Apple, TV, video

My Sony X85J 4k monitor/TV

I finally own a 4K monitor. It was discounted everywhere over holidays 2021 for CAD $750. On the other hand, it took a couple of weeks to make delivery. I ended up getting it from Costco.

I shoot video mostly in 4k. Edit it down to 1080p for export to YouTube.

Someday I’ll be exporting 4k.

Based mainly on reviews from I decided on the X85J:

  • great response time
  • Native Refresh Rate 120 Hz
  • variable refresh rate support
  • Google TV operating system
  • voice control
  • Sony’s cheapest TV with HDMI 2.1 (4k @ 120Hz SHOULD work — but one review said it fails)

Some customizations

If you want to make HDR content brighter and don’t mind losing image accuracy, change to the ‘Vivid’ Picture Mode, and set Contrast to ‘Max’. These settings result in a much brighter image …

We measured the HDR brightness in the ‘Custom’ Picture Mode, before calibrating the TV, with Brightness at max, Contrast at ’90’, and Color Tone set to ‘Expert 2’.

I’ll mainly be using it as a second monitor for my laptop — when in Parksville.

And use it as a TV, as well. The voice command is limited, but useful.


Homeland – season 8

The most important TV series of all time is ended.

And — though I got sick of Carrie Mathison fairly quickly — season 8 is excellent.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has an approval rating of 85% …

YES it started as a “critical darling, then a punching bag, then somehow an underrated show …”

It’s a fictional alternative ending to the USA FINALLY leaving Afghanistan after wasting $2.261 trillion on that endless war.

Saul Berenson, the National Security Advisor for newly inaugurated President Ralph Warner, is assigned to negotiate peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan …

Then it all went wrong.

It’s very difficult to end anything successfully. But Homeland season 8 did that very, very well.


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, TV

The Expanse – season 6

Well. It’s over. For now.

The final battle with Marco Inaros and his Free Navy.

Season 6 was good overall. And I’m actually not unhappy with the ending.

James Holden reminds me of John Snow in Game of Thrones.

Other terrific characters I won’t forget: Bobbie Draper, Camina Drummer, Chrisjen Avasarala, and especially Amos Burton.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, TV

Station Eleven – TV miniseries

I really LIKED Station Eleven, the 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel.

But I’m not sure I can recommend Station Eleven (miniseries), the HBO adaptation.

Twenty years after a flu pandemic resulted in the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors who make their living as traveling performers ….

Mackenzie Davis is excellent as Kirsten, the main character. The entire cast is excellent.

BEST is David Wilmot.

It’s original. Brave.

But for me the story is too confused. Jumping back and forward in time worked in the book, but was too confusing on screen for me.

On the other hand, it’s 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can’t help but admire the attempt.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, TV

Dalgliesh – season 1

Excellent. Like many of the best British TV shows, the cast is very believable. Plots fascinating. And the actors look like real people, crooked teeth and all.

Dalgliesh is a crime drama TV series based on Adam Dalgliesh novels by PD James

Bertie Carvel stars as the titular character, an enigmatic detective–poet. …

It’s set in mid-1970s England. Thatcher times.

Dalgliesh in the books is dour, cerebral and private. A poet.

In this TV adaptation, to keep the pace lively he’s partnered with LIVELY colleagues.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, TV

Savage Run by CJ Box

This is the second book in the Joe Pickett series. He’s a Wyoming game warden.

The plot is intriguing.

Someone hired hit men to kill a number of environmental protection activists across the States.

The lawyer who protected Grizzly Bears was made to look as if he was killed and eaten by those bears. They don’t want martyrs.

I recommend it.

A good insight into the pros and cons of environmentalism in Wyoming.


A Joe Pickett TV series just launched. USA only, so far.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Doc Martin – seasons 2/3

I was charmed by the first season.

Finally got back to the British comedy.

Doc Martin is grouchy, direct, and lacks social skills. No doubt on the autistic spectrum. Perhaps Aspergic.

Even better is his love interest, Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz), school headmistress at Portwenn Primary.

The 10th and final season should be released in 2022.

Other versions of the show have been launched in France, Germany, Spain and other nations.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Dexter – season 9 – New Blood

Dexter: New Blood launched 2021. A surprise sequel 8 years after the conclusion of the original TV series.

It was always a guilty pleasure for me. A show I probably shouldn’t have watched.

Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter reprising their roles as Dexter and Debra Morgan, respectively …

The plot is convincing. Jack Alcott plays Harrison Morgan, Dexter’s son. Creepy.

The rest of the cast is good too.

It’s 72% on Rotten Tomatoes and I’d say that’s about right.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.