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Media Center CableCARDs freed from OEM requirement

September 11th, 2009

EngadgetHD is reporting a new card will be available for your Media Center PC without needing to get it within a bundled package.  This means you can “roll your own” and be able to get all scrambled cable channels by renting a cable card from your cable company.

See: Media Center CableCARDs freed from OEM requirement//

Plasma vs LCD - The Next Format War?

June 25th, 2009

Ever noticed this seems to be Format War II? People post inquiries on forums about LCD sets and within minutes they get a reply suggesting the poster should get a plasmas instead. Then the threads are deluged with posts about why plasma is superior to LCDs. They quote how misleading statements and facts have tainted the plasmas. LCD proponents don’t seem to jump on plasma inquiries in the same manner. Maybe since LCDs are selling so well they don’t feel they have to proselytize like plasma proponents do.

For the complete story click here: Plasma vs LCD - The Next Format War?

Another PS3 Remote Control Possibility

June 13th, 2009

You have purchased a PS3 with the intentions of using it for a combination game player and Blu-ray player only to get it home to discover there is a big problem. It won’t integrate into your home theater remote controller because you find out the PS3 uses a bluetooth remote and you need a PS3 IR Remote Control. A possibility for this delima is the new Logitech PS3 Adapter shown to the left. From the Amazon website:

Logitech Harmony Adapter for PLAYSTATION 3
Finally, control movies on your PS3 — drama-free

Wish you could control all your movies, music, games and entertainment gear—including your PLAYSTATION3—with one remote? Wish granted. Add one-touch PS3 control to any Harmony remote with the new Logitech Harmony Adapter for PLAYSTATION3. Now your entire entertainment system and every PS3 command is at your fingertips. Want to watch a DVD or Blu-ray Disc movie? Play a game? Turn the console on or off? Easy. Just press one button on the remote to experience instant entertainment gratification.

PS3 IR Remote Control

Analog No More? Or is it?

June 12th, 2009

Well the long awaited date has come and gone for the analog cutoff. I woke up this morning to find, as expected, my ATSC tuner saying “NO SIGNAL” because not only did the analog go away for the station I was tuned to, but because that particular station reverted their digital frequency to their prior analog frequency.

That is the reason everyone is saying to rescan your channels on your ATSC tuner.

So I did just that and to my surprise I have several new digital stations and several analog stations still broadcasting! One of the analog channels is our Houston NBC affiliate that chose to keep their digital UHF channel rather than revert back to channel 2. Thanks to PSIP information it really was not necessary as I still punch up channel 2 even though they actually broadcast on channel 35.

Channel 2 analog though is still broadcasting! It is running a continuous loop of information about converting to a ATSC tuner with a crawl that says you will need to do something to keep receiving TV signals. I don’t know how long they are going to keep this up, but it seems like a good service for those that ignored, perhaps through ignorance, the cutoff.

Also, there were several other analog channels still operational. None are major stations and I don’t know how long they will still be operating as analog. A bit interesting since I thought analog would be history.

Convert HD DVD to Blu-ray? No Problem for WB discs

April 22nd, 2009

Warner Brothers has a new service that allows people with WB HD DVDs to turn them into Blu-ray discs for a nominal fee.  Costing just $4.95 plus shipping could be a deal for many.  You keep your HD DVD discs, just send in the original cover art.  A color copy could be made for your HD DVD case if you want to keep the disc case looking original.

For details click the banner above. Forums Has A New Admistrator!

April 9th, 2009

And it is yours truly. Internet Brands, a company that operates several internet forums, has ask me to join as an administrator and I started today!  AV Revolution is a website that is full of great reviews especially on high end AV equipment.  The forum is a sub-part of that site where all things AV is discussed with emphasis on High Definition TV equipment and audio systems.  Hope to see some of my regular readers there as well as the High Def Forum I’m sure you all know I’ve been with for several years.

Directv SWM Installation Demystified

April 8th, 2009

This is an article posted by Justin Williams a member at The High Def Forum that pretty well explains the wiring of a SWM system. Used with permission.

Thanks Justin.

Directv SWM Installation Demystified

Free Blu-ray Player from

March 26th, 2009

I received this e-mail from

Dear Customer,

As someone who has shown an interest in home theater products, you might be interested in our offer of a free Denon DVD-2500 Blu-Ray player with the purchase of select Denon receivers.

Build your perfect home theater for less with savings on quality Denon products. Simply purchase a qualifying Denon home theater receiver along with a Denon DVD-2500BTCI Blu-Ray player and the discount will be automatically applied during checkout.

Click Link: Qualifying Denon Receivers

Great Deal from Amazon!

March 11th, 2009

Click Here: Blu-ray Sale: Over 300 Blu-ray Discs as Low as $13.99 

From now until March 22, build your Blu-ray library from this selection of Blu-ray discs including Iron Man, Transformers and Wall-E, and save up to 54% off your purchase.

U-verse Voice Service

March 11th, 2009

I got this installed yesterday and thought others might like to know what is involved with this.

The service tech showed up with the new UPS they use for the RG.  It is a propritery UPS built by Belkin that will only provide power for the RG.  There are not any other power connections available.  The tech said the power would keep the RG running for 4 hours after a power failure.

So the UPS is installed in place of the existing RG power block (I retained the block in case the UPS should fail) and a jumper cord is connected between the appropriate jack on the RG and a unused telephone jack for the house.  The feed jumper from the existing AT&T analog service is removed in the service box and that’s it. 

A call to AT&T has to be made by the tech to enable the switch on their end and vola! the service is switched.  Same phone number in most cases.

Next the tech used my laptop to set up my voice mail mailbox.  This is a pretty neat service in that in addition to being able to access your messages via any phone, you can also access the messages via a computer online.  Even play the messages through the computer speakers.  You can delete messages online also.

There are a lot of additional features available online such as calling up a call log where you can view all of your incoming calls and outgoing calls.  You can even click on a call link beside a number in the list and the system will call it and ring your house phone.  Pretty slick. 

So far I think the switch will prove to be a great deal.