Friday, July 24, 2009

Deal of the Day - Hauppauge HD-PVR $150 with Free Shipping

Hauppauge Computer HD PVR High Definition Personal Video Recorder (1212)

Have you been on-the-fence about getting a Hauppauge HD-PVR to record all of your TV channels including the encrypted ones on your HTPC?  Well we have what I think is the cheapest price for the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212 ever.

Dell has the Hauppauge HD-PVR component tuners (read more about it here) for your HTPC setup now for $149.99 with free shipping:

Dell has the Hauppauge Computer HD PVR High Definition Personal Video Recorder (1212) for $149.99 (239.99 less $60 coupon code 1B0MP6701R759C and $30 Mail In Rebate.  Plus free shipping!

If you're planning to get one don't wait - the offer expires July 29th 2009. 

Thanks to John for the tip!


For more tech deals – especially those HTPC and Media Gadget related ones, check out GeekTonicDeals.

Here’s a sampling of a few of the more recent deals on GeekTonic Deals:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Roku Getting Mediafly – and something even better?


According to Dave Zatz at ZatzNotFunny, the Roku box is getting Mediafly this fall. Mediafly aggregates free audio and video podcasts along with other clients for the iPhone, popcorn hour, chumby, blackberry and RSS.

Zatz also hints at another service coming to the Roku, but doesn’t go as far as saying who.  Whiile it would certainly be nice, I’m betting against Hulu and Roku already has Amazon On Demand so I wonder what it is?  Hmm.

Read more at ZatzNotFunny!

SageTV V6.6.1 Released from Beta

After a ton of beta updates (I count 20!) and beta firmware updates, SageTV has finally released V6.6.1 from beta.  So if you’re one of those not wanting to tread the waters of beta-land your wait is over because the official release of SageTV 6.6 has arrived.  This is a no-cost upgrade for owners of any previous SageTV 6.x software.

There were a bunch of updates in there, but the highlights include:

  • Lots of bug fixes, performance & stability enhancements
  • Closed Captioning support
  • Support for a wide variety of Subtitle formats
  • BDMV folder (BluRay) support on the HD200 for playback of the main movie with support for audio track selection, subtitles and chapters
  • Overhauled channel setup & channel scanning for digital TV tuners
  • System Message functionality for simplified system monitoring
  • Placeshifter automatic logins

This cycle has been one of my favorites for SageTV.  You can stream a Blu-Ray disk from the SageTV server to your HD200, a very improved channel setup with channel scanning for digital TV tuners, very useful system messages, improved Hauppauge HD-PVR support and more.

The software can be downloaded from here:


Also released from beta is the new firmware for the SageTV HD100 Extender and the SageTV HD200 Theater.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GreenButton Forums Gets a Makeover

The official Windows Media Center forums website, GreenButton received a long overdue makeover yesterday.  Greenbutton has been a go-to place for Media Center users for a long time and just recently was purchased by Microsoft.  Yesterday they did an update to the forums that includes a “feedback” link, a new look, improved speed and other nice forum features.

Here’s the official message about the update on GreenButton:

Thank you all for your patience during our migration process today. We are happy to welcome you to the new community website. We all hope you enjoy the new look, features, and speed of the site. We know this has been anticipated for quite some time and apologize for the delay in getting it to you.

Make sure to check out the new "Feedback" link for those of you looking to submit data quality issues. This is yet another step on our part to help us communicate with our customers to try and make our services and product even better.

A quick note regarding search, I wanted to point out that the community is indexing the posts and this may take some time to complete. In the meantime, the search results may not be quite what you're expecting, but hopefully once the indexing is complete you'll find a better experience.

If you find yourself having an issue with the site, or simply have feedback you'd like to share, please send mail to:

A screenshot of the forums is below:

Check out the updated forums here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Netflix Tip – Keep Up with DVD & Blu-Ray Newly Releases

New Movie Releases on

I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for a long time now.  There are so many movies available on Netflix it’s sometimes difficult to keep up and even more difficult to sift through the pack of new releases.  One of the first RSS subscriptions I added when I started Netflix was 

At HackingNetflix they do a weekly “New Releases” post with an abbreviated list of his picks for new release movies along with a full list of new releases with a short synopsis of each movie and hyperlink to the Netflix movie rental.  Netflix has something similar in their RSS feeds, but I like the way HackingNetflix summarizes all of them each Monday.

July 21st List of new Netflix Releases at HackingNetflix

MeediOS Gets External Player Support with PlayMini

The MeediOS team continues to work on the new, MeediOS (successor to Meedio) program and up to now, users could really only use MeediOS in its current for for testing and continued developing.  But today a new external player plugin called PlayMini was released that allows you to run different external players for media.  This won’t be super-exciting news for non-Meedio users (yet), but it will definitely be welcomed by Meedio and MeediOS users.

MeediOS PlayMini

To avoid confusion, here’s a rundown of Meedio vs. MeediOS


    • Meedio = older, full-featured HTPC program based on the classic HTPC software we knew as Meedio.
    • MeediOS = new, still-in-alpha HTPC program being developed as the replacement for Meedio.

The PlayMini plugin is a “mini” replacement for Playmee, known to Meedio users as a very valuable plugin.  It’s not intended as a full-blown, feature-packed plugin yet.  For now it allows Meedio fans to use MeediOS to watch videos with their favorite player instead of having to switch back to the older program, Meedio.

Read More at the Meedios forums

DRM – Dead For Music Downloads – Video DRM Just Getting Started


In a bold, exciting headline TorrentFreak declares that “DRM is Dead, RIAA Says.”  I concur that DRM is definitely dead for music downloads and it is certainly a milestone that representatives of the RIAA are admitting it now.  But we still have a very long way to go – just look at video.

Music Download DRM is Dead

The torrentfreak article explains the context of the quote this way:

Jonathan Lamy, chief spokesperson for the RIAA declared DRM dead, when he was asked about the RIAA's view on DRM for an upcoming SCMagazine article. "DRM is dead, isn't it?" Lamy said, referring to the DRM-less iTunes store and other online outfits that now offer music without restrictions.

Hearing that the RIAA is declaring DRM dead for music is nice – although we’ve known this for a while now (to say the least) even if they haven’t.  There are now many avenues to get DRM-free digital downloads of music from Amazon, iTunes and other legitimate sources.  But how about DRM on video?

DRM on TV, Movies and eBooks – Just Getting Started

Just as music DRM is going away, DRM on TV streaming (Hulu etc), Cable TV Tuning (Encrypted Digital QAM/ CableCard & soon Satellite TV Tuners?), Video Downloads (iTunes & Amazon) and DVDs & Blu-Ray Disks all have plenty of DRM or encryption with copy restrictions making it more difficult to view and listen to the media you purchase.  I use the word purchase a little loosely since the media you pay for with DRM really is intended to be more of a “rental” of sorts.

You’re Renting those DRM’d Media – not owning

Take for instance the Amazon debacle of last week.  Yes the books Amazon pulled from customers Kindles were in fact “unauthorized.”  But the fact that Amazon pulled the books right from customers Kindles (even though they did credit the money back to those customers) without notice or an “ok” from the owner of those Kindles shows one of the dangers of DRM’d media.  Many other examples of DRM’d music going away when the “DRM server” was pulled are all examples of why we do not want DRM on items we purchase.

DRM on All CableTV – Removing the “Analog Hole”

Let’s not forget that the MPAA had plans to some day close the “analog hole.”  Which would mean forcing video to HDMI-only.  The MPAA push for something they call "Selectable Output Control" (SOC), a way of ensuring your set-top cable box can't show certain content on the analog output so you won't copy it is another example of “locking down” the content and forcing you to their limited rules.  The MPAA request was knocked down by the FCC last year, but I don’t see the MPAA giving up this fight any time soon either.

There Must Be a Better Way

The ills of DRM have been widely talked about of course as have the reasons media companies have put encryption and DRM onto that media.  My problem with DRM is mostly around the shackles it puts on your use of that media.  It hinders the use of the media on your Home Theater PC, mobile devices, eBook Readers etc and makes it more difficult for the paying customers to enjoy the media they are willing to pay for.  There has to be a better way – lets hope the other media industries come around faster than the music industry has and finds a better solution than DRM.

For the full article on the death of music DRM check out TorrentFreak

via Lifehacker

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TV Premieres: What To Watch 07/19 - 07/25

Our last few weeks of summer TV premieres arrive.  Read on for all of the details.

Note:  Download the free, PDF of all summer 2009 TV premieres


Torchwood Children of Earth

           Torchwood: Children of Earth Miniseries premieres Monday on BBCA

NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST

Sunday 07/19/2009

Labor Pains (8pm on ABC Family- Available in HD) An original film on ABC Family

ESPY Awards (9pm on ESPN- Available in HD)

HGTV Design Star (10pm on HGTV - Available in HD)

Ace of Cakes (10pm on Food) Season premier


Monday 07/20/2009

Torchwood: Children of Earth (9pm on BBCA - Available in HD) Original miniseries premiere

Dating in the Dark (10pm on ABC) – New series premiere


Tuesday 07/21/2009

Hell’s Kitchen (8pm on Fox) – 2-hour season premiere

Ruby & the Rockits (8:30pm on ABC Family- Available in HD) – Series premiere


Saturday 07/25/2009

Being Human (9pm on BBCA - Available in HD) – Series premiere


Season Finales this Week:

  • 7/19 7pm "Valentine" on CW
  • 7/23 8:30pm “Samantha Who?” on ABC – The end of this series
  • 7/23 10pm “Southern Belles” on SoapNet
  • 7/23 10pm “The Fashion Show” on Bravo
  • 7/24 8pm “The Chopping Block” on NBC – appropriately the end of this series
  • 7/25 8pm “Kings” on NBC
  • 7/25 9pm “Primeval” on BBC America


The GeekTonic Ultimate Guide to the Fall 2009 TV Season is ready and should be available very soon so stay tuned.

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