T3 Tony's Tech Talk Blog

Misc. Info - mostly on High Tech Stuff! Blog posts and podcast show notes. A companion site to my website: http://www.techsavvyguru.com

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Sunday, January 30, 2005

The New York Times > Arts > Television > Steal This Show

The New York Times > Arts > Television > Steal This Show
A good read on downloading TV shows from the Internet via BitTorrent and MythTV.

Food for thought for those Media Center PCs.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sonos, Inc. | Digital Expert Program

Sonos, Inc. | Digital Expert Program
I took the "test" found at this link from Sonos and I scored 19 out of 20 so I am now a certified Sonos Digital Expert.

What does that get me? Nothing really, unless I buy a unit. I can get priority technical support - which seems kind of funny because if Im an expert, I shouldn't need the technical support. Although, this could have some benefit. If companies did something like this, and then gave you immediate access to higher tier technical support and didn't waste your time with the low level flunkies reading from a script and asking you if you rebooted, then it would be worth something.

Oh yeah, there is a referral program so if I get people to buy these I can get a $20 Amazon gift certificate. Maybe if I get one myself, then I will become an evangelist for their product.


No-cost Skype strikes chord with businesses | CNET News.com

No-cost Skype strikes chord with businesses | CNET News.com
Skype for business users. Seems like a no-brainer for using the free service to save money on long distance costs. Even paying for the soon to be Corporate offering has got to provide significant savings.

What I see as an issue is how to get users to adopt this within large corporations. We have Sametime Connect here at work and not many people use it or even know it exists. I guess it has to do with how it is introduced and rolled out. I sort of stumbled upon it and installed it myself.

I would be using Skype! in the office if our firewalls weren't so restrictive.


Sonos Digital Music System to stream digital music wirelessly from PC to any speakers in your home

Sonos Digital Music System to stream digital music wirelessly from PC to any speakers in your home
I understand the Sonos digital music systems are now shipping. This is a bit pricey, but it looks like a great system. More to follow.


Monday, January 17, 2005

My Media Collections

Media Collections
I am working on putting my DVD and CD collections on my website. I've got the DVD part up and will be working on the CDs.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Info on New TVs

Originally uploaded by votaaj.

The following was from a Reuter's article as seen on My Yahoo!

Technology - Reuters
PluggedIn: New TVs Gain Following -- But Complexity a Worry

Sat Jan 15, 8:40 AM ET
By Ben Berkowitz

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Want a big-screen television set before this year's Super Bowl? Better figure out if you want LCD, DLP, PDP or CRT, and if you want your picture to be HD, ED or plain old SD.

Confused? Of course. Buying a television is quickly becoming one of the most confounding decisions in all of home entertainment.

The explosion of new television formats is creating a sales boom for the electronics industry -- even if consumers don't always know what they are buying. Digital television sales will jump to 10.77 million units in 2005 from 6.97 million in 2004, the Consumer Electronics Association forecasts.

"The consumer is being kind of lulled into the digital television world by the look and feel of these very lightweight flat panel TVs," said Rosemary Abowd, director of flat-panel display research at Pacific Media Associates.

Scores of the shiny new products were on display at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, as companies showed off the latest and greatest in TV technology, including the ultimate in concept models, a 102-inch set from Samsung.

For the average consumer, Samsung's jumbotron-for-the-living room might be a big reach financially, since it is expected to sell for about the price of a new car. For most consumers, big-screen dreams are probably more in the 40- to 50-inch category, where prices are falling to $2,000 or less for entry-level models.

But it's not just the big-screen televisions that are fighting for consumers' attention. A plethora of new digital services are vying to be the ones to deliver programing for the new TV sets, including extra packages for digital cable or satellite services, and even digital channels broadcast over the air by local stations.

Some worry that the complicated offerings will be enough of a turn-off that consumers will decide not to buy, or to delay their purchases -- something the industry can ill afford, given that it is banking on relatively strong growth for the next few years.

"My reaction generally is: who's going to put themselves through this?" Abowd said. "Yes the prices are coming down and that's attractive but the components that feed the displays are still very complicated."

To help sort through the maize of new toys and tools, a few definitions are in order.:

-- HDTV, or high-definition television, is digital television in a wide-screen display (a 16-by-9 ratio) with a resolution of at least 720 progressively-scanned lines or 1,080 interlaced lines. (Progressive scanning puts all the lines of a picture on the TV one after the other, while interlaced scanning does all the odd lines first and then goes back for the evens).

-- EDTV/SDTV. Lower down the digital picture quality scale is enhanced-definition television (EDTV) and lower still is standard-definition television (SDTV).

-- An HDTV monitor is a television that can display HD with the addition of a separate device to tune the digital signals.

-- An integrated HDTV has the tuner built in to the set.

-- A High-Definition Multimedia Interface, most often called HDMI, connects an HD tuner to an HDTV monitor. It is a successor to the older Digital Visual Interface, or DVI, and cables exist to adapt DVI to HDMI.

Then of course there are the different types of HDTVs.

-- Cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, are the most bulky and the least expensive HDTVs. Technologically similar to regular old TV sets, they can weigh close to 150 pounds with a large footprint.

-- Plasma televisions, sometimes referred to as PDPs, are bright, have large viewing angles, scale easily to sizes 60 inches and above, and are thin enough to hang on walls.

-- LCDs, or liquid crystal displays, are bright with high resolutions, though they have traditionally been smaller than plasma screens and suffered from some blurring during high-speed motion like sporting events.

-- DLP, or digital light projection, sets use very small mirrors to reflect light and are relatively thin and low-weight in the vein of plasma sets. They are also renowned for their brightness though are said to suffer some in dark rooms.

All of these technologies are improving rapidly, and technical deficiencies that have cropped up with each are starting to disappear.

So the $64,000 question is -- is it going to cost $64,000 to get a big-screen HDTV? Not hardly.

Assuming the buyer wants a screen of at least 40 inches and is willing to pay for a separate tuner, the online stores of major retailers offer CRT HD sets from $1,000, DLP sets from $2,500, LCD sets from $2,650, and plasmas from $3,800.

Brand choice is an issue too -- Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news) (news - web sites). (6758.T) is pushing LCD displays, while Matsushita's (6991.T) Panasonic brand is firmly in the plasma camp and companies like Samsung Corp. (000830.KS) and Thomson (TMS.PA) have stood back to push a wide range of styles.

"There's still a whole lot to this digital television revolution beyond the sexy flat panel television," Abowd said.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Motorola Ojo Personal Video Phone - As Seen on hit TV show 24

Motorola Ojo Personal Video Phone
If anyone has been watching the new season #4 of the Fox show "24", you can see these Motorola Ojo video phones on the desks of the CTU agents. There was a close up in an episode last night and I was able to see the name. Saw a Blog post on them today and thought I would mention them.

I was just saying to my wife last night, "...if you are a technology company with a new product, you should pitch having it used on 24." Last season we saw the OQO in 24 episodes. Wonder what else they have technology wise to show off this season.


New Yahoo Software Searches Hard Drives

New Yahoo Software Searches Hard Drives
I have been waiting for Yahoo's offering. I will be downloading and testing it out at home tonight (hopefully). I am still a fan and user of CoperNic Desktop Search but I want to put the Yahoo offering through its paces as well.


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Motorola Motorola V551

Motorola Motorola V551

My new cell phone Motorola V551. I moved the ATT Wireless accounts for me and my wife over to Cingular. Even though they merged, there are still two separate systems behind the scene for the billing and account issues.

I now have the unlimited wireless data plan which should come in handy with having a camera phone and the ability to shoot short video clips also with the phone.

So far, I had success in getting this to work with my Jabra BT200 Bluetooth headset. I also was able to get the ipaq to connect via BT and surf the Net over the cell phone.

I had the store transfer my phone directory from the SIM card into the new phone. Most of the numbers came over but in the old phone book, I had one entry with numbers for Home, Work, Mobile. This phones address book works differently - so I need to go through all the numbers and adjust them accordingly.

More will follow on the new phone in the future. I am eventually going to try the MOT software for synching to Outlook and maybe put a BT USB adapter on the laptop and see if I can get Net access via the phone on the laptop.