Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Shorts

Light posting over the past many days due to an overwhelming amount of work at the day job.

March Madness - Zatz put up a good Slingbox commercial with a March Madness focus the other day.  And Mari at connectedhome2go has links to free online tournament game broadcasts as well.

I should note that I'll have a few March Madness posts coming soon including a March Madness Bracket Excel Template I've used and modified over the past few years for tracking the tournament.


Here's a few stories I'm reading on the web:

Report: DVR could turn Apple TV into multi-billion dollar business - an analyst had the obvious epiphany that AppleTV could actually be successful if Apple includes Digital Video Recording (DVR) capabilities to the device.  This isn't exactly a shocker to me or many other observers, but I wonder if it will be too late for Apple since they've had the patent for this since October 2006, but still haven't released anything yet.  If Apple had included this with the AppleTV already, I would wager a guess that the device would be almost as popular as the iPod.  Add to it some sort of cablecard support to tune encrypted digital, HD channels and you would have seen the AppleTV be a very hot item.  Instead, we are seeing Tivo, Slingbox, Microsoft's Vista Media Center, SageTV and BeyondTV innovating and capturing the largest share of the market.  If one of these three comes out with a simple-to-set-up HTPC server box (think pre-configured hardware) much like SageTV's HD extender, then I think that would be the winner in the power-HTPC/DVR category.  I have much to say about this concept that I'll be talking about later this week.  For more on this, ZatzNotFunny has a good post on this topic as well.

Tivo gets YouTube - Matt at the PVRBlog mentions that Tivo will be getting a YouTube channel later this year.  I have this already using SageTV's webvideos and have to say that it's nice, but it's on the use once-in-a-while category.  It is nice to pull up a quick YouTube video that's being talked about every so often.  Having access to it on your TV via remote control makes it much more like a channel than a website.

vistacapableWhat went wrong with the "Microsoft Vista Capable" label?  The NY Times has an interesting piece about the problems users have had moving to Vista and in particular upgrading computers that had the "Microsoft Vista Capable" label on the PC.  The article explains a class-action lawsuit moving forward against Microsoft along these lines.

UnLock Windows Files - The How-to Geek has a very useful tutorial on how to backup or copy files that are "locked" by windows.  To get around the "locked" file issue, he uses Hobocopy which is a command-line tool.  I can't tell you how many times this problem has caused me frustration.  Excellent tip by another of my favorite blogs.

DRM Sucks - Mari Sibley has a post on ZatzNotFunny about the troubles she's had with the DRM'd music on her iPod and the hoops she had to jump through to use a second iTunes computer to get songs to her iPod shuffle without losing the music on that iPod.  If the songs didn't have DRM on them it wouldn't have been an issue - this is why  I no longer purchase DRM'd music either.

Jericho Canceled Again? - It's being speculated on that Jericho will see its final episode this season.  The Hollywood Reporter and TVByTheNumbers both show pretty good cases for why this will happen.  This is not surprising given the quickly declining ratings of the excellent show and doubtful we'll see truckloads of nuts saving the show this time.  I'll have a complete list of what shows we'll be seeing in the Fall 2008 season coming soon.  In the meantime, you can check out my "how many shows remaining" list that I'm still maintaining almost daily.