Saturday, October 23, 2010

Plex HTPC Team Releases v0.9.1

Plex, the popular Mac-fork of the XBMC project released an update to Plex V9 today.

Plex Logo

The update brings extra stability, faster UI and some new features.

New Features Include:

  • Cast information restored to movie information dialog in Plex for Mac.
  • Ability to choose a specific piece of media to watch (e.g. HD, SD) if you have multiple media items. (You can disable this in Preferences > Video.
  • Added back “By Albums” in iTunes plug-in. Sometimes all you need is a little more cowbell.
  • Allow splitting apart TV Shows and Movies in the media manager. You can see an example here.
  • Added an “Unwatched” section for Movies and TV Shows.
  • Added “By Album” in music library sections.
  • Allow browsing for on-disk graphics (posters/art) in the Media Manager.
  • Support for volume control in new remote control protocol.
  • Display number of items for each piece of media (e.g. if you have SD and HD versions of a movie). If you sort by items descending it’s a good way to see if you have any duplicated media (Reveal in Finder will show all of them) or if the agents have mistakenly matched two different pieces of media to the same thing. Yes, I’m really this disorganized, or at least I was until now!
  • Searching for matches in the media manager is now asynchronous and can be cancelled. Death to beach balls!
  • Preferences > Transcoding, we’ve added an option to offer higher bitrates over 3G.
  • In Preferences > Library, you can optimize your database.

Add to that a ton of bug fixes and improvements all listed out on the Plex Blog

Get your Plex update by downloading via auto-update in the Plex UI or from the Plex Home Page

SageTV HD300 Extender Firmware Update Released

SageTV HD300

Last night the SageTV team pushed out another firmware update for the SageTV HD300.  Changes include:

  1. Fixed memory fragmentation issue that could sometime happen with online videos followed by high resolution when native resolution output was enabled
  2. Work around issue with mkv files that have very large index to use linear playback.
  3. Improve memory usage
  4. Increase available texture memory
  5. Increase resolution of the osd plane (experimental)
  6. Fixed 2 bugs in dvd playback


This is a beta firmware, but my experience with these has been extremely good.  As always, updating involves opening the HD300 in Media Player Mode, going to settings>firmware update & entering the code 2382 ('beta') with the remote control.

via SageTV Forums


Complete GeekTonic review of the HD300

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CableCard Network Tuning Working on Ceton InfiniTV 4 – in Beta

Ceton CableCARD

Ceton released a beta firmware that gives beta testers of their quad-tuner CableCARD device the ability to enable network tuner sharing.  The guys at TheDigitalMediaZone were the first to report this news on their Entertainment 2.0 Podcast tonight.

Josh at the DigitalMediaZone has done sime initial testing to prove that it works.  Josh had this to say:

“Tonight I installed the latest beta firmware, bridged the connection between the tuner card and my ethernet adapter, and setup a secondary PC to use the InfiniTV 4. Once everything is setup on both ends, you simply go through the standard guided setup process on the secondary PC(s) to setup the tuners, as you would any other tuner device. After that it works just like any other tv tuner. I was able to instantly start watching live HD television immediately, without any noticeable lag from the streams being broadcast across my network."

The bad news is you can’t do this yet even if you’re one of the lucky few who have a Ceton CableCARD unless you’re a beta tester.  The good news is that it will be available to the public soon.

More at theDigitalMediaZone

Panasonic VT25 Gets Reviewed and Loved

Panasonic TC-VT25

Late this summer I acquired the best TV I’ve ever owned in terms of picture quality, features and size.  It is the Panasonic TC-P58VT25 which is Panasonic’s excellent 1080p Plasma TV offering which just happens to have 3D and some pretty decent online streaming content capabilities as well.  I haven’t taken the time to review it myself, but Andy at MissingRemote has a good review of the TV worth checking out.

MissingRemote Review of Panasonic VT25 Plasma TV

Monday, October 18, 2010

SageTV 7 Updates to 7.0.21 Release Candidate 5

SageTV Logo

We’re up to release candidate 5 of SageTV and it sounds like we could have the final SageTV 7.0 here in the next few days or so if this one goes well.  Here’s a rundown of what’s new in this 7.0.21 version:

Several bug fixes and updates in this one – no new features.  The biggest updates include:

  • Fixed bug on Windows where switching between QAM and ATSC modes did not work unless the application was restarted. This was also the cause of initial failures with QAM/ATSC tuners sometimes as well.
  • Fixed issue on Windows Vista/7 where HDMI hotplugging would sometimes cause the UI to appear at an incorrect size
  • Fix: playing mkv or online video failure (block screen, no audio, no video)

There’s a bunch more.  If curious, head over to the SageTV forums for the complete changelog and download links.

BeyondTV Gets Updated to 4.9.3

Well what do we have here?  Out of the blue comes a welcome update to the BeyondTV PC DVR software.  Nothing too exciting but any sign of life will be very welcome to those who still use Snapstream’s HTPC software  This would be the first update to BeyondTV since June of 2009!  And that in and of itself is pretty significant for a HTPC software that had its first BeyondTV 4 release back in 2005.

BeyondTV Logo

Version 4.9.3 Release Notes Build 6535

Bug Fixes

- Port conflict with Placeshifting feature causes high CPU usage and continuous error messages
- Hide option in Recorded Shows defaults to none when original is actually hidden
- ShowSqueeze to H.264 fails for files larger than 4GB
- Some manual recordings display projected record time incorrectly after Daylight Savings Time change
- Users without Manage Conflicts permission can force recordings
- Can't burn long files to a data DVD
- Series view in Recorded Shows disrupts the scrollbar
- Unicode file tags are not handled properly by H.264 ShowSqueeze


- Allow software rendering warnings to be disabled in Link
- Support for iPod Touch and iPhone with firmware version 3.x
- DirecTV RC32 remote added to USB-UIRT code library
- New encoder and file tagger for H.264 ShowSqueeze

Head over to the Snapstream Site for the download

via Snapstream

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 10/18/2010

Time for another What’s on TV Check-In.  Well it’s actually a bit late thanks to a way-too-busy GeekTonic home these past few weeks.  Nothing too exciting this week, but still a few premieres and finales. 

Each week GeekTonic covers the TV scene with a complete listing of premieres, finales and specials for the week.  This week is pretty much the busiest premiere week of all.  There is a LOT of TV beginning which means this is basically the official start of the Fall 2010 TV Season.

Don’t miss these other GeekTonic Fall 2010 TV Season Features:

Check out the complete list of finales, premieres & specials below.

The GeekTonic Guide to TV Premieres, Finales and Specials this Week – 10/18/2010

NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST – TV schedules subject to change

A downloadable PDF  version of this “GeekTonic TV This Week Guide” is now available

Monday, October 18

Bret Michaels: Life as I Know It (10pm on VH1) New reality series


Tuesday, October 19

Nova (8pm on PBS – Available in HD) Season 38 premiere begins looking at the great, Gothic cathedrals built in the Middle Ages by architects that after centuries still stand today

Cold Blood (9pm on Investigation Discovery) Season 3 premiere

Frontline (9pm on PBS – Available in HD) Season 29 premiere

K-Ci & JoJo... Come Clean (9pm on TVOne) Series premiere

The Millionaire Matchmaker (9pm on Bravo – Available in HD) Season premiere

Bugging Out (9pm on Science – Available in HD) Season premiere

Scream 2010 (9pm on Spike) A special that focuses on sci-fi and scary movies

Freak Encounters (9:30pm on Animal Planet – Available in HD) New reality series.  One unwitting co-star joins a television crew under the impression that they will be investigating some of the world's most unexplained creatures and mysteries.

Independent Lens (10pm on PBS – Available in HD) Season 12 premiere


Wednesday, October 20

Michael Feinstein's American Songbook (8pm on PBS – available in HD) Series finale

That’s Tough (8:30pm on G4) New reality series where viewers will be taken around the globe to countdown to the top three "toughest" in a broad spectrum of different categories.

In Performance at the White House (9:30pm on PBS – Available in HD) A special salute to American musical theater with Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald and “Wicked's” Idina Menzel

Changing Lanes (10pm on BET) – Season 1 finale

Lay it Down (11pm on Fuse – Available in HD) New series where Cee-Lo Green hosts multiple interviews and performances from hip hop, pop and R&B artists.  First up is Ludacris


Thursday, October 21

Night of Too Many Stars (9pm on Comedy) A comedy special hosted by Jon Stewart benefiting autism education.  Stars include Lewis Black, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Joel McHale, Sarah Silverman

Jersey Shore (10pm on MTV) Season 2 finale


Friday, October 22

Main Street Mysteries (10pm on Investigation Discovery) Season 2 premiere

Dean of Invention (10pm on Planet – Available in HD) Series Premiere


Saturday, October 23

Growing the Big One (9pm on Hallmark – Available in HD) Made for TV Movie

24/7 Pacquiao/Margarito (10:30pm on HBO – Available in HD) New boxing talk series


Sunday, October 24

Luther (10pm on BBCA – Available in HD) New series

Football Wives (10:30pm on VH1) New drama/soap series based on the cult British soap “Footballers' Wive$”, this remake chronicles the exciting and dangerous lives of three wealthy women, all wives to superstar footballers.


Monday, October 25

American Restoration (9pm on History – Available in HD) New reality series - a spin-off based on the reality show, “Pawn Stars.”

In Treatment (9pm on HBO – Available in HD) Season 3 premiere

Thintervention (10pm on Bravo) Season 1 finale

Dead Set (11:59PM on IFC) New series for the U.S. brought over from the UK.


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