My cuppa: peppermint tea

HCTV Allow me to confess up front — I am not a big sports watcher on TV. Before you jump to the conclusion that I'm just a chick who doesn't dig sports, think again. I do, and at different times in my life, I've been quite devoted to this or that baseball or football team, with occasional dips into Olympic sports, tennis and boxing.

I also spent three years working on weekends doing freelance event coverage of horse sports, from show jumping and dressage to high-goal polo and Thoroughbred racing.

Also, the men in my family are big auto-racing fans, so today wasn't the first time I watched the Indianapolis 500, but is the first time I've watched in a few years.

What was different this year is I recently got an HDTV (no, not a humongous plasma, but a reasonably sized, reasonably priced LCD TV). I get HD feeds, and my cable company installed a new cable/DVR box and component cables, so I get a really good picture.

And that's why I watched. Before heading off to church, I saw a bit of the pre-race festivities, and it just looked so pretty, I decided to put the race on the DVR to watch when I got home later.

Watch I did, and even Twittered about it —

Watching Indy 500

on the DVR on the HDTV. Not something I would have watched in SD. Any

sports events you're more likely to watch in HDTV?

(one follower replied to this, saying "All of them." Another one said "Football.")

The car cams sure are more impressive on HDTV.

Totally digging

the ESPN Side-by-Side, which runs the commercials while still running

the Indy500 (on my DVR) on the side. Very cool.

And finally…

HDTV, Indy…cars…pretty…colors…oops, fire!

Unfortunately, the several equestrian events I watched over the last week, mostly on Universal Sports, were not in HD, and boy, I wish they had been. They would have been gorgeous.

While I'm not personally convinced that HDTV will improve basketball (yeah, yeah, I know, whatever), baseball and especially football must look fabulous. I may even check out a game (or not — I need to know the teams well to enjoy the game, and I just don't have the time to properly invest right now).

But World Series and Super Bowl, definitely — and next up, on June 6, the Belmont Stakes, which I hope will feature a best-two-out-of-three showdown between working-class hero and Kentucky Derby champ Mine That Bird and uber-filly Rachel Alexandra, who denied MTB the Triple Crown in a close one-two finish in the Preakness Stakes.

When Marshall McLuhan said "The medium is the message," he was partly right. As I expected, nature and science documentaries, live news and sports look so detailed and bright and sharp in HDTV, I'll probably wind up watching more of all of the above.

Now, this level of detail can be distracting in a drama show. I spent too much of the "Fringe" finale thinking about Anna Torv's flyaway ends, and the embroidery on "The Tudors" can cause me to lose my place in the story. But changing my medium of watching TV will have an effect to a degree on the TV I watch.

How about you?

Oh, and BTW, this year's Indy winner? Brazilian cutie-pie Helio Castroneves, whom I absolutely HelioCastroneves adored when he competed in — and won — the fifth cycle of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Now he's got a third Indy trophy to add to his shelf, along with that big old glitterball.

But my DVR cut off the end of the race, so I had to look up the finish on the Internet. Technology has its limitations — and its compensations.

Posted by:Kate O'Hare