Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hauppauge HD-PVR Component Video Recorder Delayed


The Hauppauge HD-PVR device which was originally to be available by March 31st and then "April or May" and now Hauppauge sales is saying the device "should hit the market toward the end of May, early June."  Another tidbit I've picked up is that the HD-PVR will not initially be compatible with Microsoft Media Center, but Hauppauge is working on Media Center support and hopes to have MC support sometime summer 2008.  I'm expecting to see support for this device in both SageTV and BeyondTV since representatives from both of those companies have mentioned the device and seem to understand the extra capability it would bring to their software programs.  The thing that makes Media Center support more difficult is the fact that there is currently no Vista Native support for h.264 which would be required.  My guess is that we'll see h.264 support on Vista Media Center with the next release as they roll out the DirectTV Card support that according to a post on Chris Lanier's blog is rumored to be inching closer along with the codename fiji update.

The Hauppauge HD-PVR is a device that will let us record digital television straight from any component video output like a cable box, satellite box or even that HD  (read more on the Hauppauge HD-PVR recorder here). 

Why is this device so exciting?   Any analog video out of your typical HD set-top box has been termed the "Analog Hole". This term was coined by those in the industry as one way people could get HD content isn't protected from being copied or moved in any way.  The HDMI digital connection that are quickly becoming the standard do protect the content so component out was the only loophole.

Thus far, it has been nearly impossible to record encrypted digital channels (think ESPN HD or HBO etc) to your Home Theater PC unless you have purchased a pre-configured, Microsoft Vista Media Center computer that has CableCard tuner/s pre-installed.  This was expensive and inflexible - especially if you prefer other HTPC programs such as SageTV, Beyond TV, GBPVR, Media Portal, Meedios or MythTV.  With this device, if it works as expected we'll be able to plug it into the outgoing component outputs of any HD device such as a cable box then tune and record that HD content. 

Friday, March 28, 2008

Theory that Frightfully Makes Sense for Lost TV Mysteries

lost2008A theory on the many mysteries of the Lost TV Show has been posted on the web that actually make some sense.  The basic gist of it is that everything circles around a time machine and then goes into a much deeper (really deep) explanation for nearly every mystery surrounding the Lost show.  If you're a Lost fan like I am and have the time to kill, check out his website (yes a website just for this theory) and see what you think.  The website is full of photos, timelines, Q&A, rebuttals and evidence. 


Lost: A Theory on Time Travel

The site has been dugg a bit much today so if the above link doesn't work try this link which is a mirror of the site

Thursday, March 27, 2008

How to Replace Smartskip with Comskip in BeyondTV

If you're a BeyondTV user you already know that it comes loaded with its own commercial detection they call SmartSkip.  I've used Smartskip with BeyondTV and it works, but its not perfect and what they give you is what you get.  If you want a commercial skipping engine that is constantly updated, more configurable and can run while your still recording the show then I recommend you give the excellent comskip program a try.  I'll show you how to set up comskip within BeyondTV - it's not too difficult and you'll be happy you put in the extra effort.


Comskip is a program developed by Erik Kaashoek.  It's freeware (donations accepted) and its continually updated to work with all of the popular HTPC programs and detect the latest in TV commercial methods.


  • Commercial detection process is faster
  • Commercial detection is more accurate and methods are updated with new version often
  • Comskip is very configurable.  Detect only certain channels or shows, detect during recording or after or only during certain times if  you want.

NOTE: This tutorial is for BeyondTV users only.  Please read this post for the tutorial on installing comskip with other HTPC software programs.


1. Download Comskip from here 

2. Unzip Comskip to a directory on your BTV PC.

3. Edit your comskip.ini file (this is where the settings are kept).  I have a copy of my comskip.ini file below with those settings I changed highlighted in bold red:

cuttermaran_options="cut=\"true\" unattended=\"true\" muxResult=\"false\" snapToCutPoints=\"true\" closeApp=\"true\""
mpeg2schnitt_options="mpeg2schnitt.exe /S /E /R25 /Z %2 %1"
avisynth_options="LoadPlugin(\"MPEG2Dec3.dll\") \nMPEG2Source(\"%s\")\n"
dvrcut_options="dvrcut \"\" \"\" "
windowtitle="Comskip - %s" play_nice_sleep=12

4. You'll now need to download the customprocess.xml file from Snapstream.  This file is used to define the processing tasks to be run on recordings and how & when these tasks are run.  Put the customprocess.xml file into the "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SnapStream\Beyond TV" directory.  If you need more detail on this step read this Snapstream knowledge-base article

5. Download the BTV DLL file ssppcmd.dll from Snapstream and place this file in the "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SnapStream\Beyond TV\Plugins" directory.  If you need more detail on this step read this Snapstream knowledge-base article

6. Edit "CustomProcess.xml" (see copy of the file below) and replace "ENTER THE PATH OF YOUR COMMAND HERE" with the absolute path of an executable that takes a filename as a command line argument.   In our case our command-line file will be called "batch.bat" so if you put it in C:\Program Files\BTVComskip\, you'll make this path "C:\Program Files\BTVComskip\batch.bat"

This executable will then be run on every file generated by Beyond TV.


This program (batch.bat) is executed for every recording in BeyondTV. Because it is set to Deferred it will execute immediately after a show finishes recording (as long as you have "time constraints" disabled in BTV Webadmin Settings.

EDIT:  Per Snapstreams post-processing steps, if you change Deferred in the Priority tags with Immediate, the script will run regardless of the time constraints.  Thanks to Nick Burns for this reminder :)

7. Download the comskip playback script HERE (created by cmcquistion) [Note: this script is updated occasionally by cmcquistion so be sure and check this thread for the latest updates.

Again, be sure you change the line (in bold) of "Enter The Path of Your Comskip Batch Folder Here" to whatever folder you have the comskip.exe installed to.

:: Comskip script to commercial detection on Videos, using Comskip
:: (Last Edited 03-22-07)
IF EXIST "%~pdn1*log*" DEL "%~pdn1*log*"
IF EXIST "%~pdn1*txt" DEL "%~pdn1*txt"
IF EXIST "%~pdn1*index.dat" DEL "%~pdn1*index.dat"
IF EXIST "%~pdnx1.chapters.xml" DEL "%~pdnx1.chapters.xml"
IF EXIST "%~pdn1.chp" DEL "%~pdn1.chp"
IF EXIST "%~pdn1.vprj" DEL "%~pdn1.vprj"
ECHO Running Commercial Detection, using Comskip
"%COMSKIPFOLDER%\comskip.exe" "%~pdnx1"
:: clean up log and txt files
IF EXIST "%~pdn1*log*" DEL "%~pdn1*log*"
IF EXIST "%~pdn1*txt" DEL "%~pdn1*txt"
IF EXIST "%~pdn1*index.dat" DEL "%~pdn1*index.dat"

Note from the creator of the script:  "For all of these scripts to work, you should NOT have any MPG, TP, or VPRJ files on the root of your video drive. The QSF and CUT scripts actually output video to the root of the drive, as a temporary location. They also check the root of the drive, to see if MPG, TP, or VPRJ files already exist there. This is done as a crude method of determining whether another QSF or CUT job is already running."

Credit to cmcquistion who worked all of this process out and continues to update his thread on the topic here.  cmcquistion outlines a process to include cutting the commercials and fixing OTA recording errors as well, but for simplicity (and the fact I didn't need to do it) I've kept that portion of the process out of this post.


If you need further assistance with comskip, head over to the comskip forums.  For help on the Snapstream side of things check out this snapstream forums thread

NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen TV Guide


We're down to the sweet sixteen in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Here's the guide to what games are on with start times.

Day Time (eastern) Team Team
3/27 Thursday 7:10 West Virginia (7) Xavier (2)
3/27 Thursday 7:27 Washington St. (4) North Carolina (1)
3/27 Thursday 9:40 Western Kentucky (12) UCLA (1)
3/27 Thursday 9:57 Lousiville (3) Tennessee (2)
03/28 Friday 7:10 Davidson (10) Wisconsin (3)
03/28 Friday 7:27 Stanford (3) Texas (2)
03/28 Friday 9:40 Villanova (12) Kansas (1)
03/28 Friday 9:57 Michigan St (5) Memphis (1)


More March Madness:

March Madness TV Coverage Online & Broadcast

March Madness Bracketology - Play Online

March Madness Bracket - Printable Excel Spreadsheet Download

March Madness Map

TV Shows Status - Episodes Remaining, Status on Next Season

If you're a TV junkie or even a casual TV watcher, you'll want to check out the TV Status Watch page.  There are running updates for nearly all television shows with information on the number of episodes remaining, whether they are being renewed for next season and when the next episode airs.  Also included are updates on the Last Spring 2008 and Summer 2008 premiers.


The listing was started in response to the Writers Strike and the affect it had on television programming, but by popular demand has morphed into a complete listing of television shows and their current status. 

You'll find the following:

1. Shows with new episodes remaining Spring 2008 & Summer 2008 (and how many)

2. Shows with no remaining episodes but renewed for next season

3. Shows with no remaining episodes but renewal decision is "on the fence"

4. Shows with no remaining episodes and canceled permanently

Read the TV Shows Status Page

Coming soon on this blog you'll see the complete Summer 2008 TV Season Guide as well as the Fall 2008 TV Season Guide so stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Netflix Says Sorry and Gives 5% Credit

I thought I'd follow up on the all-day Netflix Outage I reported on Monday.  Because I was one of those whose movie delivery was affected by the outage, Netflix sent me a nice e-mail apologizing and giving me a 5% credit for my inconvenience.  I think it was a nice gesture that is appreciated.


Comskip Improvements - Version 0.79.125

Do you use Comskip for your Home Theater PC commercial skipping?  If so, be sure to check out the latest updates to comskip.  Erik, the developer of comskip has been busy making the comskip program even better - so don't forget to give your thank-you by donating.

Comskip version 0.79.125 - 0.79.114 Includes:

  • HDHomeRun tuner improvement - set max_repair_size=0 for HDHomerun recordings.
  • HDHomeRun tuner improvement - when a HDHomeRun recording has a track that doesn't include sound, after 50 frames another track is automatically selected.
  • High Speed Comskip for HD frames only by setting skip_b_frames=2 (donators only version)
  • High Speed Comskip for both SD & HD frames only by setting skip_b_frames=1 (donators only version)
  • More efficient transcoding or automatic aspect ration switching during playback - Adding output_aspect=1 to you ini file will instruct comskip to generate a .aspects file. This file lists the input resolution and aspect ratio changes.
  • Detection of resolution change for digital recording changes - RESOLUTION_CHANGE (detect_method 8), replaces the unused FUZZY_LOGIC (which is always on). Resolution_change will insert a hard cutpoint when the resolution of a digital recording changes.
  • Improved accuracy during reviewing of cutpoints.  Comskip could be up
    to 15 frames off during preview.
  • Option for extra speed on HD logo scanning (makes logo detection slightly less effective) - Added ini parameter: edge_step=1 Set to 2
  • Default comskip.ini file has now output_edl=1 to ensure correct
    skipping in SageTV and GBPVR
  • Various other bug fixes

If you use Comskip, don't wait.  Head over to the comskip page to download and install your updates.


If you're new to commercial skipping on Home Theater PC software such as SageTV, Windows MediaCenter, GBPVR or Media Portal read: Skip Commercials With The Press of a Button

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not Watching The News? Network TV News Rating Plummet

Nielsen Media Research has an amazing chart showing the plummeting ratings for the evening news viewership.  This won't come as a surprise to many of us, but fewer and fewer people are watching the Network News.  I'm guessing the DVR effect isn't helping either as those who might even record the news and watch it later just skim through it.


Unlike some in my age group, I used to watch network news but now pick it up rarely.  Any more I get my news from newspapers (yes the paper kind), internet sources, cable news and radio.  Newspaper readership continues to drop by over 2% per year while News Magazine readership continues to fall as well.  The outlets that seem to be increasing in viewers/readers are Cable News and Internet.

I'm guessing that every news outlet has dropped in viewership/readership over the past ten years except for internet sources.  I just hope they are picking the newsier internet sources.

Source:  and Slate

Monday, March 24, 2008

Netflix Down - All Day Long

This morning when I browsed over to Netflix to add the new releases for the week to my queue, I was greeted with a login error.  Within minutes I couldn't even get a warning message at  Well after what must be a very long day at Netflix HQ, the site is still down.  Here's what you'll be greeted with at


As of 7PM Central Time, the site still gives you the message above.

Since I returned a movie this past Saturday, I wonder if they sent me the next one in my queue????  Is it just the website or the whole system I wonder.



UPDATE:  As of 8PM (almost 13 hours) this evening the Netflix site is finally back up.


My movie I returned Saturday shows as being received today, but the next on is shipping tomorrow (normally would ship today) and from the looks of the comments on HackingNetflix, it looks like the problem affected many people with their shipments.  Looks like this was much more significant than a "website" downtime.

DVR Users Watch More TV, Purchase Less Advertised Goods

Its become obvious to the Television Networks and the Advertisers who pay the Networks bills that DVRs are having an impact on their business.  The big question has been what kind of impact?  Some have said DVRs cause people to watch more, and they are still watching commercials too.  Well today AdAge has a story that talks about how the DVR is affecting the actual purchase of goods advertised on television. 



The results of a three-year study by Information Resources Inc. show a statistical drop in purchases of brand-name, advertised goods for DVR families versus non-DVR families.  The study also found that spending dropped by as much as 5% in homes with DVRs and that drop in spending directly affected those brands being advertised in television.

One interesting finding was that do-it-yourself, food, home & garden as well as lower quality shows were time-shifted less often than other types of programming.  It attributed this to the type of viewer as well as the fact that many of these shows are watched by channel surfers who are less apt to fast forward through commercials.


Last month, Nielsen announced findings of their study showing a significant increase in television viewing and some shifts in the way people were watching television due to the DVR-effect:

  • Time Shifting of Television shows extends prime-time viewing to later in the evening (this happens in my house just so we can skip the commercials.
  • The more viewers time-shift their shows, the more TV they watch.
  • Dramas account for 1/3rd of all time-shifted viewing while talk shows, soaps and reality programming are also heavily time-shifted.

Both studies show that DVRs have a significant impact on the television industry.  I think we'll continue to see less Dramas on non-premium TV channels, more in-show product placement, more online television content where it is difficult to skip the commercials and fewer broadcast networks in the long run.  DVRs are here to stay so the industry has no choice except to evolve with those changes.

Ad Age Story

Nielsen Story

SageTV Web Interface - Control SageTV over the Web

One of my favorite Home Theater PC software programs is SageTV.  SageTV turns your PC into a souped-up TIVO that can do DVR functions, movies, music and so much more.  For new users of SageTV, the first plugin I always recommend they install is the user-created and supported SageTV Web User Interface.  This excellent plugin gets called many names including webserver, webguide and webadmin; but the important thing to know is that SageTV Web Interface is a free, SageTV personalized, online TV guide and much, much more.


The SageTV Web Interface allows you to remotely view your personal TV guide, view streamed live or recorded TV programs, remotely schedule and manage your recorded television programs, manage and view (or listen to) your music, pictures, dvds and videos that reside on your SageTV at home.  Install SageTV Web Interface on your SageTV PC and access it from any machine with a web browser, including your cell phone or mobile device.  It works with any Windows operating systems as well as Linux.  Even if you already use SageTV and Web Interface, it's likely that there are features that you didn't even realize were there.  The developer for the SageTV Web Inteface is known as Nielm on the SageTV forums and has been very active in updating this plugin with new features as well as working on his many other add-ons for SageTV.


  • Online TV Guide that shows your channels, your scheduled recordings (favorites) and whether the episode is a new one or a repeat.  View by EPG List, EPG Grid, by channel, Primetime by day, Movies only, List of watched shows
  • Add, edit or remove a recording to your SageTV at home from across the internet.
  • Conflict Resolution - when you have recordings that conflict with each other (for instance you have two tuners but three recordings scheduled at the same time) you can resolve that conflict online by having one of the conflicting recordings rescheduled to a later airing.
  • Manual Recordings - Set up a manual recording on any channel that will last a set amount of time or manually set a certain show to record.
  • Advanced Search of: SageTV Recordings, TV Guide, DVDs and other videos on your SageTV, Music by genre track or album, and photos.
  • View all SageTV Recordings and advanced management of those recordings
  • View all upcoming SageTV upcoming recordings and advanced management of those upcoming recordings
  • Edit recorded show information
  • Download any media file from your SageTV across the internet
  • Play (stream) liveTV or any media file from your SageTV across the internet (including recorded TV shows, music, movies etc.
  • Export any video or music playlists
  • Export or import any show imformation via Xml file
  • RSS feeds for Recording Schedule, Recording Conflicts, and Intelligent Suggestions
  • Video conversion management - Execute a conversion of media content from a standard mpg file to ipod or various other video formats such as AppleTV, DVD, MPEG4, PSP, RAZR and iPod.  View status of video conversions underway.
  • View SageTV intelligent recommendations - SageTV "watches" your viewing habits and can make recommendations on shows you might be interested in based on those viewing habits.
  • RSS and XML output of almost all lists mentioned above.
  • View SageTV Status including: What content is being viewed on any SageTV device (including extenders), what content is being recorded on each tuner, Upcoming recordings per tuner, Connected clients, video disk space, last & next program guide update as well as stats on all of your media library.
  • Manually force a program guide update
  • Manually force a media library scan (check disk for new media content)
  • Webremote - an internet-based remote control that can control any SageTV device including your extenders. 
  • For example, you could use this on your internet-capable mobile phone (iPhone or otherwise) to act as a remote control for SageTV.  [For the webremote to have access to the client, it has to run in the client instance. To do this, you have to add the load_at_startup_runnable_classes=net.sf.sageplugins.webserver.StartServer line to the file instead of the file.]
  • Shutdown or reboot any SageTV extender via the web.
  • Import BeyondTV recordings (with episode details) into SageTV.
  • Sync videos to the iPod - Using iTunes and podcasts, you can sync certain (or all) shows and/or videos to your iPod.

The Web Interface Works via drop-down menu's:

Main Menu

TV Program Guide (EPG) Menu Options

Schedule Recordings Menu

Media Library Menu Options

SageTV Web Interface Resources:

Detailed Instructions, full version history - SageTV Web Interface Wiki

SageTV Forum Thread for Web Interface - WebInterface Forum Thread

Download Page for SageTV Web Interface - SourceForge Page


BASIC INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS (for more detailed instructions, check out this wiki)

Download and install the web interface
1. First you need to download the Windows Installer of Web Interface from SourceForge.  The download is just under 900K in size and is a java web server embedded into the SageTV process so IIS or Apache needed.

NOTE:  For Linux installation, read these special installation steps

2. Shutdown SageTV, SageTVClient, and the SageTVService (if you're using in service mode)

3. Run the installer and choose a username and password.  Be sure and write these down and use something you'll remember later on.

4. Next you'll see a setup window like this one:

Webguide 1 Installer

Here you can choose the port you'll use to access web interface.  The default is 8080 and 8081.  If you're not familiar with this sort of thing leave these settings alone, but if you would like to customize and choose different ports for the web interface this is where you do that.  For purposes of this tutorial, we'll leave everything the default settings as is.

5. Click on the "Next" button and choose "Install".

6. Now restart SageTV and on the same PC that you installed the web interface open a web browser.  In the browser type http://localhost:8080/sage/home.  You should see a login screen that asks for your username & password - type those in using the same information you used for the web interface setup.  You should now see a screen similar to this one which is the main SageTV web interface page.

7. Next we need to change some settings on your router to allow outside access (over the internet) to your online web interface.  To do this we need to enable port-forwarding for the port you chose (8080 is the default).  My router is a linksys WRT54G and this page will vary from router-to-router, but the concept is the same. 

  • In the start and end fields type in the port you chose in setup (8080 is the default) insert the IP address of the PC you have SageTV installed on (Note: It's easiest if this PC has a static IP address on your LAN. If you need instructions for this, check out this how-to on LifeHacker)
  • Make sure the "enable" checkbox is selected.
  • Click on save settings.

Web Interface 2 PortForward

If you need help on port-forwarding check out this page for further assistance.

8. You can now access your Web Interface within your home network using

http://(SageTV PC's IP address):(SageTV PC's port)

You can also access the web interface page from the internet (outside your home network) by changing the "SageTV PC's IP address" to your PC's internet IP address. To find out our PC's interent IP address go to THIS LINK from your SageTV PC's web browser.

  • (If you would like to make an easier to remember address instead of your ip address, follow the steps above) Create a DynDNS account HERE, select (or any domain name from their list), add your own sub domain, then configure the router with the account information

    • Download the DynDNS Updater HERE
    • Install & set up your DynDNS Updater to log into the DynDNS account you created with your username and password
    • It will take care of the rest for you. It will now update send your Internet IP address to the DynDNS address automatically.
    • You should now be able to access your SageTV Web Interface using an address like this:

    You're now set.  You can now access the SageTV web interface for your SageTV from anywhere you have an Internet connection! 


    • Remote Control SageTV with a mobile phone browser

    • View a list of all of your Recordings from the web.  You can then play these streamed across the web, delete recordings, edit show information and more.

    Web Interface 2

    • View the TV Guide for the past 2 days, current day and any day in the future for which you have guide information (typically 7 days or more).  From the TV Guide page you can:
      • select one of the shows with your mouse and set it to record that one show
      • set that show as a favorite so it will record all future, new shows or all future airings of that show
      • see additional airings of that show
      • Search IMDB or for further information about the show

    Web Interface 3

    • Search your list of media.  The following screen-shot shows a list of my movie collection (DVD's and mpg's both) sorted by name.  You can also search for a specific title as well.  Once you find the movie you're looking for you can also play it streamed over the net.  Notice the XML and RSS buttons at the top-right of the screen?  This can be used in various ways.  I've used the XML button to download an xml file listing all tv recordings or all movies.  I can then open up this file in excel to see the listing of these files, location on my various hard drives, descriptions etc.  The RSS button could be used many different ways - I've used it to show you any new media added to my SageTV.  For instance I'll search for all movies, subscribe to my RSS reader (I use Google Reader) using the RSS button and then every time a new movie is added, it shows up in Google Reader.

    Web Interface 4

    • This is another search I did like the one above except this one was for music.  You can search be album, title artist etc.  Again, you can stream this music over the net, subscribe by RSS or output a listing using the XML button.

    Web Interface 5

    • The screen-shot below is a listing of the playlists in SageTV.  From this page you can stream the playlist over the web (see the wvx, m3u and pls buttons).  You can also export the playlists to your remote PC over the web.

    Web Interface 6

    Finally, do you want to customize your webguide?  Add different access levels for multiple users, change the viewing style, add channel logos, change the layout color, disk bar and more?  Check out this page for details on ways you can customize the webguide.

    Want to add access to other files not even on your SageTV?  Here's Nielm's how-to for doing this.

    As you can see, SageTV Web Interface is a powerful tool for a free application.  If you're a SageTV user, this is a must-have application.  If you want to take your mobile HTPCing a step further, SageTV also offers the SageTV Placeshifter which puts the familiar SageTV interface on your laptop or other mobile PC.  With it you can use SageTV away from home with the familiar SageTV interface.  It streams content to your remote PC transcoding the content as necessary depending on your connection.  The SageTV Placeshifter does cost to use (after the trial period), but its another nice application similar to Orb and Slingbox.


    If you use Snapstream's BeyondTV, you can read my post on accessing BeyondTV's similar online, web admin across the internet and placeshifting content using Beyond TV's webadmin

    For Microsoft Media Center users, there is the excellent webguide application created by Doug Berett.


    Related SageTV Content:

    Control Netflix Watch Now Playback With Your Remote Control
    Skip Commercials With a Press of a Button - HTPC How To
    Now Playing - SageTV Netflix Plugin with Watch Instantly Support
    Supercharge Your HTPC with SageTV's SageMC
    How To Convert Beyond TV Shows into SageTV
    SageTV HD Extender STX-HD100 Review

  • Sunday, March 23, 2008

    In Review - The Past Weeks Posts on Geek Tonic

  • Beyond TV Version 4.8.1 Released

    Snapstream - the maker of Beyond TV, one of the easiest to setup and use software-based PVR applications has released an update to it's BeyondTV (Like Tivo except for PC's) software for Windows.   March Madness TV Coverage Online & Broadcast

  • NCAA SCHEDULES - Wondering where you can catch a particular NCAA Tournament game this month?  The tournament officially started this week and there are plenty of options to watch the March Madness Games.   TV NETWORKS (Traditional): Complete CBS/NCAA Tournament Schedule -…


  • March Madness Map

    I found a nice looking Map of the March Madness teams with their logo's and stats on size etc.  If you're a NCAA Basketball fanatic around tournament time, check this one out.

  • March Madness Bracketology - Play Online

    Are you a March Madness College Basketball Fan?  Struggling over how to fill out your picks for the NCAA tournament bracket?  Here's a couple (okay a lot) of resources for you to help make those final picks before the tournament starts.  There's just a few places on the web where you can…

  • Auto Tennis Ball Thrower - For Your Dog

    I love dogs - especially the smart, but geeky dogs so when I saw this video of a dog putting a tennis ball into an automatic ball throwing machine, I had to share it with you.  This is the perfect thing for the lazy owner who wants his dog to be in better shape than he is.

  • March Madness Bracket - Printable Excel Spreadsheet Download

    Get your March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament Brackets.  I have an excel spreadsheet (suitable for any Basketball Geek) that lets you select your picks from a drop-down and easily print & save your picks.  It's free, easy and is now pre-filled with all of the teams in the bracket. 

  • Hauppauge HD-PVR Component Video Recorder Update

    There's more news from the CeBIT show that just ended this past weekend in Germany regarding the Hauppauge HD-PVR - a device that will let us record digital television straight from any component video output like a cable box, satellite box or even that....

  • Control Netflix Watch Now Playback With Your Remote Control

    You can control Netflix Watch Now playback with your remote.  All you need is a remote control, a infrared receiver like the USBUIRT and a program like girder .  I'll show you how I'm doing this and share with you my girder gml file which you can download as well. I've been using the…

  • Home Theater Tip - Buy Quality Inexpensive HDMI Cables

    I'm setting up my SageTV HD100 today and one key components is the HDMI cable that I'll use to connect the HD extender to the LCD television.  One thing I learned long ago was to not buy my theater cables from the big-box retailers.  That includes Best Buy, Circuit City, Walmart and the…