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Long Absence

January 27th, 2014

Wow!  It’s been since August 2012 that I’ve added something to the blog.  We have gone through some family issues that have kept me away, but those are much better and I will try to get back in the groove adding new information.

Future of Movie Delivery?

August 6th, 2012

I bought an Android tablet for my grandchildren to use to play games and watch movies.  I also bought a 32GB SD card to allow for movie storage.  Cost for the SD card new through amazon was $18.  Seems to me it should not be too long before this could be the replacement to Blu-ray discs for movie distribution.  At about the size of a postage stamp the packaging will consume more space than the card!

WDTV Live - Media Player and also a NAS device

April 16th, 2012

Yes, the WDTV Live in addition to being a robust media player can also be used as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device with some USB hard drives attached. In addition, if you add a USB hub a very large network storage system can be built by adding additional USB hard drives. For example, if you add an 8 port USB 2.0 hub with a one terrabyte USB drive on each of the 8 ports, then you would have a total of 8 terrabytes for your NAS.

What I have found is it works best with a single WDTV Live on the network because the default network address \\WDTVLIVE will only access the lowest IP address of multiple WDTV Lives. If you have more that one WDTV Lives on your LAN then the subsequent units will need to be accessed via their IP addresses. WD supplies a software package that will find all of the WDTV Live units on the network and make shortcuts for each. Also it it possible to navagate to folders off of the root on the hard drives attached to any WDTV Live and map them to being a network drive, adding password security if desired.

Take my installation with 2 WDTV Live units as an example. My first WDTV Live unit has a fixed IP address of and the second WDTV Live unit has a fixed IP address of as entered in the WDTV Live setup menu. For ease of discussion I’ll refer to these as the .3 unit and the .6 unit. Now when the network window is opened on a PC, the WDTVLIVE device will access hard drives connected to the .3 unit only. In order to access the hard drives attached to the .6 unit I have to enter \\ in the address field.

Noel Lopez Asks:

September 23rd, 2010

I have TVs hooked to U-Verse. I want to add a small TV to the backyard patio, so I’d like to know how to split a signal into this new TV.

I rather have it be able to show it’s own channel while watching a different channel inside the house. But I don’t mind having the same channel.

I tried using coax but I learned that it does nothing.

I connected A/V cables (red,white,yellow) from a receiver to the new tV, and it worked but it shows the same channels as the original tv. The AV cables are relatively short, and can’t run it all the way out to the patio (25 or so feet away). Is there another option?

Please let me know thank you!

U-verse does not send modulated RF signals via the coax like analog cable does, so that is why it will give you nothing. The signal is a digital data stream that requires a receiver to decode it to video, so to do what you want to do, it will require the addition of another set top box from U-verse.

Question from Chris

September 23rd, 2010

I have been researching getting OTA reception on my property and have a unique situation. We live in a very rural location that is approx 40 to 50 miles from the closest towers. The terrain is very hilly and wooded. The property is over 100 acres in eastern KY. Our driveway comes off a ridge at 1100 feet above sea level and has a good signal path, but the house sits at 920′ and has almost no signal. The distance is around 3000′ from the optimal antenna location to the house. I can run RG6 and used to be a lineman so running the line is not a problem. I also have a/c at the antenna site because of a barn with electrical lights. Is it possible to install a strong antenna like a Winegard HD 8200 and add a amplifier to boost the signal strong enough to reach the house.

Sure it is. I would use rg11 for the long run though. I would suggest looking up the losses for rg11 to see how much amplification you may need. If this is not within your ability, it may be good to ask for additional help here: Local HDTV Info and Reception. The forum is easy to join and we have many professional installers that can help.

Plasma Glare?

June 25th, 2010

Well to be brutally truthful the plasmas will have a great deal of glare. Here are a couple of photos of my S1 Panasonic to explain it better:

That is me sitting on my couch and the light in the room is supplied by a full length door window to the left of my entertainment center. There is not enough light in the room to read by.

Just to show the screen with a dark scene picture on it as you can see the glare is still very noticeable. Now on sports programming where the screen is brightly lit, there is no noticeable glare at all.

Now light walls won’t necessarily be bothersome unless in the reflections there is a dark contrasting area as well such as the picture frames in the above examples. That’s when it gets objectionable for me. If the reflection was just a white wall, it would only deteriorate the super black levels, but not cause you to be seeing something in the reflection. It may be possible for you to tilt a reflective TV where it looks good during the brightly lit times, but still have the superior blacks and picture in the dark. Here is an example of a G20 with a couple of bright reflections to illustrate the issue of the problem with contrasting reflections. Those bright areas would show up in any dark scene just as they do with a totally black screen.

Thanks to soderholmd for the above photo who posted it on of his G20.

Now going to an LCD is not necessarily going to get you a glare free screen because most of the brands have a reflective screen these days. My daughter has a Sharp LED backlit LCD and it has about the same glare as my Panny plasma. You have to shop around for a glare free HDTV that also has a good picture.

So if you are going to watch in a brightly lit room you can expect some glare. On the other hand in the dark you can not beat the picture of a plasma with any LCD.

Digital Optical Coax to Analog Stereo RCA Audio Converter Adapter

March 28th, 2010

This product is discontinued, sorry.

ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player

March 20th, 2010

While moderating one of my forums last week someone ask me about the ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player. I was not familiar with it so I went digging. After reading about it, I was convinced this was a player I should have so I ordered one. Man it was all that and a bag of chips…

Read my report on this unit here:
ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player

Breaking News: X-Box 360 Will Support U-verse Later This Year!

January 7th, 2010

For those people, such as me, who would like their Media Center PCs to have an application where they could work as a set top box with U-verse, the idea has moved one step closer to a possibility.

Announced at CES 2010 was the tremendous news that later this year X-Box owners will be able to use their consoles as a set top box for U-verse!

Here is the engadget story:

Hauppauge 1212 HD PVR Update

December 3rd, 2009

I have updated the page to reflect the new software version. The update is at the bottom of the page.

See: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR Video Capture device