Friday, April 24, 2009

MediaPortal 1.02 Coming Soon

UPDATE:  I messed this one up – the release isn’t actually out yet, but has been moved up on the schedule due to some problems with the 1.01 version.  Thanks for those letting me know in the comments.

We'll call it release Friday as we have our third release of the week.  MediaPortal, one of the more popular open-source and free HTPC software programs has plans to releas a new versions soon.  Earlier in the month (April 4th to be exact), MediaPortal released version 1.01 which included many TV-related features as well as various stability and usability improvements.  This week the team is moving up the 1.0.2 release arrived to address several bugs that appeared with 1.0.1.


Read more here!

Plex Media Center Releases 0.7.15

Plex, the popular, Mac-based media center software just released version 0.7.15 this week.  Lots of bug fixes as the Plex team works to wind down version 7.

What is Plex?

Plex, is a fork of the XBMC HTPC software.  It's free and very popular with Mac users.

What's New With Plex 0.7.8?

  • A new Now Playing Visualizer

Plex Now Playing Visualization

  • Support for Ratings in Plex Media Server Conent (star ratings etc)
  • Shuffle was added as a menu item on the context menu
  • iLife art
  • Ability to Data capture number of users, and basic information about where those users are and basic computer info.
  • New features for the Media Server Plugin
  • Numerous bug fixes

Read More about the latest version of Plex on the Plex Blog


Also be sure and check out the following recent plugins for Plex:

  • New Netflix Plugin
  • STV Play (Swedish content)
  • 4oD (British content)
  • Vimeo Plugin
  • Democracy Now! plugin

Read More about the Netflix Plugin and other plugins on the Plex Blog



  • Plex App Store - a centralized location for apps, plugins themes etc.  It's simple to get your plugins, simply select your add-on and everything gets installed automatically. 
  • Auto updates for installed plugins via the app store

SageTV 6.5.14 Beta Available

The SageTV team released another beta version of their HTPC product this week.  This one includes the finishing touches for their closed captioning support, improved preloading of thumnail images, Placeshifter improvemtents among other things.  Here's a summary of the highlights:

  • Added core support for handling subtitle delay settings (can only be used with external subtitle files)
  • Fixed bug where picture files would sometimes lose their relative path information (due to having negative timestamps)
  • Fixed significant performance bug related to focus change re-evaluations. This can be over a 2x improvement in speed in many areas that involved just moving around the cursor.
  • Added Placeshifter support for CC in ATSC/QAM files when used on a LAN
  • Added Mac support for CC in ATSC/QAM files
  • Added Mac support for using larger buffer sizes for high bandwidth transfers when the client supports it (HD extenders will on next firmware)
  • Added HD200 support for MP4/VosbSub subtitles (Nero subtitles) on the HD Theater (HD200)
  • Added HD200 support for VobSub subtitles embedded in Matroska (MKV) files (HD extender firmware update needed)
  • Fixed bugs in BluRay playback on HD200
  • Numerous improvements to SageTV Studio (for creating SageTV mods and add-ins)
  • Many other bug fixes and improvements


Check out the complete release notes and download at the SageTV Forums

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Looking For Reader Feedback on GeekTonic - Open Mic Day

As mentioned before, things have been pretty busy behind-the-scenes so GeekTonic posts have been a little slow.  I am however planning for the near future when things slow down enough to ramp up the GeekTonic content again and in that planning have been kicking around some ideas for possible future changes.  As the most important thing to me with GeekTonic is you the reader I thought I'd get your input on a few things.  This first round is mostly to get your feedback and ideas in an open forum of the comments, but I'll be doing a survey or two in the coming weeks to get more specific.

1. Content - I've leaned more and more towards HTPCs in the past six months but still cover other media gadgets such as MP3 players, eBook Readers etc.  What do you want to see here?  Would you rather we just stick with HTPC talk or continue covering all things media-gadget related?

2. Posting frequency - My ideal rate of articles is about two per day or at least one per day.  Is that too much, too little or just right for you?

3. Podcasts - I'm very unsure of whether to do a podcast at this point but thought I'd see what the readers thought to gauge if there was even any interest:

a. Do you listen to podcasts?  how often?

b. Would you be interested in a GeekTonic podcast?

c. If you would be interested in a GeekTonic podcast would you want it to be all HTPC, all SageTV, or all things media-gadget-related?

d. Would every other week for a podcast work or do you like weekly or monthly better?

4. Logo - I'm thinking of using the logo below.  Let me know if you prefer it over the current logo (the TV at the top of this page).

GT logo copy

I really like it, but thought I'd test the waters with you folks first...

This logo was created by Dan Sidler of - much thanks to Dan for that by the way!  Dan does great work so if you're interested in business cards, logos, flyers or other design, check out his site and send him a note.  Dan is a GeekTonic reader and submitted this entry into the GeekTonic Media Gadget Showcase 

5. How did you find GeekTonic? Did you discover GeekTonic via google, the most excellent ZatzNotFunny! (some GeekTonic posts are covered there also), one of the HTPC forums I frequent or elsewhere?

6. Any suggestions for changes at GeekTonic?  Layout, content, etc.


Feel free to comment on any or all of the items listed above.  Most of all, I just like to hear what the readers think about GeekTonic as I'm always looking to improve the site.  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The History of HTPCs

Mike Garcen at MissingRemote just posted what looks like one of the most comprehensive looks at the history of Home Theater PCs that I've ever seen.  Including screen-shots and a brief overview of all products.

The GeekTonic blog has been a little sparse the past two weeks as my time has been stretched so thin I barely have time to even read let alone write about the content you come here for, but this is a must-read for anyone even slightly interested in HTPC's.


Check it out at

Monday, April 20, 2009

Okoro Media Servers offer Windows or SageTV Media Center for High-End HTPCs

Okoro Media Server

Okoro Media Systems, maker of high-end HTPCs (Media Center Systems) has announced the Okoro 2009 RK Digital Entertainment Media server.  Something to note is that Okoro is offering their new media servers with Vista Media Center, SageTV, or with no HTPC software (install your own) as options.

The system is rack-mounted, includes an 80GB SSD drive for the operating system, up to 32 Terabytes  of storage, BluRay optical and 6GB of RAM.  Add to that impressive lineup of features RS-232 support, the capability of multi-zone audio, Russound or NuVo distributed music systems and UMPC or MID control and you can see this thing comes loaded.

This definitely is a high-end system and targeted at the custom installer - not the typical enthusiast.  But it is notable that they're including SageTV with SageTV HD Extenders and the Hauppauge HD-PVR as an option.

To see pricing, contact the Okoro sales team.


via ElectronicHouse

Sunday, April 19, 2009

TV Premieres: What To Watch April 19-25

Week 16 and 17 of the Spring 2009 TV Season has arrived.  An extremely light lineup but there are a few so read on for all of the details.
                     The New, Animated Series: Sit Down, Shut Up arrives on Fox on Sunday


Premieres and Returning Shows For this Week:

Sunday 04/12/2009

  • Sit Down, Shut Up (8:30pm on FOX-Avail in HD) series premiere of a new animated series with animated characters displayed against non-animated backgrounds.  The series depicts the lives and quirks of nine staffers at a high school in a small fishing town.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent (9:00pm on USA - Avail in HD) season 8 premieres.  If you don't know what Law and Order is you've been living the life of a mushroom.  And yes, this is way too many seasons of an offshoot series...
  • In Plain Sight (10pm on USA - Avail in HD) Season 2 of the show that follows the story of a Federal Marshal with the Witness Protection program who must hide her high-risk, high-impact job from her family.


Sunday 04/26/2009

  • I Want to Save Your Life (10pm on WE) The series premiere of yet another reality TV program.  This one covers health interventions by Charles Stuart Platkin, a nutrition and public health advocate, also known as the Diet Detective.  Wow, so much fun all in one series.  Yeah I'm going to go outside now....


That’s it for this week.  This should be it before the Summer TV Premiere List that should be ready next week.



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