Archive for the 'Multimedia' Category

Nov
29

Additional options with receiver

image  So with my receiver running a couple days I was pretty satisfied with the endless options this box has. Future ready for Sirius/XM HD Radio and various different sound options. Nice thing also was that the remote could be programmed with various codes to control my TV, DVD player and the comcast dvr box which saves having laying around some remotes.
Next topic was to enable to pass through my Playstation 3 streaming video by using the Playon media streamer Playon link.

This tool can stream from websites like Hulu, ESPN, CBS and recently Netflix online accounts video/movie queues. It works great and really enjoying it, although still not HD top quality that is just a matter of time when more bandwith is available. image

Second challenge was to connect my Ipod Touch to the receiver. For this I had bought in the past the Apple AV component cable set with including usb charger. So connecting everything to my receiver and with my component cable leftover from my dvr (switched to HDMI) connected that to my TV. It seemed it worked great but then I noticed only black and white showed up and no color. I tried to find and switch every possible setting and searched on various blogs and forums, but no solution for this, typically Apple ofcourse. So after some think work, I ended up connecting the part to my TV directly. And then using my audio out connection on my tv into an audio in on my receiver so I still have the surround sound working. After downloading a new movie Kungfu Panda for my son on I-tunes we were all set to go and it worked great. Perfect colors HD quality and surround sound in sync through my Onkyo receiver. Also with the included USB charger, the ipod will not get out of juice either which is nice, and it can charge fully overnight.


Nov
29

Onkyo TX SR606 audio receiver

It has been a while since my last blog. But a lot has happened in the past several months. Company was taken over by Staples Inc. We went on vacation in Wyoming and when we came back we sold and bought a new house.

So about 2 months ago we moved in and one of the nice things in the new house was that it had build in surround sound speakers. But the issue was that my LCD TV, dvd player, playstation and comcast box where standalone hardware boxes, so on advice of my brother in-law I started to investigate in audio receivers. After a long search within my budget i bought this Onkyo TX SR606 at NEWEGG for 349- dollars.

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You think you are done by buying a receiver but after a cheap extended manufacturing warranty of 40 bucks and all the cables and wiring I needed It ended up around 450,- still not to bad as I have seen receivers in the range of 200 to 4000,- dollar during my research.

The nice think of the Onkyo is that it had 3 HDMI in and 1 HDMI out video/audio pass through connections, which meant I can now both have my PS3, DVD player and my new Comcast DVR HD box straight through this receiver with only one HDMI cable going into my TV. The setup was done in a split second, most work was the wiring of the surround sound as I needed to strip 10×2 = 40 cable ends from my 25 feet audio cable I bought at Circuit city to hook them up in both my central wall-outlet and the connectors on the receiver. I still have 2 speaker outlets available as this is 7.1 dolby surround, which lead to my patio outdoors. Just need to buy some speakers for that next summer to have some nice sound outside. With the 2-zone on this receiver I also can have the outside sound be different from the inside. So the kids can watch a movie and we can enjoy some radio/ipod touch music.


Jul
13

Iphone 2.0 upgrade to my Ipod touch

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Sent from my iPod using new print screen function and mail application.

So yes you can make a print screen (home button 3 sec and then shut down at top) of any screen when using your iphone or ipod touch.

After upgrading to the new firmware late Friday night and installing my free apps and 2 game apps I bought I have been playing around this weekend and I love it, this is really worth finally the money of the touch. I love my Pandora music app listing to Pandora stations I created under my account, it works perfectly in my dockingstation as well. I bought 2 game apps, Monkey Ball and cro-mag rally, this is quite some fun. With only 550 apps available in the store there is still a lot to look forward I think in the coming months. WordPress is adding a blogging tool for native Iphone use. The only negative aspect so far is that battery life is terrible when using the apps, i played 2 of the games and battery was done in 1 hour.

My personal wish list around the Ipod Touch:

– Flash supported app for websites like hulu, abc, nbc so you can watch tv-episodes and shows or a native flash support in safari by apple for those websites.

– Wimax so I can have internet access everywhere, most of the location based apps work only when you are connected to the internet, so far this is for most users only at home as work does not have wifi installed. This is probably wish full thinking but hopefully won’t take too long anymore. Maybe in 2 year a new phone will solve that problem but I am stucked to Verizon at the moment.

–   Expandable flash memory slot. I am sure Apple will increase to 80GB and 160 GB models in the future when SSD is cheaper available but expansion slot would be nice like other phones and mp3, camera’s support nowadays.


Jul
01

Ipod docking station Altec Lansing inmotion im600

This is an excellent and not too expensive Ipod dockingstation. I use it for my Ipod Touch but it is also compatible with any other ipod. It is portable with a Li-on rechargable batterie which makes it nice to take outside on our deck. image

With the extra sources of FM radio and Aux to connect another cd player or stereo system, remote control, both Ipod charging from base as well as mini USB sync port. It is a very complete system.

The sound quality is amazing and it is actually smaller then below picture shows. Now I just need to buy a touch for the wife as she only has a shuffle and that is not compatible 😉


Jun
29

Playstation 3

It has been busy lately so a long time ago since I posted for the last time. But I recently became owner of a Playstation 3, my first gaming console ever. After playing X-box 360 and its predecessor and seeing the WII, I have to say the PS3 is definitely my favorite.

Especially the fact it has blue ray dvd with HDMI output to my Panny LCD tv. The first game was Grand Autotheft and I rented some movies, Cars for my son as that is his favorite movie. The quality is just outstanding.

ps3My colleague Dan also has a PS3 so he advised me of Gamefly the netflix video game rental version and I subscribed right away. Played and playing several Games so far. Drake, Call of Duty 4, Tom Clancy Rainbow six Vegas, GTA4 and I love it. Drake is a kind of Indiana Jones type of game and was one of the first PS3 games and I must say its an awesome game with a good story line and not to easy levels to complete, so you can enjoy some long playtime, certainly when you are a beginner like me…

The only thing negative is that the PS3 does not have a lot of Kid rated games so far so my son (3 years old) can’t really play yet. I found Cars the movie game so probably going to buy that for him.

Gamefly.com


Feb
16

Craigslist and Swapacd.com

As you have seen I got an Ipod Touch after a few startup issues, mainly iTunes which I still hate to use, I got most of my music organized and under control to get into my Ipod Touch. So time to sell our CD collection, as it only takes up space and we won’t probably use those anymore.

So the wife made a big list on craigslist and I was amazed that within a couple of hours we had sold over 150 CD’s, now 1 week later we have only about 60 left mostly the CD’s everyone has.

image  Then the remainder of our CDs we have listed on a website called Swapacd.com. Its like a big matching site for books and cds, people who want your CD are automatically notified when you post a CD and when they agree you can print out a wrapper label completed with all information about the person and sent the CD and its front/back cover. It costs about 75 cents postage and then you get 1 credit for which you can request a CD you want to have + 0.49 cents per CD which is the fee the buyer pays to Swapacd.com.

I posted about 70 CDs and so far about 24 need to be sent by Monday, so that works great, after I have my credits I will request the CDs we would like to have.

I think this is a cheap and excellent way to increase your music collection……


Feb
05

Ipod Touch & Docking Station Griffin Evolve

Finally I decided last Friday to purchase an Ipod. This has been already for a couple years on my wish list. Initially I was debating of getting the classic Ipod video 30 or 80 gb but after my brothers in law showed off their Iphone respective Ipod touch, I decided to go for an Ipod touch as well. The 16GB should be sufficient enough to hold most of my music, video and photo content as I am pretty selective in adding this to my player.

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This is going to be a huge upgrade from my current 1GB mp3 / thumb drive, not even comparable. So I ordered my touch last Friday, guess what, today they announced the 32GB version, oh well, at this moment I don’t need the extra 16 GB for the extra 150 bucks anyway…

As we also are missing some music system in our house, we sold all our equipment when we left Amsterdam 2 years ago and did not purchase yet a new stereo or Home Theatre system, I also investigated some Docking stations. I came across the Griffin Evolve as this has wireless speakers you can place in any room. A bit expensive 299,- list price but on Ebay I bought a system for 1/3 off the price. It is all in shipping status at this moment, so can’t wait till it arrives coming week.

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The evolve has 2 boxes you can place 150 feet away (45.7m) from the base, it also can connect to your TV, stereo and home theatre system.

More info: Griffin Evolve


Dec
19

USB Flash storage and solid state

image Do you remember those days where you had 1.44mb diskettes, I still have them from like 6-8 years ago, then we got the USB sticks 10 mb, 1gb, 2gb showing  up in the last couple of years.

But now we are going to SSD (solid state drives) and USB Flash storage and it just blows my mind how much you can store on that. Its more then my home laptop which holds an 80GB drive, purchased 2 years ago.

Like this sweet USB stick…see below description from Engadget on it. And its only the size of a business card. Now its just waiting till prices drop right. I bet you any money in 2 years from now you can buy this stuff for less then 100 bucks and soon you will be able to have your whole digital photo, music and video library with you on not much more then this size of a credit card stick……and with the new OLED LCD technology you will be able to watch that stuff even at a reasonable display size to

Buffalo’s new SHD-UHRS series seems like it’s bringing the status quo up to 100GB. The USB 2.0 external drive uses two different types of flash memory to reach that capacity, yet it’s only about the size of a business card and weighs just two ounces. Those of you somehow entranced by the case design but lacking the ¥107,720 ($952) for the 100GB model needn’t worry, however: Buffalo is also shipping a 32GB version for a pretty competitive ¥35,400 ($312) and a 64GB model for ¥75,340 ($665).


Dec
17

Hulu streaming TV

I almost forgot I signed up for this but today I received an invitation to the beta version of Hulu, the online streaming TV shows library fron Newscorps NBC and FOX. I have been watching lately NBC’s and ABC’s website for mist episodes and really liked that. Hulu goes a step further by offering some old days shows like the A-Team, battlestar Galatica.

The quality with my Comcast internet is excellent, almost no interruptions in the stream and also the ads are only between 5 to maximum 30 seconds, so you barely notice any waiting time.

I hope they keep up with adding recent episodes on weekly basis. If you do want to testdrive Hulu sign up at hulu.
Here is a snapshot of one of the funniest Office Episodes – Paper Watermark


Dec
03

Tivo now integrating Picassa

On my wish list to buy very soon is the Tivo HD DVR. Today I heard the following news about them.


Tivo

Tivo owners with Picasa or Photobucket accounts just got another way to view their photos on their TVs — everyone’s favorite DVR company announced deals with both services today that will allow users to access their photos from any Tivo device. Photos will be pulled down at the highest resolution your Tivo supports, so Series3 and Tivo HD owners will get HD-res images displayed, and what’s more, users can also access friends’ photo albums. The feature should be rolling out starting today