The Best HDMI Switchers – IGN

Well as usual I’m one port short. The system is 1080p only so don’t really need 4K switching (yet!).The big benefit of this one is automatic switching so you don’t have to program things

Kinivo’s HDMI switcher is a stylish accessory for your entertainer center and can even switch inputs automatically based on what device is turned on, and if you ever need to manually override that, you’ve got the included IR remote. Featuring 5 HDMI-in ports, 3D support, and a wireless remote, the Kinivo switcher provides just about everything you could possibly need to organize your home theater. For your average multi-console household, this is your go-to switch.

via The Best HDMI Switchers – IGN.

Computer VGA to Component Output

OK, if you’ve got a flat panel TV and want to project say some movies from your computer, how do you do it. You need a magic box called a “VGA to TV Convertor”:http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/PC-TV_video_adapter.html. Ram has one for $99 that takes VGA analog output and then converts it into component video (those three cables) or into S-Video or Composite. With component, you can get up to 1600×1200 (although most TV panels are really at most 1080i). With S-Video or Composite, you’ll get 480i maximum. “Ram”:http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/PC-TV_video.html#pctv has lots of these devices from $80 to $350.

Why is this all needed. Well, its a standards thing. Computer output analog video as RGBHV (they have one pin for Red, Green and Blue and then an H for Horizontal sync and V for vertical sync) whicle Component Video is dont as Y Pr Pb (which is Y the green signal plus sync and the difference from red called Pr and the difference from blue called Pb). See “Digital Connection”:http://www.digitalconnection.com/Support/cliffnotes_17.asp for the cliff notes or “Atlona.com”:http://www.atlona.com/pages.php?pageid=15

The cool thing about this box is that it is powered by a USB input, that’s how little power it needs. Kind of cool

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Component vs. DVI vs. HDMI

DVI vs. HDMI vs. Component Video — Which is Better?

First, to clear away one element that can be confusing: DVI and HDMI are exactly the same as one another, image-quality-wise. The principal differences are that HDMI carries audio as well as video, and uses a different type of connector, but both use the same encoding scheme, and that’s why a DVI source can be connected to an HDMI monitor, or vice versa, with a DVI/HDMI cable, with no intervening converter box.

DVI/HDMI and Component Video are all video standards which support a variety of resolutions, but which deliver the signal from the source to the display in very different ways. The principal important difference is that DVI/HDMI deliver the signal in a digital format, much the same way that a file is delivered from one computer to another along a network, while Component Video is an analog format, delivering the signal not as a bitstream, but as a set of continuously varying voltages representing (albeit indirectly, as we’ll get to in a moment) the red, green and blue components of the signal. Both DVI/HDMI and Component Video deliver signals as discrete red, green, and blue color components, together with sync information which allows the display to determine when a new line, or a new frame, begins. The DVI/HDMI standard delivers these along three data channels in a format called T.M.D.S., which stands for “Transmission Minimized Differential Signaling.” Big words aside, the T.M.D.S. format basically involves a blue channel to which horizontal and vertical sync are added, and separate green and red channels.

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Comcast DVR is the Motorola DCT6412

broadband ยป DVR From Comcast FAQ. I’m really just learning how to use this thing. It is way complicated. The main issue is that channel switching and input are just so slow. There are some kind of cool tricks though:

h2. Copy to a DVD

“Replayguide”:http://replayguide.sourceforge.net/dct6412/. This is a great guide that shows you how to take stuff from the DCT’s hard disk and put it on your PC. The steps are from AVS Forum and are a little nerdy, but you can do it.

# Load drivers onto your Windows PC that let you use firewire to connect to your computer. This makes the Motorola 6412 visible. You plug a 6-pin cable into the right hand side (from the back) firewire port and then into your PC
# This Firewire port displays whatever the DVR is currently playing assuming that the 5C copy protection bit isn’t set and then you run CapDVHS.exe to capture it and you get a .ts file. The sad thing is that Comcast has 5C protected everything now so this will only work for analog apparently. Sad!
# User HDTV2DVD to convert the .ts transport streams to product MPEG-2 DVDs.

h2. 30 Second Skip for iGuide

There is a hidden feature called the 30-second skip. If you have the interactive guide, then recorded shows can have a 30 second skip, but getting there is complicated. You have to remap a key on your remote to do this by. You can see if you have “iguide”:http://www.i-guide.tv/ by comparing your set-top box interface with that iguide site. We don’t have it here in Seattle, we use the Microsoft interface out here unfortunately.

1) Press the “Cable” button at the top of the remote to put it into Cable Box control mode.
2) Press and hold the “Setup” button until the “Cable” button blinks twice.
3) Type in the code 994. The “Cable” button will blink twice
4) Press (do not hold) the “Setup” button
5) Type in the code 00173 (for 30 second skip).
6) Press whatever button you want to map the skip function to.

* Deleting all your content.
Press “replay” one time ( the arrow bending back )
Press “MY DVR” three times ( button next to replay)
Press “LIVE” one time ( button next to MY DVR)

Philips ProntoPro NG TSU7000

!RC: Philips ProntoPro NG TSU7000 & Marantz RC9500 Remote Control Review (26). A good deep review of the quite expensive but very worthwhile TSU7000. I actually bought the older TSU6000 for me, Ken and Bill. It really does work well even though you need to program it. This new model has much better active matrix screen and more memory and more buttons, but remains very usable. Give it a look particularly if you are nerdy enough to program something.

Philips invented the whole mid-range customizable touchscreen remote control market, and although the Pronto is no longer the only color remote available in this price range, it continues to rank as one of the best.

Web 2.0 Logins 10 per day

I’m on a campaign to have a logon for every Web 2.0 company coming on line. I sign up for roughly 10 companies or so a week, but it looks like I need to accelerate to keep up, so I’m setting the goal at 10 per day! Major hat tip ot “Techcrunch”:http://techcrunch.com which Jonathan told me was the source of 10,000 users if you just a get a listing there!

Here are some of the latest and a quick review of them and most important get “rich” as my login!

* edgeio: Welcome. This is the company that the “Techcrunch”:http://techcrunch.com guy started. It appears to be a classified listing site. Cool I got “rich” as my login
* “Vpod.tv”:http://vpod.tv. Not yet released, but is yet another video editing site.
* “Alexaholic”:http://alexaholic.com. This lets you graph up to five different sites for review on alexa. Very useful for seeing where various sites are.
* “Feeds2.0”:http://feeds2.com. A Greek site, this is yet another RSS news reader
* “Jumpcut”:http://jumpcut.com. The latest int he line of video sharing services chasing youtube which by the way took another. Main feature is that it allows you to remix videos automatically and other editing
* “$8M”:http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/blogspotting/archives/2006/04/youtube_raises.html from Sequoia
* “Videoegg”:http://videoegg.com. This is another site that does video editing.
* “Motionbox”:http://motionbox.com. This is the si
* “Grouper”:http://grouper.com. This site has the best visual browsing with an 8×8 thumbnail set and auto highlight when you go over. Also, it has a nice way to view videos with a kind of wheel of text on the right. Try it.
* “Riya”:http://riya.com. This site sponsors techcrunch. They are photo search company that has facial recognition to find folsk, so might be pretty cool. You have to do a massive upload of your pictures though so that it can then run around and try to find people.
* “Omnidrive”:http://omnidrive.com. Another see it everywhere page.
* “Netvibes.com”:http://netvibes.com. Yet another portal application. It really uses AJAX quit a bit and lets you throw things in from many different sites. You can think of it as a portal where you can pick pieces from everywhere. Using the different widgets lets you see what are the hot companies.
* “Nowpublic.com”:http://nowpublic.com. This is lets you share your news and it looks like a photo and video sharing plus tagging plus blogging site. The idea is citizen journalism. Post a story and then get it rated.
* “Valleywag”:http://valleywag.com. This is a silicon valley gossip column with tags and all the latest stuff.
* “Vizrea”:http://vizrea.com. Ex-Microsoft buddies are doing easy photo sharing and also when you take a photo from your cell phone, it automatically (if you’ve got Symbian) appears on the web for you.
* “Kayak”:http://kayak.com. Funded by General Catalyst and AOL, this is a travel fare and hotel aggregation site.
* “Amazon S3”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/103-0899765-2303837?node=16427261. This is pay-as-you-go storage for web developers. Great for folks who are building sites and don’t want to set up a whole server quite yet.

And finally, before I go to bed, what better way to end than a sign up for “mecanbe”:http://mecanbe.com. This lets you set your life goals and is a self improvement site.

Best Home Router Reviews

Hardware Router Chart | Tom’s Networking. They have Den Guru now and they list the throughput of the various devices. It is amazing to see how fast these are. The Netgear WPNT834 for instance can up/download at 94Mbps. That should be fast enough for any broadband connection.

The D-Link DGL4300 is the same at 93Mbps, so the newer routers are really running at wirespeeds. The Linksys WRT54GX runs at 73/77 down/upload.

However, the older ones never did and were stuck at lower speeds. So the very pouplar WRT54G runs a 20/22Mbps as an example. The WRT54GS at 34/34Mbps