It's the Minor Details

So I'm watching an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. (Specifically, "Want," according to TiVo.)

Criminal Intent focuses a lot on details used to discover the crime.

So in the episode, Detective Goren is at the suspects apartment after taking him to lunch to apologize for a "wrongful arrest" over an arrest warrant for someone with the same basic description and name.

He walks over a flips on the video which is playing, which provides some vital insight into the suspect's psyche.

And then he says:

"There's something wrong with your DVD. Let me scan back. Yeah, see that stutter right there? Now that happens when you freeze-frame too much on the same spot."


That's what happens to VHS when you freeze-frame too much. Part of the point behind a DVD is that it's digital. You can freeze-frame as long as you want without damaging a DVD.

At the end of the scene, he pauses it again. In the close shot, it freezes like it would if it were a DVD. The image stops completely, with no visible distortion.

Then it breaks away to the long shot, and the image was clearly changed. Instead it's now frozen like a VHS player pauses, with the top tearing away.

So which is it really? Well, even watching in HD with TiVo, I couldn't get a clear enough view of the player. And ultimately it doesn't really matter, it's just a TV show.

But when the premise of the show is that a really smart detective solves crimes using his intellect, it's kind of depressing when they get something that I would expect someone working for a TV show to know so flat-out wrong.

I mean, come on. These people work with film. They have to know the difference between analog and digital recordings. Don't they?

I am such a fucking nerd.



You really, really are.

But hey, nitpicking these crime shows is one way to enjoy them, so knock yourself out.

I added back in the section that my laptop apparently ate when I was typing the original. It has this annoying tendency to interpret typing as mouse clicks. Freaking touch-pad mouse thingy.