Doing my part to help the economy
What better way to cap off a weekend full of the sick (Strep Throat, yay)? No, Spiderman’s glowing junk is not the answer. The answer is (in Rod Roddy voice), “A brand new TV!”.
Monday I recieved my new Panasonic Viera 46PZ85U, plasma TV. The fact I somehow managed to burn in an “impossible to burn in” LCD, I am a bit worried of how the easier to burn in plasma experiment will go. So far, I’m finding it exceedingly difficult to find any channels that don’t have a station watermark in the corner durring the “critical” first 100 hour break in, because God forbid we get confused with what channel we’re watching!
So far, the TV looks great, and I’m loving it. Of course, going from a 32″ to a 46″ doesn’t hurt….
The moon landing was a hoax!
So the analog to digital conversion gets pushed back another 4 months, because hey, if you weren’t prepared with over a years worth of advanced warning, 4 extra months will make all the difference! I’m mostly just sad because I have this crazy idea that Comcast might actually give us more and/or higher quality HD channels with some of the extra bandwidth they will recoup. However, I am prepared for that to not happen and then I’ll join all the sad people in 4 months who’s TV’s magically stop working, but I’ll just be sad for other reasons.
[Update] Appearantly the delay actually did get shot down. All digital TV for everyone! Well, except for the unprepared.
Hulu, the illegitimate offspring of Sulu and Ohura
I’m a little late to the boat on this one as Hulu isn’t all that new, but it’s only because I prefer watching my movies and TV on…well…on my TV…that I haven’t really paid it any mind. However, thanks to the wonders of magic and my Xbox (which is part magic and part addictive chemical), I am finally able to enjoy all the heady goodness that the internets have to offer from the comfort of the ass groove in my couch.
The aforementioned magic I was referring too is actually called PlayOn. PlayOn is basically a media server you setup on a PC on your network that will allow you to browse and play video content from Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, CNN, and ESPN on your Xbox, PS3, or other DLNA compliant device. It’s still in beta and it’s a bit buggy with a few annoyances, e.g. you can’t fast forward since it works by doing real-time transcoding to convert the video’s into something your device is capable of viewing, but outside of that, I’m just happy it lets me do something Microsoft needs to let me do as a built in Xbox feature.
Right now, I’m using it to finally watch Arrested Development and when I’m done with that, they have all the Mr. T and Michael Knight I could possibly want!
"The Internet is not a truck"
With today being the much anticipated No More Bush Day, a ridiculous number of people flooded to DC and to the interwebs to bask in the glory. Unfortunately, the limitations of my employer’s network has become painfully obvious as enormous amounts of material caused the tubes here to become clogged. At it’s peak, the download speed was a whopping 170kbps. Yes, an entire medical center and university being served with the equivalent bandwidth of 3 56k modems. Epic fail.
A contributing factor to the deluge, was appearantly the Octoshape Grid Delivery “enhancement” for Adobe Flash that CNN.com users were prompted to install in order to view the live coverage. While it was not mandatory to view the proceedings, anyone who chose to enhance their experience, became a part of CNN’s video serving psuedo-P2P network. Octoshape promises higher quality video by sharing some of the distribution load with other clients using the plugin. Once you initially opt in to The Grid, you are forever a participant anytime your browser is accessing a Grid-enabled video. You can however, uninstall the plugin in Add/Remove Programs if you so choose.
Something horrible happened to me the other day. The batteries for my Logitech Harmony 670 remote died and we were out of spares. Trying to switch from the TV to the Xbox and back actually required my ass off the couch, a handful of remotes, and an Xbox controller…like in the cave man days. Oh the humanity!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of a Harmony remote, then the above will sound like an over reaction. If you have used one, you understand fully. If you have one, but it’s a newer model with a recharging station, I hate you.
For the unknowing. Imagine all 40 remotes in your house combined into one. Imagine this one remote was intelligent enough to properly turn on all of your devices for any given activity and have them set to the appropriate inputs automatically. Imagine you buy a new device, but you don’t have to worry about trying out various codes because the software which configures this remote has access to an always updated database of devices.
Now imagine an army of these “super remotes” and cringe in fear, while I for one welcome our new Remote Control Overlords.