past perhaps? 🙂

    LOL – methinks blogging and browsing is much better and more educational than watching TV 🙂

  24. Wil – part of the reason for skepticism is lack of knowledge or ignorance I think. But again, there are people who flatly think that cloning for man’s benefit isn’t the way to go, i.e., we must clone for the benefit of animals and not us. There’s a line between need and want I guess 🙂

  25. Ferdz – that’s an interesting question. With my limited knowledge, I think clones are an exact replica of each other’s DNA so everything would be the same in terms of physical attributes and abilities. Having the same minds – I don’t know but I would presume they would have the same emotional characteristics.

    They have found a certain characteristic with the cloned Dolly the sheep, that her cells aged a lot faster. It is interesting because pundits will bark as say – “I told you, you can never equal nature’s power” 🙂

  26. Irrealis – would you sell your house to clone your pet ? haha 🙂

    Sure – please show them my post. It’s true and you can always email me if you have any question 🙂

  27. imagine if hitler will be cloned? egad! cloning in my opinion spells danger 😦

    my husband’s been window shopping for a HDTV for a year now..so far Samsung tops his list

    but he’s still window shopping *ang tyaga!*

  28. oopps sorry, to address your title..

    I love Charlie my pug dearly..but I wont have him cloned. There’s only one unique Charlie for me.

  29. Thess – that’s the reservation of many people, that cloning may have pitfalls we don’t really know. I understand your feelings for Charlie – he’s definitely one and only 🙂

    Blimey 🙂 I have a 46 in Samsung plasma HDTV! I’m a purist so I believe that TV’s must be played on tubes rather than LCD’s. We will stay here until morning to debate which is better – plasma or LCD hehe 🙂 The latest plasma models are way better and reliable than the first generation models and have better color resolution 🙂 Yep, I did my homework before buying and Samsung was tops in surveys 🙂

  30. If you’re buying plasma, ask for info on the warranty coz those things break easily.

    As far as cloning animals or humans – I dont really see anything wrong with it. Of course, I wouldn’t want to get my hands on any sort of project like that. Nor would I wanna see a baby forming out of a petri-dish. But hey.. why not. =P

  31. Paolo – definitely, the warranty is very important and I made sure I had it sorted out. The new generation plasmas are a total redesign from the 1st generations because it will not be able to compete with LCD’s if reliability is an issue. While LCD’s are a great fit to smaller screens, plasmas are quite ideal for large screens.

    Animal Cloning has its benefits and the issue seems to be the regulation and the imposing of limits, i.e. many fear that it will become too commercialized benefiting not the animals but the people who want to profit fronm it.

  32. Cloning now had become fearfully prevalent ever since Dolly and the three-legged chicken rumor we’d been hearing some years back, the one fastfood companies are said to be procuring, to maximize profits.

    I hope it’s just a rumor.

    By the way, very cool looking HDTV you got there. No matter what, it should be a smash.

  33. I am not in favor with cloning and even with genetic manipulation. Kung magpapatuloy ito, dadating ang panahon na yung ibang inherent traits ay pipiliting na nating baguhin… at baka sa susunod ultimo and pagiging pango ay ituring na nating sakit.

  34. Major Tom – the three legged chicken would be a hard sell to the public. It’s a blatant manipulation of animal genes – 3 drumsticks instead of 2 is clearly motivated by profit 😦

    Thanks, I’m quite happy with my Samsung 🙂

  35. Richmond – very true – imagine the scenario where everyone tries to alter his/her attributesto look better ! That would be a complete disaster I would think 😦

  36. sleeping beauty? bwahaha! i like! hahaha.

    ako, i still prefer the moview. mahal nga lang..

  37. Tin – I like your avatar 🙂

    I don’t like movies for the simple reason that I cannot seem to stay glued to my seat for 2 hours ! At home I can pause and do things. Besides, I have an audio system that plays Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1 and produce the surround sound pretty much like a theatre does. Watching in my pyjamas is a bonus hehe 🙂

  38. Thanks for these tips on buying HDTV. Not that I can afford it though. 🙂 I can’t even replace my laptop. 🙂

    Pag ako i-clone, baka clown ang lumabas… hrhrhr… joke lang. 🙂

  39. Toe – Same here, I waited for the Boxing Day dec 26th specials so I can get a much cheaper price. It’s always better to wait until the technology matures and prices drop but that could be a year or two or even more but when you buy it half the price of what it used to be it makes sense 🙂

    True – sometimes we make an assumption that cloning is always perfect, with no room for error 🙂

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