Thursday, February 25, 2010

Great Weekend Deal on 2TB Hard Drive $135

HITACHI Deskstar 2TB 3.5

I always watch the prices for the high capacity, internal hard drives and noticed a nice price on Newegg (affiliate) which expires after February 28th.

HITACHI Deskstar 2TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive –Retail $134.99 ($154.99 less $20 after Mail in Rebate)

Deal of the Day – SiliconDust HDHR Dual Tuner $126 Free Shipping


Amazon (affiliate) has my favorite tuner of all time, the SiliconDust HDHR dual QAM tuner for $126.

SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR Dual Networked HD Tuner $126.46 with Free Shipping

Next best price is RitzCamera for $129, but the going price online these days is around $150


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Microsoft Releases Windows 7 Media Center Update

Microsoft pushed out a Microsoft Cumulative Update for February 2010 with some new Windows 7 Media Center updates.  I recommend you have automatic updates turned off & manually update or at least set the update time to be an off-peak time.  I say this for two reasons:

1. You don’t want an update to muck up things while you’re watching or recording your favorite shows.  Most of these sort of updates require a reboot and you certainly don’t want your machine deciding to reboot during recordings now do you?

2. You might just want to wait a couple of days to be sure the update doesn’t have any unintended consequences – a few days is usually enough time to hear from other, more brave folks to tell us if bad things happen from the update or not.

The updates include some useful items – especially for CableCard users.  Here’s the main points from the update:

  • Improves the overall experience for systems that are configured by using digital cable card tuners. - I’m not sure what particular things this is focused on, but hopefully it will address the problems some CableCard users have been complaining about such as intermittent crashing etc.
  • Resolves backward compatibility issues for some legacy Windows Media Center extensibility applications.
  • Resolves an issue with how recorded TV shows are managed when switching to a user locale that is based on the Hijri calendar.
  • Improves the overall experience when you use Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) tuners. ISDB is a Japanese standard for digital television and digital radio.

More info at this Microsoft Support Page

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Deal of the Day - $30 MSI Radeon HD 4550 Video Card

MSI Radeon HD 4550 R4550-MD1GH Video Card

Looking for a very inexpensive HTPC videocard?  Newegg (affiliate) has a deal for the MSI Radeon HD 4550 R4550-MD1GH Video Card $29.99 (after $15 mail in rebate) with free shipping.  This card normally sells for around $45 - $50

MissingRemote Reviews the Asus


MissingRemote has another Media Player Review up – this time the ASUS O!Play HDP-R1 Media Player.  It sells for $99 and has a lot going for it.  The non-extender, Media Player market is pretty competitive though so I wonder how many of these can survive in today’s tough economic environment without some sort of edge – like extender capabilities for instance.

Mike Garcen at MissingRemote has this to say about the ASUS:

After living with both the Patriot Box Office and this ASUS O!Play HDP-R1 media players, it has proven difficult to choose a clear winner. I have centralized storage with torrent support in my Windows Home Server, so the inclusion of hard drive support and extras would be of no use to justify the extra $30 Patriot asks for its device. As the two compete features via firmware updates, I would imagine they would stay on par with each other as well, making the ASUS' sub-$100 MSRP a frontrunner.

The ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player is $99 at Amazon (affiliate) with Free Shipping

Read the complete review at

Monday, February 22, 2010

Reviewing the GlideTV Navigator Touchpad Remote

 GlideTV Navigator Remote

When you think of the TV remote control the first thing that comes to mind is something like this:  A long, slender, candy-bar like device that fits in your hand and loaded with buttons to control your TV and other AV devices.  And when you think of a computer mouse you think of the shell-looking object with at least on “clicker” – something you use to control the pointer on your computer.  But what if you meshed those two devices into one and purposed it as a Home Theater PC remote control of sorts – that’s exactly what GlideTV has done with their Navigator device.  It’s something quite unique in the world of remote controls and is the focus of today's in-depth review.

GlideTV touts this new controller as “the worlds 1st couch mouse.”  The fact that they call it a “couch mouse” in their marketing should clue us in that this is no ordinary remote control.  The GlideTV Navigator is sort of a remote-control, touchpad device with some well laid out hard buttons surrounding a touchpad in the center.  The design is a good example of out-of-the-box thinking and while it takes some getting used to, it’s actually very functional.  Read on for all of the details and my conclusion.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 02/21/2010

We’re in the final week of February and the TV sets are on cruise control with all of the Winter Olympics on the air.  It’s slim pickings here, but there are a few non-repeats on the set so read on.

Don’t miss the Ultimate Guide to the 2010 Winter TV Season Premieres with free downloads by premiere date & by show name!  I’ve updated this guide with some additions and network changes.

 Family Crews

                New series Family Crews premieres next Sunday


Sunday, February 21

School Gyrls (7pm on Nickelodeon) – A musical made-for-TV show where three freshmen (Mandy Rain, Jacquelyn Rae Pyles, Monica Parales) who love to sing and dance showcase their talents at an all-girl boarding school.

Weather Proof (9pm on Weather Channel) – New series on weather channel – yes you read that right…


Monday, February 22

Lost in the Nevada Triangle (8pm on National Geographic – Available in HD) - The disappearance of aviator Steve Fossett during a flight sparks a manhunt that shows dozens of aircraft have dropped from radar in California's Sierra Nevada mountains.

Men of a Certain Age (8pm on TNT – Available in HD) – Season 1 finale

Blood, Sweat & T-Shirts (10pm on Planet Green – Available in HD) – Season 1 finale


Tuesday, February 23

Frontline – Behind Taliban Lines (9pm on PBS – Available in HD) – The PBS documentary newsmagazine returns with an Afghan video journalist travels a region that has reverted back to Taliban control; Pakistan's troubled school system.

The Little Couple (10pm on TLC – Available in HD) – Season 2 finale


Wednesday, February 24

Aaron Stone (8pm on Disney XD) – Season 2 premiere

Dude, What Would Happen (8pm on Cartoon) – Season 2 premiere

Destroy Build Destroy (8:30pm on Cartoon) – Season 2 premiere

Conviction Kitchen (10pm on Planet Green – Available in HD) – Season 1 finale

Thursday, February 25

The Deep End (8pm on ABC – Available in HD) – Season 1 finale

Police Women on Maricopa County (9pm on TLC – Available in HD) – Season 2 premiere

XXI Winter Olympics - Ladies' Figure Skating Final (9pm on NBC – Available in HD) – always popular, the womens figure skating final is on NBC


Friday, February 26

Live from Abbey Road (8pm on Sundance – Available in HD) – Season 3 premiere is here with Counting Crows, Sugarland and Seal among other artists remembering the the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' "Abbey Road"


Saturday, February 27

Dance-a-Lot Robot (6:25am on Disney – Available in HD) – Series premiere

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (9am on Disney – Available in HD) – Series premier

Pit Boss (10pm on Animal Planet – Available in HD) – Season 1 finale

Sunday, February 28

The Family Crews (10pm on BET) – The guy who played the father on “Everybody Hates Chris,” Terry Crews stars in this docu-series

Sinbad: Where U Been? (11pm on Comedy) – Sinbad does a standup comic routine


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