Friday, October 16, 2009

Amazon Kindle at $260 – What’s the Sweet Spot for eBook Readers?

Last week Amazon again dropped the price of the Kindle 2, this time to $259.  They also announced an “international” Kindle just like the Kindle 2 for $279.  I’ve commandeered my wife’s Kindle 2 for the past several weeks (I take a bit longer to get through books than she does) and I have to say I really, really like it.  Matter of fact I’m 100% sure I’ll be purchasing an eBook Reader for myself in the next six months whether it’s another Kindle or possibly a competitor like the Plastic Logic device or something else.  I just love the concept of eBooks and having used one in the past month so much I want one for my own now.


What’s your eBook Reader Tipping Point?

So I was wondering what others are thinking?  eBook readers are supposedly going to be very popular gift items this coming holiday season so are you considering one?  What’s your magic price and/or feature that would push you over the edge?

Want to Check out the Kindle 2?  Read the two GeekTonic reviews: one I did from a geek’s perspective and one from my wife’s perspective as a hard-core reader’s perspective.


You can buy the Kindle’s from Amazon via these affiliate links if you’re interested:

Kindle Wireless 6” (aka Kindle 2) $259


Kindle Wireless 6” Intl $279


Kindle DX 9.7” $489

Thursday, October 15, 2009

MythTV 0.22 Release Candidate 1 Arrives

MythTV Logo

Users of MythTV, the most popular linux-based HTPC software (open source and free of course) have been waiting for the 0.22 release for quite a while now and it finally is here as Release Candidate 1!

This 0.22 RC1 arrives with some long awaited new features including:

  • MythTV UI ported to new MythUI library with all new capabilities
  • Added Automatic Prioritization to the scheduler which uses watching behavior to automatically increase priority of shows that are watched close to their recording timeslot over shows that are delayed for longer periods of time.
  • Support for the Hauppauge HD-PVR
  • VDPAU Video renderer and decoder for hardware accelerated playback of H.264, MPEG-1/2, WMV, and VC-1
  • DVB-S2 support
  • HDHomeRun Multi-Rec Support


     MythTV UI New

    Read more about MythTV 0.22 RC1 at


    Via GadgetWisdom

  • Deal of the Day – LG BD390 $240 Free Shipping

    The LG BD390 is one of the better Blu-Ray players available today and comes with Netflix, Now Vudu and many other online video streaming options.  It connects wirelessly and has the right specs too.  A few months ago I purchased it’s lesser, little brother the LG BD370 but the BD390 is now on sale at Amazon in a deal that makes me wish I had waited.

    If you’re in the market for a Blu-Ray player this one at Amazon (affiliate) is certainly one to check out - especially at this price:

    LG BD 390 Network Blu-ray Disc Player $239.98 Free Shipping!

    SageTV HD Theater Beta Update

    The SageTV team has now released two new beta firmware updates for their popular HD Theater (HD200) Player/Extender.  Nothing Earth-shattering, but a few nice improvements/updates were included.  The most recent version adds support for NFS drives for imports and BD ISO support for the standalone player mode.  The beta firmware from earlier this month added some very cool music visualizations – check them out if you haven’t already:

    Beta Firmware Version "20091014 0"

    Core changes:

    1. Support mounting NFS drives as import paths.
    2. Support for BD ISO for standalone mode!

    Media Player (Standalone) UI changes:
    • Fixed issue with "More" button disappearing for Google videos when the online video results menu was reloaded.
    • Fixed issue where if music visualizations were enabled, then the song info position was never updated when the screen saver was active.
    • If "nfs://" style path is manually entered in the network file browser, display option to add it as an import path.
    • Removed Random Videos from the Google Video menu, since the feed is obsolete.

    Beta Firmware Version "20091007 1"

    Core changes:

    1. Added support for music visualizations.
    2. Added support for WPA hex keys

    Media Player (Standalone) UI changes:
    • Added short description for built-in AR modes in AR selection dialog during playback.
    • Fixed issue finding Video ID for YouTube video.
    • Added option for HD200 to use music visualizations and made visualizations the default setting for music playback.
    • Added option to manually enter network path in network file browser.
    • Added network folder access check after using the Info command for folder options; ask for password if authorization needed.
    • When showing network paths in the UI, convert to UNC so that passwords don't get displayed.
    • Added cache for usernames & passwords entered for network paths so that they don't need to be repeatedly entered. The cache is cleared when the UI is restarted.
    • If file browser folder path is invalid or empty, add "Go Back" button on center of screen. If browsing network, also add button to manually enter a network path.
    • The "Automatic Library Rescan Frequency" option is now entered in minutes instead of hours.
    • Modified the Search menu to add more delay after user input before the search will start. Also, set the default timeout after each number input for NTE to be 1.5 seconds rather than 1 second.
    • Added support for multiple pages of results for YouTube video lists.


      Remember, these updates are still in beta so to get the updates you need to follow this procedure: While using the HD200 as a Media Player (standalone mode), use the remote's number pad to enter the code 2382 ('beta') on the HD200's Settings -> System Update menu in order to tell it to look for the beta version


      Read the full changelog and instructions at the SageTV Forums

      Wednesday, October 14, 2009

      Boxee App Makes Media Watching Even More Social

      If you’ve ever had the urge to chat with others via the web while watching TV, you’ll be interested in this one.  A new social content-sharing startup company, Cliqset brings a pretty unique app to the Boxee HTPC world.  Share your Boxee, media-consuming information using the new Cliqset app and even share and discuss the media you’re watching on Boxee with others in the Cliqset world.


      Cliqset, who also launched a desktop client for its sharing site (think of it as a cross between twitter and friendfeed) which brings together data from 60 or so social networks so you keep up with your friends over the web.

      cliqset boxee chat

      To use it you need to be a boxee user, add the Cliqset app into Boxee and you’re ready to go.  Once you have the app working in boxee you can have an over-the-web chat with online friends centered around a specific TV show or movie for instance.  The app uses Boxee’s “now playing” information to allow users to comment or chat about the video being watched.  Very cool!

      I’m seeing possibilities for watching comedy or perhaps a little Mystery Science Theater 2000???

      Read more about the Boxee Cliqset app at the Boxee Blog

      Sunday, October 11, 2009

      TV Premieres – What to Watch October 11 – October 18

      Another week of mostly unexciting premieres but there are a few little tidbits of TV in there including some specials and a couple of significant season finales like Psych and Hell’s Kitchen. 

      Don’t miss the Ultimate Guide to the 2009 Fall TV Season Premieres with free downloads by premiere date & by show name!

      If you haven’t already, be sure and check out the link above and download the TV Premiere Listings recently updated.  Note that I continue to do these weekly, weekend “What to Watch” posts that will keep you updated with any changes to the schedule from that premiere guide, add some additional information about the shows for the week including whether they are in HD or not.  I also throw in any TV movies and specials for the week for good measure.

      Below you’ll find all this weeks premieres through next Sunday.



                           Nip/Tuck returns Wednesday

      NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST

      Sunday, October 11, 2009

      • America’s Funniest Home Videos (7pm on ABC) – Season 20
      • Hoarders: Buried Alive (8pm on TLC– Available in HD) – A one-hour special
      • Endless Yard Sale 2009 (8pm on HGTV) – One-hour special
      • I Know What I Saw (9pm on History– Available in HD) – A two-hour special.  So you know, they saw UFOs…
      • My Monkey Baby (9pm on TLC– Available in HD) – A one-hour special
      • The Next Iron Chef (9pm on Food Network– Available in HD) – Season 2
      • Three Rivers (9pm on CBS – Available in HD) - A new drama starring Alex O’ Loughlin
      • Dinosaurs Decoded (9pm on National Geographic– Available in HD) – one-hour special
      • Discovering Ardi (9pm on Discovery– Available in HD) – two-hour special
      • JFK: 3 Shots That Changed America: Part 1 (9pm on History) – two hour special
      • Monte Python: Almost the Truth (10pm on Sundance) – Season 1
      • Nick Swardson: Seriously, Who Farted? (10pm on Comedy) – one hour special
      • The Girls Next Door (10:30pm on E!) – Season Premiere
      • Leave It To Lamas (11:30pm on E!) – Season Premiere


      Monday, October 12, 2009

      • Little People, Big World (8pm on TLC– Available in HD) – Season 6 premiere
      • 100 Mile Challenge (9pm on Planet Green – Available in HD) – New series
      • Million Dollar Listing (9pm on Bravo) – Season 3 premiere.  Seems kind of out of place in today's real estate market…


      Tuesday, October 13, 2009

      • Chopped (10pm on Food– Available in HD) – Season 3 premiere


      Wednesday, October 14, 2009

      • Nip/Tuck (10pm on FX– Available in HD) – Season 6
      • Mary Queen of Shops (7pm on BBCA) – Season premiere
      • Nature, Inc. (10pm on Planet Green– Available in HD) – New series


      Thursday, October 15 2009

      • 30 Rock (9:30pm on NBC– Available in HD) – Season  4


      Friday, October 16, 2009

      • Lobstermen (8pm on Discovery– Available in HD) – New series


      Saturday, October 17, 2009

      • Head Games (9pm on Science– Available in HD) New series


      Sunday, October 18, 2009

      No New Premieres


      Season Finales this Week:

      • 10/11/2009 9pm on Lifetime “Drop Dead Diva” season finale
      • 10/11/2009 10pm on Lifetime “Army Wives” season 3 finale
      • 10/12/2009 on ION “Durham County” season 1 finale
      • 10/12/2009 10pm on Bravo “The Rachel Zoe Project” season 2 finale
      • 10/12/2009 on TLC “Ultimate Cake Off” season 1 finale
      • 10/13/2009 8pm on Fox “Hell’s Kitchen” season 6 finale – two hour special
      • 10/13/2009 on VH1 “Behind the Music season 1 finale
      • 10/14/2009 on Showtime “Full Color Football”
      • 10/15/2009 on TruTV “Speeders Fight Back” season 2 finale
      • 10/16/2009 on USA “Psych” season 4 fall finale

      Click Here If You Would Like to Get a Weekly E-mail for GeekTonic TV Premieres & News