Thoughts on Bias Lighting and paint choices - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Just recently decided to paint my apartment. Since my living room serves as my HT, I couldn't go all crazy with dark colors in the room. I settled on a light coffee cream color for the hallways and living room. The wall behind the TV was painted chocolate brown. I thought it might help accentuate the TV and help with contrast. So far so good! Looks great.

However I was also doing a bit of reading about Bias Lighting. It seemed interesting, so I'm considering it for my 46" Samsung LCD.

Would it work well with dark brown?
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post #2 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 10:36 AM
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This article includes a number of pertinent principles that should help answer your question: 'The Importance Of Viewing Environment Conditions In A Reference Display System'
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post #3 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

This article includes a number of pertinent principles that should help answer your question: 'The Importance Of Viewing Environment Conditions In A Reference Display System'

Thanks George.

I've skimmed through this earlier, but couldn't find anything concrete on browns.

"Neutral colors are gray to white."

EDIT: I'm reading elsewhere that the 'chocolate'-like brown I chose is considered a neutral color.
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

Thanks George.

I've skimmed through this earlier, but couldn't find anything concrete on browns.

"Neutral colors are gray to white."

Perhaps you didn't find what applied to your installation because you only "skimmed through" the material. Surrounding your TV with a darker color will diminish perceived contrast, not help it. Any coloration in your field of view while observing the TV screen will alter your color perception of the screen's content. The technique of bias lighting has many benefits when properly implemented. Improper implementation will reduce the intended effect, and in some cases cause unintended consequences. In color science circles, brown is considered desaturated orange. If you light up your chocolate brown wall with a bias light, it will accentuate its color, and change it somewhat, depending on the spectral performance of the lamp. You can improve perceived black level and contrast, plus ease eye strain, but your color perception will be skewed slightly.
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

I've skimmed through this earlier, but couldn't find anything concrete on browns

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

Perhaps you didn't find what applied to your installation because you only "skimmed through" the material. Surrounding your TV with a darker color will diminish perceived contrast, not help it. Any coloration in your field of view while observing the TV screen will alter your color perception of the screen's content. The technique of bias lighting has many benefits when properly implemented. Improper implementation will reduce the intended effect, and in some cases cause unintended consequences. In color science circles, brown is considered desaturated orange. If you light up your chocolate brown wall with a bias light, it will accentuate its color, and change it somewhat, depending on the spectral performance of the lamp. You can improve perceived black level and contrast, plus ease eye strain, but your color perception will be skewed slightly.

Looks like you've "skimmed through" my post. I read the article in full 'after' you posted it. I skimmed through it 'earlier'.

Anyway - I think your point applies to bias lighting, but I'm hard-pressed to believe a dark color will impact regular TV viewing much. The TV does appear to have a bit more 'pop' since painting the walls that dark brown - and when the lights are off, I'm not seeing brown. If it'll be a poor color for an implementation of bias lighting, so be it(This I can understand). It's not a deal breaker for me - more of a novelty. Thanks for your input, though.
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post #6 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

Looks like you've "skimmed through" my post. I read the article in full 'after' you posted it. I skimmed through it 'earlier'.

Anyway - I think your point applies to bias lighting, but I'm hard-pressed to believe a dark color will impact regular TV viewing much. The TV does appear to have a bit more 'pop' since painting the walls that dark brown - and when the lights are off, I'm not seeing brown. If it'll be a poor color for an implementation of bias lighting, so be it(This I can understand). It's not a deal breaker for me - more of a novelty. Thanks for your input, though.

Please provide the quote where you said you read the article in full. Are you referring to bias lighting as "more of a novelty," or the brown wall color?

Here's an effective link to explain and demonstrate graphically how even subtle changes in ambient lightness can instantly alter our black level perception of an object or image.
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post #7 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 04:12 PM
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[quote=p-nation;21946236
Anyway - I think your point applies to bias lighting, but I'm hard-pressed to believe a dark color will impact regular TV viewing much. The TV does appear to have a bit more 'pop' since painting the walls that dark brown - and when the lights are off, I'm not seeing brown. If it'll be a poor color for an implementation of bias lighting, so be it(This I can understand). It's not a deal breaker for me - more of a novelty. Thanks for your input, though.[/QUOTE]

I would agree with George on this one. A neutral colored wall with the use of a proper bias light will definitely improve the correct perception of color plus the added benefit of reducing eye strain.
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post #8 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I would agree with George on this one. A neutral colored wall with the use of a proper bias light will definitely improve the correct perception of color plus the added benefit of reducing eye strain.

You are simply agreeing with over a half century of thoroughly proven imaging science theory and practice, the Society Of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and a world renowned PhD in color science. I'm simply repeating what I was taught and have proven to myself over and over again. Unfortunately, far too many home theater industry professionals and avid hobbyists have never been taught the fundamentals of imaging science or that video quality is governed by international technical standards rather than individual viewer preference. When they encounter such principles, but hold erroneous preconceptions or subjective intuition that conflicts with the fundamental science, they doubt or insist on contradicting this new information. It's human nature to be suspicious of what's unfamiliar.

Most forums are filled with humans. I'm thankful the AV Science Forum has provided a venue where imaging science principles, and video display industry standards and best practices, can be discussed without intuition and emotion ruling over science, reason, and logic. Facts have been so much more satisfying to me, as opposed to guessing.

It used to be more commonly understood that the Imaging Science Foundation was the place to go for fundamental formal training in what it takes to achieve the best video performance. Display calibration is only part of that equation. Many more types of people used to take their course than just those wanting to learn how to calibrate TVs. This included consumers who just wanted to understand video quality better. I have seen the consequences to this shift in awareness in the home theater market. Fewer people understand the fundamentals these days.
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post #9 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 09:47 PM
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^^^ can't you just take a compliment and leave it without preaching?
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post #10 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

^^^ can't you just take a compliment and leave it without preaching?

Sometimes.
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post #11 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 11:08 PM
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I was just reading this today from this month's SMPTE 'Motion Imaging Journal:'

"Viewing Environment

Viewing environment is important in determining how a viewer perceives the color appearance of images on a display device. The chromaticity and luminance of ambient lighting, as well as the color and nature of the surround, have a large effect on the color appearance of displayed images. The perceived color and contrast of a displayed image may change significantly, depending on the nature of the surround and ambient lighting. The viewer sees the images in a range of viewing environments, and although the viewer can adjust settings such as brightness and contrast, the viewing environment still introduces another large variable into the way an artist's images are experienced by the viewer."
from 'The Validity and Relevance of Reference Displays for Evaluating Color Reproduction' pp23, by Michael Chenery, Senior Color Scientist at THX, Ltd.
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

I would agree with George on this one. A neutral colored wall with the use of a proper bias light will definitely improve the correct perception of color plus the added benefit of reducing eye strain.

I don't really suffer from eye strain.

It was a pretty simple question that was convoluted into oblivion. I had a passing interest in bias lighting. Given my chocolate-colored wall won't be the best candidate, I'll pass then.

When the lights are off, it looks way better than the semi-gloss eggshell white it used to be, and to me (and my girlfriend), that's all that matters.

Thanks for your input, though.
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

I don't really suffer from eye strain.

It was a pretty simple question that was convoluted into oblivion. I had a passing interest in bias lighting. Given my chocolate-colored wall won't be the best candidate, I'll pass then.

When the lights are off, it looks way better than the semi-gloss eggshell white it used to be, and to me (and my girlfriend), that's all that matters.

Thanks for your input, though.

Nothing was convoluted, and I'm really not sure where the issue is here. You asked about bias lighting, and you got multiple great replies filled with info from GeorgeAB. Bottom line, your wall color is a poor choice for bias lighting to be properly implemented/effective.

That doesn't mean your wall color is a poor choice period, or that you did anything wrong. No one here is telling you what to do with your room, only advising you on accepted practices with respect to bias lighting based on a century of imaging science. Whether you choose to utilize that information is up to you.

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post #14 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HogPilot View Post

Nothing was convoluted, and I'm really not sure where the issue is here. You asked about bias lighting, and you got multiple great replies filled with info from GeorgeAB. Bottom line, your wall color is a poor choice for bias lighting to be properly implemented/effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

If it'll be a poor color for an implementation of bias lighting, so be it(This I can understand). It's not a deal breaker for me - more of a novelty. Thanks for your input, though.

This was already covered. Thanks, though.
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post #15 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

Unfortunately, far too many home theater industry professionals and avid hobbyists have never been taught the fundamentals of imaging science or that video quality is governed by international technical standards rather than individual viewer preference. When they encounter such principles, but hold erroneous preconceptions or subjective intuition that conflicts with the fundamental science, they doubt or insist on contradicting this new information. It's human nature to be suspicious of what's unfamiliar.

Most forums are filled with humans. I'm thankful the AV Science Forum has provided a venue where imaging science principles, and video display industry standards and best practices, can be discussed without intuition and emotion ruling over science, reason, and logic. Facts have been so much more satisfying to me, as opposed to guessing.

It used to be more commonly understood that the Imaging Science Foundation was the place to go for fundamental formal training in what it takes to achieve the best video performance. Display calibration is only part of that equation. Many more types of people used to take their course than just those wanting to learn how to calibrate TVs. This included consumers who just wanted to understand video quality better. I have seen the consequences to this shift in awareness in the home theater market. Fewer people understand the fundamentals these days.

We could use your passion of auxiliary television back lighting in bioinformatics and computational biology at the laboratory I work at.

Let's put this one to rest. The color choice wins over bias lighting. The thread has been addressed and my question has been answered. And for this original poster, that should be enough to move forward.

Thanks for your input. Have a great day!
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post #16 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

We could use your passion of auxiliary television back lighting in bioinformatics and computational biology at the laboratory I work at.

Let's put this one to rest. The color choice wins over bias lighting. The thread has been addressed and my question has been answered. And for this original poster, that should be enough to move forward.

Thanks for your input. Have a great day!

It's really all about the art. The science is in service of the art. Beauty doesn't come from the gear, it comes from the artists who produce the programs. We simply strive to design the gear so that it only preserves and communicates the artistry, rather than get in the way.
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post #17 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 11:53 AM
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Sometimes.

Fair enough
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post #18 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 12:03 PM
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So George, I know for the most part you don't advocate compromising the quality of the presentation.

But say you simply couldn't alter the color of the walls and they were some color or another. In your opinion it better to have a bias light or not? Or perhaps another way of phrasing it would be do you think the perceived contrast improvement from the bias light would out weigh the perceived chromaticity shift from illuminating a colored surround, or would the illuminated surround be far too detrimental?

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post #19 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 12:28 PM
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This was already covered. Thanks, though.

Not really - I was the only person to address your "convoluted" comment. Strange - looks like it wasn't covered. Again.

Thanks, though.

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post #20 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

Surrounding your TV with a darker color will diminish perceived contrast, not help it. Any coloration in your field of view while observing the TV screen will alter your color perception of the screen's content. The technique of bias lighting has many benefits when properly implemented. Improper implementation will reduce the intended effect, and in some cases cause unintended consequences. In color science circles, brown is considered desaturated orange. If you light up your chocolate brown wall with a bias light, it will accentuate its color, and change it somewhat, depending on the spectral performance of the lamp. You can improve perceived black level and contrast, plus ease eye strain, but your color perception will be skewed slightly.

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It was a pretty simple question that was convoluted into oblivion.

I think your simple answer is the post I quoted above yours.
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post #21 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sotti View Post

So George, I know for the most part you don't advocate compromising the quality of the presentation.

But say you simply couldn't alter the color of the walls and they were some color or another. In your opinion it better to have a bias light or not? Or perhaps another way of phrasing it would be do you think the perceived contrast improvement from the bias light would out weigh the perceived chromaticity shift from illuminating a colored surround, or would the illuminated surround be far too detrimental?

I suspect you already know the answer: it depends.

Why would anyone do anything else but advocate "for the most part" minimizing the compromise of a quality presentation?

Since there is no such thing as a perfect display, or a perfect display system design, there will be some degree of compromise of the ideal. Since compromise is unavoidable, where/when/how/to what degree is any compromise or combination of compromises tolerable? It's human nature to want a one-size-fits-all answer. Sorry, not available!

It bears repeating that video displays never stand on their own in actual use. Quality imaging must be understood in the context of a system approach. That approach requires a good understanding of every element in the system. The most commonly misunderstood and/or ignored element is human perceptual factors.

All potential technical factors in a design have to also be weighed within the end user's unique set of lifestyle priorities and budget. Compromises to the ideal will be defined and prioritized by the unique characteristics of the system. The only way to intelligently minimize compromises to image quality in a given system is to understand all the relevant elements. A capable system designer has learned this well-rounded approach. This is a rare thing. I see poor system designs on a regular basis. The education never ends. Unless, of course, the student is no longer interested in learning.
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post #22 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeAB View Post

I suspect you already know the answer: it depends.

Why would anyone do anything else but advocate "for the most part" minimizing the compromise of a quality presentation?

Since there is no such thing as a perfect display, or a perfect display system design, there will be some degree of compromise of the ideal. Since compromise is unavoidable, where/when/how/to what degree is any compromise or combination of compromises tolerable? It's human nature to want a one-size-fits-all answer. Sorry, not available!

It bears repeating that video displays never stand on their own in actual use. Quality imaging must be understood in the context of a system approach. That approach requires a good understanding of every element in the system. The most commonly misunderstood and/or ignored element is human perceptual factors.

All potential technical factors in a design have to also be weighed within the end user's unique set of lifestyle priorities and budget. Compromises to the ideal will be defined and prioritized by the unique characteristics of the system. The only way to intelligently minimize compromises to image quality in a given system is to understand all the relevant elements. A capable system designer has learned this well-rounded approach. This is a rare thing. I see poor system designs on a regular basis. The education never ends. Unless, of course, the student is no longer interested in learning.

This is exactly why you're such a respected member of AVS and valuable resource! I always love reading your eloquent and well-thought out posts.

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post #23 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Not really - I was the only person to address your "convoluted" comment. Strange - looks like it wasn't covered. Again.

Thanks, though.

If you look again, I put my quoted comment in bold. I decided since my color wall wasn't ideal for bias lighting, I was going to refrain.

"If it'll be a poor color for an implementation of bias lighting, so be it(This I can understand)"

Thanks, though = I appreciate your input, but let's move forward
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post #24 of 28 Old 04-26-2012, 12:55 AM
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If you look again, I put my quoted comment in bold. I decided since my color wall wasn't ideal for bias lighting, I was going to refrain.

"If it'll be a poor color for an implementation of bias lighting, so be it(This I can understand)"

I read it the first time, and I read it again the second time. Both times it was irrelevant to my response to your comment about the issue being "convoluted into oblivion." GeorgeAB provided an answer to your question in the very first reply in this thread, yet it was dragged out beyond that because of a lack of comprehension of the information that was provided. The resulting "convolution" certainly wasn't his fault.

Guys like GeorgeAB have a wealth of knowledge to offer; however as he said previously, it rarely comes in the form of a simple black-and-white answer. This is especially pertinent when we get a novice such as yourself seeking information. Part of being able to understand/use the info put forth is actually reading all of what's provided; perusing/skimming usually results in confusion as we've seen happen here. But you got there eventually, so no harm no foul

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post #25 of 28 Old 04-26-2012, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HogPilot View Post

I read it the first time, and I read it again the second time. Both times it was irrelevant to my response to your comment about the issue being "convoluted into oblivion." GeorgeAB provided an answer to your question in the very first reply in this thread, yet it was dragged out beyond that because of a lack of comprehension of the information that was provided. The resulting "convolution" certainly wasn't his fault.

Guys like GeorgeAB have a wealth of knowledge to offer; however as he said previously, it rarely comes in the form of a simple black-and-white answer. This is especially pertinent when we get a novice such as yourself seeking information. Part of being able to understand/use the info put forth is actually reading all of what's provided; perusing/skimming usually results in confusion as we've seen happen here. But you got there eventually, so no harm no foul

You know, I typed up this big response pointing a few things out but decided it was offensive. You have a few condescending lines in the above quote but I'm in a good mood today so I'll keep it short. Your posts either repeated George, praised George, or harassed me.

I'll leave it at this: it was a miscommunication, not 'comprehension' problems, and I "got there" around post #5, which was actually before you entered the conversation. Novice in lights behind televisions?...Sure, of course I am. But in all honesty, you haven't said much to prove you're otherwise either. I'm a Network Engineer. I program, I deploy, and I design infrastructure for bioinformatics and gene prediction. I'm also an avid audio and photography hobbyist. I've got bigger fish to fry, and if my blasé attitude towards something recreational offends you...well, sorry.

Edit: Can we end this thread now? I'm getting tired of getting notifications for this.
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post #26 of 28 Old 04-26-2012, 05:41 PM
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You know, I typed up this big response pointing a few things out but decided it was offensive. You have a few condescending lines in the above quote but I'm in a good mood today so I'll keep it short. Your posts either repeated George, praised George, or harassed me.

I'll leave it at this: it was a miscommunication, not 'comprehension' problems, and I "got there" around post #5, which was actually before you entered the conversation. Novice in lights behind televisions?...Sure, of course I am. But in all honesty, you haven't said much to prove you're otherwise either. I'm a Network Engineer. I program, I deploy, and I design infrastructure for bioinformatics and gene prediction. I'm also an avid audio and photography hobbyist. I've got bigger fish to fry, and if my blasé attitude towards something recreational offends you...well, sorry.

Edit: Can we end this thread now? I'm getting tired of getting notifications for this.

What I've said has been factual - I'm simply pointing out information (which is clearly being missed) in an attempt to help you better utilize this forum in the future. If you've interpreted me as having emotions over this issue, I can't do anything besides assure you that I have no feelings on the subject one way or the other. I could really care less what you do with the info, your room, or your TV. However it's generally considered poor form to show up to a public forum (to which you are new) looking for information, and then cop an attitude right out of the gate with those who are trying to help you. We're talking basic internet etiquette.

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post #27 of 28 Old 04-26-2012, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

You know, I typed up this big response pointing a few things out but decided it was offensive. You have a few condescending lines in the above quote but I'm in a good mood today so I'll keep it short. Your posts either repeated George, praised George, or harassed me.

I'll leave it at this: it was a miscommunication, not 'comprehension' problems, and I "got there" around post #5, which was actually before you entered the conversation. Novice in lights behind televisions?...Sure, of course I am. But in all honesty, you haven't said much to prove you're otherwise either. I'm a Network Engineer. I program, I deploy, and I design infrastructure for bioinformatics and gene prediction. I'm also an avid audio and photography hobbyist. I've got bigger fish to fry, and if my blasé attitude towards something recreational offends you...well, sorry.

Edit: Can we end this thread now? I'm getting tired of getting notifications for this.

this post is irrelevant to the subject matter and contrary to your belief, no one here was trying to talk down to or harass you... you got a direct answer to your question in post #4 from George

All he did was point out that skimming the article was the reason you were left confused (initially).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HogPilot View Post

What I've said has been factual - I'm simply pointing out information (which is clearly being missed) in an attempt to help you better utilize this forum in the future. If you've interpreted me as having emotions over this issue, I can't do anything besides assure you that I have no feelings on the subject one way or the other. I could really care less what you do with the info, your room, or your TV. However it's generally considered poor form to show up to a public forum (to which you are new) looking for information, and then cop an attitude right out of the gate with those who are trying to help you. We're talking basic internet etiquette.

+1
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post #28 of 28 Old 04-26-2012, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p-nation View Post

Edit: Can we end this thread now? I'm getting tired of getting notifications for this.

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