Saturday, November 13, 2010

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 11/14/2010

It’s time for another What’s-on-TV Check-In.  This week we have a little Sarah Palin, Summer Glau on Chuck and Human Target returning to primetime.

Like every week, GeekTonic covers the TV scene with a complete listing of premieres, finales and specials for the week.

 Human Target

     Human Target returns this Wednesday on Fox


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

The GeekTonic Guide to TV Premieres, Finales and Specials this Week – 11/14/2010

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

Click Here if you want a downloadable PDF  version of this “GeekTonic TV This Week Guide.”

Sunday, November 14

Sarah Palin’s Alaska (9pm on TLC – HD) A new reality series with Palin in Alaska

Amazing Wedding Cakes (10pm on WE – HD) – Season finale

Bored to Death (10pm on HBO – HD) Season finale


Monday, November 15

Chuck (8pm on NBC – HD) Not a premiere or finale, but hey, Summer Glau from Firefly and that other show :) will be guest starring.

Weeds (10pm on Showtime – HD) Season 6 finale

The Big C (10:30pm on Showtime – HD) Season finale


Tuesday, November 16

Apocalypse PA (10pm on History – HD) A 2-part series where Belcastros, a Pennsylvania family learning to become self-sufficient in preparation of the possible collapse of civilization

Glory Daze (10pm on TBS – HD) New sitcom series where four college freshmen learn about fraternity life

Ace of Cakes (11pm on Food – HD) Season finale


Wednesday, November 17

Human Target (8pm on Fox – HD) the popular action/drama returns for a new season

Top Chef: Just Deserts (10pm on Bravo – HD) Season finale


Friday, November 19

House of Glam (7pm on Oxygen) Series finale

Dennis Miller: The Big Speech (10pm on HBO – HD) A special comedy event with Dennis Miller


Saturday, November 20

Fix This Kitchen (10pm on A&E – HD) Season finale


Sunday, November 21

The Next Iron Chef (9pm on Food – HD) Season finale

Jilted? (10pm on WE – HD) New romance/drama series

Paranormal State: The New Class (9:30pm on A&E – HD) New series

Brew Masters (10pm on Discovery – HD) Finally a reality series I can get into.  Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Brewery along with his crew travel the world in search of new ingredients and long-standing techniques to produce this original elixir.

Top Gear (10pm on History – HD) New series for the U.S. as the popular UK reality series comes across the pond.


Monday, November 22

Skating with the Stars (9:11pm on ABC – HD) A new reality series that takes dancing with the stars and makes it about skating…

Fabulous Cakes (10pm on TLC – HD) Season premiere

If you follow GeekTonic for the TV Premieres and news, you’ll want to click here if you would like to get a regular e-mail for GeekTonic TV Premieres & News.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Deal of the Day - Panasonic TC-P42G25 42” Plasma with Soundbar $800

A crazy-good deal for today comes from Amazon

Panasonic TC-P42G25 Plasma 

Amazon has a bundle with the best Panasonic 2D 1080p HDTV TC-P42G25 Plasma. 

I have the 3D Plasma from Panasonic which is more expensive, but the G25 is very highly rated and includes their internet streaming, skype video calls (with optional camera) and other nice features.   Plus they’re throwing in the $350 retail SC-HTB500 2.1 SoundBar Speaker with subwoofer for free.

Panasonic VIERA TC-P42G25 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV

This is today (Friday 11/12) only and a gold box deal on Amazon.

MythTV 0.24 Released

MythTV Logo

Users of MythTV, the most popular linux-based HTPC software (open source and free of course) now have their 0.24 release after a six-month wait!

This latest version (0.24) of the open source HTPC software includes several updates and new features including a new on screen display, all new HD audio support, Blu-ray support and many other features and fixes.

Get the details on the 0.24 release with a full changelog at the MythTV page

SageTV 7 Released from Beta

If your one of the few who haven’t already installed SageTV 7 during the beta cycle and were waiting for it to be official, your wait is over.  Last night SageTV officially released their latest version of SageTV and the beta testing is over.

SageTV 7 brings a new User Interface, a Plugin Manager for easier installation of Plugins and much more.  Check out my overview of the new features and watch the intro video below to get a good feel of what SageTV can do


SageTV Plans to make an official Splash about SageTV 7 in the coming days including the unveiling of their new blog.  Stay tuned for more info.

Purchase or Upgrade to SageTV 7 at the SageTV Website

Boxee Box Has Arrived

Boxee Box

The first reports of people receiving their Boxee Box started yesterday right after the Boxee Event.  Boxee wants to play with the big boys like GoogleTV and AppleTV and announced Netflix support coming “this year” and Hulu Plus

Thursday Boxee officially unveiled their Boxee Box, a non-PVR HTPC streaming, set top box built by D-Link.  The big news in the announcement was that shipments have begun already (many have already received theirs) and Netflix & Hulu Plus support is on its way.

Boxee Box Hardware

The Boxee Box is built on an Atom-based platform much like Logitech Revue GoogleTV. 

iFixIt had a teardown of the Boxee Box on launch day (check out the teardown at iFixIt here.)

Boxee Box Inside

Inside you find:

  • Intel Atom CE4110 SOC processor
  • Wolfson WM8524G stereo DAC
  • AKM 8137A multi-clock generator
  • Nanya 1035 NT5CB128MCN-CG 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (1/2 total RAM capacity)
  • RealTek RTL8201N 10/100 Ethernet PHYceiver
  • FE1.1 USB 2.0 HUB LG3A924A6180
  • 1 GB NAND Flash
  • Microchip PIC24FJ64GA004-I/PT 16-bit flash microcontroller
  • 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (1/2 total RAM capacity)

Netflix & Hulu Plus Coming

Boxee provides access to many online sources like VUDU (SD only), Vimeo, YouTube and others – much like GoogleTV and others.  Boxee apps work on the box and it allows access to content to your local network and storage devices as well.

Boxee seems to have given in to the fact they can’t get official content support and still allow things like unauthorized streaming of Hulu and torrents – things that make those content providers edgy.  And so they seem to have worked out agreements with Netflix for official support on the box before 2010 ends (we’ll see if they’re able to meet that promise) and Hulu Plus sometime soon (read: Hulu deal isn’t all worked out yet so I say 2011).  Both great additions, but similar to many other devices by the time they get both of those providers online.

I see the Boxee box as a great alternative to the AppleTV and GoogleTV if your focus is on video content on your local network and streaming content available on Boxee.  I’ve decided to hold off on reviewing the Boxee Box for now though – perhaps if they add TV tuning at some point…  We should see a full review at ZatzNotFunny! before long though.

You can order a Boxee Box at Amazon now for $199 

More info on the Official Boxee Blog

Did you get a Boxee Box?  Let us know how you like it in the comments!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Linksys Extenders Working Again – Just a Simple Mistake

Sounds like Cisco has resolved the problem with the Linksys MediaCenter Extenders.  They did some server maintenance and had an issue with the certificate server that all of their extenders automatically checked into via the web. 

So those extenders were off-line for about 48 hours give or take – not as bad as many had expected.  But I wonder, why do these extenders NEED to check in over the internet to continue working?  What happens when Cisco decides to no longer keep that server running?  Should other HTPC extender owners worry about this as well?

via Engadget

Monday, November 08, 2010

Linksys MediaCenter Extenders Terminate Themselves – Hack Required to Revive

Linksys Media Center Extender

All weekend I watched as more and more Microsoft MediaCenter users reported that their Linksys Windows MediaCenter Extenders (DMA2100 & DMA2200) stopped working – mostly in unison.  Users are understandably frustrated and thus far Cisco hasn’t provided any official response.  Fortunately there is a hack that gets the extenders working again.

You can follow the carnage of Linksys users on this GreenButton Forum Thread.  Several reports began streaming in as soon as Thursday evening, November 4th from users that had one or more Linksys extenders just stop working.

“So my DMA-2200 media extender is frozen.   All it says is network is connected.  It won't output via HDMI (like it has for years).  When I pull the cord and let it set for a minute I get the same result.  And I have hit the reset botton on the back.  I am at a complete loss.”

More and more reports began streaming in over the next few hours and throughout the weekend

“The exact same thing is happening to me also for all 3 of my extenders (2-DMA2200 and 1 DMA2100).   I usually run wired but I also had the same issue with wireless.   It says waiting for network c.   If I boot without wired/wireless connection, I can boot up until I plug the wired connection in.   It will get an ip address and lock up.   I don't think it is a linksys problem because I just used all 3 extenders last night.”

Some are speculating that Cisco just pulled a “kill switch” and others are saying it must be some problem with a DRM check.  Whatever the issue, it’s completely insane that Cisco has no response or even direction to users on their support page as of 8am CST this morning.  I understand that these devices were discontinued over a year ago, but this is crazy.  Some Linksys extender owners are saying they have reached a support person who says something like this:

“Called Linksys Support (11/6/10) and reported my problem with my DMA2100 not responding.  The support person informed me that they are aware of this problem and Linksys engineers are working on a fix.  It seems that Linksys has received many calls about this problem. The support person could not tell me when the fix would get pushed out, but it could be soon.”

At least the support person knew there was an issue, but It’s pretty frustrating to have your devices just shut down in unison for no apparent reason.

How To Revive Your Linksys Extender

It’s not a great fix, but this hack reported on that same Greenbutton Forum thread will get your extenders working again:

Steps for a wired network (you don't have to disconnect your router from the Internet).

1. Power off
2. Disconnect network cable
3. Power on - unit tells you that it is disconnected and asks if you want to setup a connection
4. Select "Next"
5. Select your connection type (I chose "Wired") - unit tells you cable is disconnected
6. Plug in network cable - unit immediately goes to settings selection
7. Select "Manually"
8. Enter an IP address outside or your routers DHCP range, e.g. my router range was 100 - 200, so I entered
9. Enter your gateway address, e.g.
10. Enter a bogus DNS address, e.g.
11. Select "Finish" (I think)

Now press the Green Button, and voila.

It’s not the end of the world, but a really significant failure on the part of Cisco for a product they may not sell anymore, but still should be supported by them.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 11/07/2010

We’re back for another What’s-on-TV Check-In.  We’re in the thick of November sweeps month which means we should get some of the better episodes of the season, but not many new shows premiering on primetime..

Like every week, GeekTonic covers the TV scene with a complete listing of premieres, finales and specials for the week.


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

The GeekTonic Guide to TV Premieres, Finales and Specials this Week – 10/31/2010

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

Click Here if you want a downloadable PDF  version of this “GeekTonic TV This Week Guide.”

Sunday, November 7

Great Migrations (8pm on National Geographic – HD) New series

Worlds Worst Weather (8pm on Travel – HD) Series premiere

Shake it Up! (8:30pm on Disney) Series premiere

Mel B: It’s a Scary World (9pm on Style – HD) – Season finale

Kendra (10pm on E! – HD) Season premiere

Eastbound & Down (10:30pm on HBO – HD) Season 2 finale

Married to Rock (10:30pm on E! – HD) Another reality series premiere


Monday, November 8

Strike Force (10pm on National Geographic World) Series premiere

Conan (11pm on TBS – HD) Conan finally returns – now on TBS.  He welcomes guests "First Guest Poll" winner, Seth Rogen and musical guest Jack White


Tuesday, November 9

The Bad Girls Club (9pm on Oxygen) Season finale

Auction Hunters (10pm on SpikeTV) A new Reality/Auction series, SpikeTV style

The Fashion Show (10pm on Bravo – HD) Season 2 premiere


Friday, November 12

24/7 Pacquiao/Margarito (9:30pm on HBO – HD) Season finale

Wizards of Waverly Place (9:45 on Disney – HD) Season 4 premiere

Real Time with Bill Mahr (10pm on HBO – HD) Season finale


Saturday, November 13

The Ride (11pm on MTV2) New sports/reality series


Sunday, November 14

Amazing Wedding Cakes (10pm on WE – HD) – Season finale

Bored to Death (10pm on HBO – HD) Season finale


Monday, November 15

Weeds (10pm on Showtime – HD) Season 6 finale

The Big C (10:30pm on Showtime – HD) Season finale

If you follow GeekTonic for the TV Premieres and news, you’ll want to click here if you would like to get a regular e-mail for GeekTonic TV Premieres & News.

Sage On the Go-Sagetv gets iPad-iPhone-and iPod Touch Streaming

Owners of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch have a new option for watching TV on the go – SageTV Mobile Web Interface now has iOS streaming of recorded TV shows.  SageTV is a pretty powerful Home Theater PC program.  It’s multi-OS including all Windows Versions, Windows Home Server, Linux and for version 6 it even does Mac.  Add to that SageTV is the only HTPC solution with an integrated extender that can do pretty much everything a computer can do.  But there are two things that are holding SageTV back from being the perfect HTPC solution.  One is the lack of CableCard – something many SageTV users currently deal with using a Hauppauge HD-PVR to tune all of those encrypted Cable & Satellite channels.  The other thing missing is the lack of mobile placeshifting – until now.
iOS Streaming on SageTV Mobile
Thanks to the work of third-party SageTV developer, Jason, SageTV users get the beginnings of a mobile placeshifting solution to watch TV on your iOS device.  I’ve had the honor of testing the new version of the 3rd party add-on, SageTV Mobile Web Interface which pushes the web interface to your mobile device and it’s pretty nice.  Sage Mobile Web Interface has been around for a long time.  It’s basically a mobile version of the SageTV Web Interface.  What’s new is very significant to those of us with an Apple mobile device like an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.  The latest version of SageTV Mobile adds the ability to stream TV recordings to your iOS device.  I’ve been testing this new feature for Jason - the developer of SageTV Mobile over the past many weeks.  I’m happy to report that streaming TV over WiFi and even 3G works pretty well.  There are some caveats of course, but all-in-all this is a great solution – especially for free!
SageTV Mobile streaming works much like AirVideo for iPhone does.  It takes recordings from your SageTV System and converts (transcodes) those video files to an iPhone/iPad friendly format.  Part of the process includes determining your connection speed between the SageTV server and the mobile device so that the file is small enough to keep up with a slower connection – much like SageTV’s Placeshifter does.  Watching your shows on the iPad is really nice.  I’ve used my iPad to watch shows throughout the house and it really makes a fabulous, carry-with-you “extender” of sorts.  Better yet, the picture quality of the video on the iPad is very good in my exerience – especially on my home Wi-Fi network.  And being able to catch up on a show on your iPhone isn’t too bad either.  I’ve used this on my work Wi-Fi, in the doctors office where other patients and nurses asked me “how’d you do that?”  Obviously video on the iPhone is… well it’s a small screen.  But it works and the picture is pretty good on that small screen.  I wouldn’t watch a ton of TV on my iPhone, but it’s nice to have when you want to – kind of like how I use the Kindle app on my iPhone.

Read on for a Demo Video of Streaming from SageTV to an iPhone & iPad along with lots of screenshots