This short, sharp piece from JB is the best. Too often I’ve found myself grinding through a TV show because I had high hopes for it, or so many people told me it was great. What I should have realised is that amateur TV critics (i.e. your friends and colleagues) are often like home theatre enthusiasts who have bought their first subwoofer. Whether it’s good or bad, that’s the choice they made, and they need you to endorse that choice so they can feel better about it as well.
Finally, the blog turned 15 years old recently (about a month ago). I’ve been so busy with the day job that I forgot to appropriately mark the occasion. But I thought we should do something. So if you’d like some stickers (I have some small ones for laptops, and some big ones because I can’t measure things properly), send me your address via this contact form and I’ll send you something as a thank you for reading along.
You may or may not have noticed that I’ve added an HTPC category to this blog. The point of this is simply to provide a place for a number of random HTPC- and media streamer-related issues that I’ve encountered recently when I made the insane decision to build a HTPC for the movie room while eschewing Windows 7. That’s right – we can do this the easy way or my way. Over the next few weeks I’m aiming to load up a bunch of articles relating to my frustration with this platform as an entertainment mechanism.
As part of this process I bought a very cheap dual digital TV tuner from PC Case Gear – the aptly named Leadtek Winfast DTV2000 DS. You can find details on this PCI card here. I was testing GB-PVR, but couldn’t find the card in the list of supported cards. I don’t want to give too much away, but, *spoiler alert*, it’s an ini file that needs adjusting. Check out the skinny here.
Add the following to the bda.ini file in your GB-PVR installation directory.
[Leadtek Winfast DTV 2000 DS]
FILTER_RECEIVER=WinFast DTV 2000 DS
PIN_RECEIVER_IN=Antenna In Pin
I spent a good part of the long weekend in Sydney doing a CX300 – CX3-20 upgrade. The process itself was reasonably seamless, although my heart skipped a beat when the utility partition wouldn’t boot. Apparently this happens frequently enough that EMC wrote a Service Note about it, along the lines of, “try it again a few times and it should work”. And it did, and I was able to continue with the conversion. You’ll be happy to know that no data was lost, and thus no service partners were harmed.
I stayed at a hotel nearby. I didn’t have high hopes as I’d stayed there before and it was comfortable, but not amazing. So when I walked into my room I was pleased to see this:
Hooray, a slightly nicer TV than I normally get when travelling. The cool thing about this setup, however, was the AV panel they’d installed in the wall:
You could plug in composite video, vga or hdmi. It even had a usb jack to use as a charger if you needed. I thought it was kind of neat. The fact that they had set 4:3 content to pan and scan meant that the Broncos game I watched on Friday night looked like they had a lot of thicker than usual players, but the DVDs I played off my laptop looked just fine at 1360 * 768.