Thursday, January 10, 2013

Keep On Loving You

Keep On Loving You... Aereo... REO... Speedwagon... right

A company named Aereo has some pretty great ideas for the future of TV. Web TV is something I've been asking for, for at least 16 hours.

Thanks or the link, Sting

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Future is... in like 7 months

A coworker forwarded this bit of the future:

Leap is a crazy, hand recognizing, turning your mac into and gigantic ipad, piece of awesome... in theory. We'll see in december, maybe I'll order one.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Movin' on up

I made some upgrades.
After an awful hard drive failure, where I lost nearly all of my totally legal movies and tv shows, everything else seemed to fall apart.
Fortunately, newertech (OWC I think?) has a 3-year warranty on the mini stack 2.5, and were absolutely delightful when  it came to getting a replacement... well I still need to send it out, so we'll see how that goes.
To save a long story, I ended up upgrading my mac mini to the lowest-end, most recent model. Super excited it's got hdmi (carries audio so I don't need that extra optical cable), and it can run Lion. There is an underscan slider bar that fixes my past black bar issue, awesome.
My impecable timing resulted in a HTPC that doesn't have an optical drive. I rely on it to be my dvd player. Apple has sn external super drive for $80, but I'm looking around for other options. Maybe something with blu-ray?

Scrollin' on, scrollin' on broken glass

Dang. I can't entirely recommend the Apple Magic Track pad. It gets a little bent and you can't click. the little nubs at the bottom fall off occasionally. Actually I hate that you need the little nubs, i want a touch click so I don't need to be on a table. It's a year and half old, let's see if Apple will replace

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Keyboard/Trackpad Union

check out this sweet little diddy... comes out in March 2012, $79

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Comcast buying NBC

As seen in 30 Rock (I don't recall which day, I watch it on Hulu)... Comcast, cable company, will be the majority stock holder in NBC (which has minority stake in Hulu).

This might be Comcast beginning to control some of the online content that have driven cable subscribers way down. I wouldn't know anything about that, though.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A sound solution

I finally came up with a fix for my troublesome receiver... replaced it!
I went with the Sony HT-CT150.
That's right, a sound bar. So far so good. It's a muuuuuch cleaner installation. Fewer wires because it actually supports HDMI video and audio, and oh yeah, IT's ONE FRIGGIN SPEAKER!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rabbit Ears!

I love seeing articles on the rise of OTA... If only I had something to do with it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hulu+ coming to roku

Looks like Hulu Plus is making it's way onto the roku boxes (which there are like 3 different models of now, totally annoying). I personally haven't gone for the $9.99 a month subscription despite not having cable. I'm still considering it, but i really don't know how different from regular old Hulu it actually is.

If I could get a higher quality stream from netflix on my mac mini, I'd probably drop the Roku box altogether, so unless Hulu Plus is totally awesome on Roku, I'm not sure I'd ever use it

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Plex/Nine has been released, a day early (maybe 2 days, I wasn't looking yesterday)!
For any of you current users, you're probably very excited for all the new changes in Alexandria.
There are all sorts of streamy goodness, including an iOS app (like $5 I think).

So here's a link to some nerdiness that I don't understand.

And here's a link to Plex:

Half-assed review to come after the break, which might be weeks

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Someone's listening!

I'm often afraid that my conversations can be heard through the mic I have on my mac... well I know it's not a matter of can, but a matter if.
Putting big-brother style paranoia aside, apple as released what I've hoped and dreamed for...
the "magic trackpad"... taking the track pad from the macbook pro and portableizing it.
stupid name is in line with apple's latest line of dumb names... that being said, I'm headed to the apple store at lunch time... I think I'll have Calexico

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Hulu is going to offer up a new service... Hulu Plus
Maybe the plus comes from: Ad supported + $10 a month
still, interesting idea...
•available on iphone, ipad, some tv's and blu-ray players, PS3, XBOX360, and hulu desktop i guess.
•HD avaiable, which I would love to see
•Full current seasons for, i dunno, most of what they have i guess
•Past seasons available... sounds nice. I'd like to watch Modern family

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup

So one of the big statements against getting rid of cable has been sports related... here's how I'm dealing with the world cup.
Today's USA vs. England (1-1 btw baby) aired on ABC 7 in HD, so that was great... I'm not positive that their will be another... however, if you're ok with watching it in spanish (let's face it, it's waaay more exciting in spanish), most games look like they're on ch 68-2 which is, i dunno univision or something.
otherwise, you can watch online at:

or, if you happen to be in Europe (most countries, it would seem), try:

if you've got access to, (sorry, not TWC) they've got you covered

Soon, I'll be testing out slingbox set up from my parents house in staten island... it's kinda cheating but whatevs

so looks like there are a few games on ABC (HD), all other games are on 68-2 en espaƱol

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Streaming with your wii cont.

The disc to stream netflix to wii came in the mail today. I don't think I'll ever use it (no HD support), but I just like to be able to do it. Pics after the break

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Those damned black bars

Since my initial htpc setup, I've had an overscan / underscan issue. I was very excited about snow leopard's 720p display setting, but it yielded the same results... 1 inch black bar all around with overscan unchecked, way way way too big when overscan checked (too overscanned?).
I had read about switchResX and DisplayConfigX.... also attempted and failed to get it to work several times.
2 days ago, I spent the entire day, trying to get a nice full screen going... end result, I got a lot closer than ever before with switchresx, only problem was the screen was shifted to the left about 40px and to the top about 8px...I tried to reposition (horizontal and vertical, front porch and back porch), and can't seem to get it to move.
I eventually left it at 720p default... but I posted the question on, I was advised to try connecting via VGA... I suppose I'll try it and see how it goes... but I'm concerned about sacrificing quality (VGA analog, but I think supports 720p... vs. DVI-HDMI, which is all digital)... I'll have to "borrow" a cable from work... will keep you updated... in the mean time, any advise from my loyal followers?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Remote Buddy, ol' pal makes some really impressive stuff. There's a plug-in i've been using for some time, it's essentially an apple remote fix for snow leopard; candelair.
I recently downloaded the demo to Remote Buddy... really powerful. what really got me was... a few month ago, while looking for a wireless mouse, all i really wanted was something that was like a wii controller.... turns out, remote buddy figured this out a few years ago... how did I miss that? anyway, this requires more testing and possibly a wireless wii sensor... will follow up eventually.
In the mean time, enjoy this...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Logitech's TouchMouse iPhone app

Looks like Logitech as their own FREE iPhone app that allows it to act as a trackpad/keyboard... Stupid Air Mouse...
anyway, it's called TouchMouse... I shall test it tonight.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

stream with your wii

Netflix streaming is coming to Wii in early spring 2010!
It's going to be one of those, needs a disc to run it, joints.
this could allow me to ditch my roku player... however, Wii isn't HD.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

C'mon Fox, quit TWC, don't be a pussy

Bahhaha, oh man, it would be friggin hilarious if TimeWarner no longer provided Fox. Oh and sucks for Cablevisioners... no Food Network or HGTV

Et tu, NYT?

So New York Times... that's um, pretty cool that you did an article on a couple that have given up cable. Yeah I mean, look, they've got a pretty dope setup. A mac mini, an xbox 360 (I know i don't have it yet.... budgetary restraints), controlled by an ugly mouse. Oh and um, using boxee and hulu desktop eh? would have never thought of that one...

I knew I should have taken that left toyn at alba-koi-key

There's been another move in my apartment. For the, I don't know 7th time in our 3.5 years in this apartment, my lovely girlfriend has decided we needed to move things around again. This time we ended up with the antenna on the opposite side of the apartment. It's sort of pointing east, which according to that website I found months ago, is not quite NorthWest. But... reception has been better than ever. coo...

Shooting stuff and streaming Netflix!

I've been thinking for a while now... how can I stream Netflix and shoot zombies (among other things) all in one unit? The answer is Xbox360. I've seen it in action at my future brother in law's, and it's really well done. I'd be able to get rid of my Roku box and give me something more to do while not watching live TV.
PS3 as of Nov 10th or so, can also stream Netflix (though I've heard it's a bit of a PITA, will confirm later) it involves loading a disc and installing stuff. It would also give me the ability to watch blu-ray (though my need for quality is slowly fading) and I would feel better about microsoft not getting my money.... no left4dead 2 though... oh and it costs a little more I think.
Obviously, I've done my research.

The Boxee Box (should have posted around Dec 7th 2009)

to be release quarter 2 of 2010
in collaboration with some jerks, blah blah blah... bottom line, looks awesome, but do i need yet another component? probably not, but i suppose if you dont have a HTPC, this little guy (abbout the size of a coke can), could fit conveniently... nowhere

Receiver Woes

It didn't seem so apparent at first, but sometimes when I'd switch to my HTPC set up, I saw some flickering... usually it would go away on it's own, but I found more often then not, that I would have to restart my mac and the flickering would stop. I assumed it was something related to the mac, but after a slight setup change, I noticed the same flickering from my Roku box. Which leads me to believe my receiver id F'd.

Now this isn't something new to me, I did buy it as an open box item from best buy... and it has already had it's share of issues, often not responding to volume control or sometimes not turning off... Sent an email to HarmanKardon, we'll see what they have to say... Sigh.

Wow, it's been a while. Um, I got a mouse...

So it's been about 6 months since I last wrote. Not too much change and still doing fine, 7 months cable free. I did finally get a wireless mouse... went for the Logitech MX AirMouse (pretty sexy, yeah?). Works in the air and/or on a desk... pretty sweet. It can get a little awkward controlling it in the air, there's no absolute space. I was sort of hoping it would be more like a Wii controller, but hey, it does the job.

I still think my ideal cursor mover would be a wireless version of Wacom's Bamboo Touch... or maybe it would be sort of like the touch pad of the latest macbook pro. I want zoom and all those fun iPhone like gestures!

I considered The Loop for a short while after reading an article in NYT (which I'll have post about later), but the decided it was stupid... also ugly.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


My new best friend, Plex(mac only? awesome). It's a beautifully designed media management app. A little difficult to set up initially, but once you get going, it's great (and yeah, I guess you could just watch the tutorials, but that's no fun).
It syncs with to get all sorts of info about your movies and apparently does the same with TV shows (maybe i should watch the tutorials). Plays your music, displays your photos, well done guys. It's got all sorts of app to add such as NBC, The Daily Show, Colbert report, Hulu...

I find Boxee a bit to difficult to navigate, it's slow and clumsy... Plex Plex Plex

I won one of those hot little apple bluetooth keyboards on eBay ($41), that's been great. I'm still torn about the track ball. If you've got a suggestion, please send it my way.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Mini

I haven't posted in a while. Since we last left off, I won a mac mini on ebay, (a little more then i wanted to pay, but slightly better then i expected).Well I set it up yesterday, I've got a DVI to HDMI for video (going to Reciever, I already had the cable but, something like $8 from monoprice) and mini-Toslink to Toslink for digital audio(6ft $2.25).
I'm running Leopard, all the latest Software Updates. Xvid codes, Perian audio(among other things) codec(trust me, you need this). Downloaded Boxee, Hulu Desktop, Mplayer, VLC.
In general the quality from mac mini is pretty damn good, could be better... but good.

DVD playback, I have yet to test... I'll try that tonight.

Hulu desktop, fantastic, highly recommended.

Boxee, I want to really like, but really needs some major improvements. Overall interface is clumsy, difficult to navigate, and compared to Hulu, the quality just isn't great... it's still in alpha though, so we'll see where it goes.

Netflix streaming, I have to say, I'm really disappointed. The quality from the Roku Box is sooooo much better than Netflix Movie Viewer (powered my microsoft, pfff). Boxee can control netflix streaming as well, but the quality is in the same place... why is it that Roku can stream HD content, but streaming to a computer can not? Needs further investigation. Ideally I'd like to get rid of Roku and play everything from my mac, we'll see.

Harmony Remote work really well with everything. I really need a wireless keyboard and track ball... better start eBayin again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

...Offer TV Channels Online (If You Already Pay)

Sure, you have a right to make money on your content, etc... but you can still suck it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

what's your favorite pozish..

After getting a little frustrated with reception, I decided to try and get the closest thing to outdoor as I could. As you can see from this illustration, I've moved it from my TV console in the middle of a RR apt, to my refrigerator near the window (facing northish?)

So far, reception has been great.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

moving forward

After a brief discussion with @schatz, I've decided mac mini is the way to go. I'm going to try my luck with ebay before I commit $600 to this. Requirements: Intel processor, preferably dual. seems like the 1.66ghz is the most popular and most reasonably priced, I think I'm looking at around $350 (BTW, WTF is wrong with everyone on craigslist? Your are NOT getting almost 90% of what you actually paid). I'll eventually need that sexy small wireless keyboard from apple, and I'll continue to search for a sweet wireless trackball. Until then i suppose it'll be wired.
This does mean, goodbye dvd player, and roku netflix player. Suppose I could ebay them?

have you heard of this internet thing?

Hi, we're engadget, and we did a write up 4 years ago...
yeah well...shut up

Friday, June 19, 2009

1 for TWC, a thousand against...

Today I made the big move and decabled myself.
I asked about the turbo upgrade... I asked how I could really know if I was getting anything extra, the woman kindly offered to see if there any promotions to try out turbo... sure enough, "we can offer you turbo for a year"... score, $80/mo savings. one point for you TWC.

Taking back...

On my way to take back my cable box... I'm going to need a clock. With no time in sight, I just missed a good deal on ebay by 4 minutes.

New antenna solution?

Check this shiz out, equinux TV Receiver, could use it instead of elgato AND it comes with an antenna... maybe I could get rid of big ugly


Mac mini ($599)
I started thinking about the possibility of having a mac mini as a sort of entertainment center. While searching for a no-subscribe DVR, I found a few that would work with my mac (and not independently). The mac would allow me to eliminate a DVD player. I've read briefly about turning a
mac mini into an apple tv, not sure if that requires sacrificing the OS (besides, I suppose I could just play it from itunes). I could also stream netflix and boxee from one device (via web browser and boxee app, respectively)... I would essentially have a receiver, mac mini, antenna and TV. My biggest concern would be, quality. I believe apple TV has a better graphics card and HDMI... I've read that the mini could handle a fairly large LCD quite well... I suppose I would need a wireless mouse and keyboard, though apple mouse would suck in my living room. Maybe there's a dope track ball (not necessarily this one). Built in Bluetooth (poifect). Hard drive options, 120, 250, 320GB, though I'll bet I could put in whatever I want. RAM 1GB, maybe it doesn't matter. It would save me the heart ache of not having a mac with an intel processor (I currently can not watch netflix or boxee on my mac, G5).

AppleTV-to-Mac mini lite ($229+geeky work)
On the other hand, I've read about turning an
apple tv into a mac mini lite (of sorts)... This is a bit more involved, but do-able. It would lack a DVD player, but maybe there's an external blu-ray (maybe a nice looking case for this?)? A Bluetooth Adapter for keyboard/mouse. Looks like there's one USB, if it doesn't have bluetooth, it's kinda fucked. Suppose I could get a hub. I should see what they're going for on eBay and CL (not hubs... apple tvs).
All of this stuff is miniature, which is great, but could cause a big mess. Oh and it's got optical out, which is good, since my receiver doesn't support hdmi audio... This option would be a shit of a lot cheaper... and would give me a chance to swap in a bigger hard drive.
Apparently my Logitech harmony remote can control it as well... It's starting to look good for appletv (can i just call it iTV? it make things easier)

El Gato's EyeTV ($149.95) could be a great DVR solution.

I would essentially be turning my TV into a big display for a mac... I'm not against that. But, it wont be just a laptop with a dvi-hdmi... it'll be a proper home theatre.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Plans for my future setup

Here's the overall plan...
My current Cable bill is something like $125/mo (this includes DTV, internet, DVR, no premiums). Dropping the DTV and having RoadRunner Standard(10Mbps down) will be $45.95/mo, with and option for RR Turbo(15Mbps down) +$9.95. With a bill of $56 (+tax I'm sure), I'm saving almost $70 a month. Now what could I do with all that cash...

Over-the-Air (OTA) HDTV- Obviously I need basic channels and I need them in HD. Antenna's in, so far so good. ($37, will be paid for in less then a month)

Apple TV (w/Boxee)- I was inspired to get rid of cable, after a few months of exposure to Hulu and the likes. So the question is, how do i get streaming content onto my TV. If you haven't heard of Boxee, you should. it's sort of a mashup of Hulu and all the other networks that are streaming.
With (what seems) a simple hack/mod, Apple's AppleTV can be made to stream Boxee.
For $229, I can get a 40GB AppleTV (it's capable of 802.11n, my airport express isn't, wonder if that'll be an issue). I can stream content that I've purchased form the apple store on my mac, or other content that somehow made it's way onto my itunes library. This is huge. ($229, paid for in just over 3 months)

Netflix - I currently subscribe to netflix, 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited) plan with unlimited time to watch instantly. $8.99 a month, pretty dope. With no cable to pay for, I may just go up to 2 movies at a time. It's the watch instantly streaming content, that's important... typically it's for your computer, but there are a few ways to view it on your TV. One of which is Roku ($99), others include Xbox360 and few Blu-ray players (either of which I would have preferred). Some content is offered in HD, other just pretty freakin good.... they've got movies, tv shows... but it's pretty limited. ($99 +$8.99/mo, I already have this, so it doesn't count as extra)(unless i go for the extra DVD at a time, $13.99, so +$5/mo)

Personal Video Recorder - This is a new one for me. I originally thought I could get away with not having DVR because I could just stream the show from boxee (eventually), but as stated in an earlier post, there is no live rewind. I'll have to look into that.

Other Random Ideas:
•I wonder if  it's possible to watch DVD's from my mac via AppleTV, that would allow me to get rid of my dvd as well.

First snag...

Suddenly realized I can't rewind without DVR... independent PVR may be the solution.

First Step...

I gave the ol' owner's manual a look through, and there's a built in digital tuner, even though it was built and sold before the March 1, 2007 cut-off.
Now I was ready for an antenna. In general, outdoor kicks indoor's ass. Being in a little apartment in Brooklyn, I didn't have the outdoor option.

There's a website that can tell you appx how well you should receive signals based on your location:

NYC has it good, and I should be OK with an indoor.

I found this really helpful during my Research

I eventually settled on the Terk HDTVa ($36.83 after tax)...
1. J&R had it in stock.
2. Good reviews.
3. Comes w/ an amp ($10 less for the HDTVi, which doesn't have one)... just in case.
-1. Ugly as sin.

I got it home, quick little temporary(I hope) hookup... and what do you know, got all the basics in HD, great start.

pics after the break...
some notes... just to clear up any confusion.

detail of the ugliness

Current Setup

Here's my current setup, I think I have everything
  • TV: 40" LCD - Samsung LN-S4051D
  • Receiver: Harman Kardon AVR-146 (got it open box. didn't realize that it had HDMI, but didn't carry audio though it... Sure is purdy though)
  • Remote: Logitech Harmony 550 (yeah there are better models, but this is the
  • DVD Player: LG DN-191H
  • Netflix Streaming: Roku N1000 (I hate one-use devices, but I got this before it was offered in Xbox360 and some Blu-Ray players)


This isn't an absolute solution for everyone... it's going to be my current situation/setup, and the changes I make to reduce the cost of my tele. I'll try to keep track of everything I'm spending and everything I'm saving, as well as links to things that I find helpful.