Blogs

Jan 06 2011

Blog - Contest #18 - HDPlex H10.ODD Passive Low-Profile HTPC Chassis

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING! THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED!!!!!

 

 

ENTER TO WIN:  

HDPLEX H10.ODD PASSIVELY COOLED FANLESS HTPC CHASSIS

 HDPlex

Courtesy of the fine folks at HDPlex, the H10.ODD Low Profile HTPC Chassis has an MSRP of $258 and can support a number of different options and configurations. Check out the HDPlex Website for further details. If this chassis looks eerily familiar, it's because Michael just recently reviewed it and absolutely loved it. Unlike the review unit, this item is strictly the chassis and power supply. Here's a bit from Michael's review:

Jan 06 2011

Blog - Forum Rearrangement Announcement

In case you haven't visited our forums lately, you may have noticed quite a significant change...there's only 5 forums now! In an effort to assist all our readers, both super techy and absolute rookies, we felt that a more consolodiated approach to our forums would help everyone worry more about just asking their questions or posting their topics without having to worry about which forum (we use to have 25!). So, feel free to head on over there and start posting.

And here they are (remember you can always get to the forums from the menu bar at the top):

Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.

Jan 03 2011

Blog - Set Unknown Network to Private

Disclaimer: This is a fairly worthless utility

Update: Ceton has informed me that the reason the current InfiniTV4 driver sets their network interface to Public is due to a potential tuner discovery issue. Ceton is looking into how to safely change it to private.

I'm going to keep the tool available to allow users to reset the InfiniTV4 interface back to public. I'm going to keep mine at Private to do some additional troubleshooting.

Public NetworkTheGreenButton member RandomRage asked whether it was normal for the Ceton InfiniTV4 to be put into Public network category.

While it is normal, it did bother me so I wrote a quick utility to change the network category to Private.

Dec 31 2010

Blog - Intel MEI is needed for bitstreaming HD Audio with H55\H57 chipsets

Ed Bott's blog on How to update Intel drivers automatically reminded me that I've been meaning to write a blog on Intel Management Engine Interface (MEI) and why you should install it.

I'll keep it short and simple. If you are using an Intel 5 Series Chipset (H55\H57) paired with a compatible Intel Core i3 or i5 for onboard graphics you need to install Intel MEI for HD Audio bitstreaming. You can download it from Intel® ME: Management Engine Driver for Intel 5 Series Chipset-Based Desktop Boards. HD Audio bitstreaming will NOT work without it. A bit frustrating since it isn't well documented and most enthusiasts tend to install the bare minimal drivers to prevent bloat.

The reason why is a little more complicated but basically PAVP 1.5 is a function of the Intel ME firmware that is only exposed when the corresponding interface, Intel MEI, is installed.

There are a few other benefits in Intel MEI but for HTPC enthusiasts that is the primary benefit. This is also not limited to Intel branded motherboards. Intel, Zotac, ASUS, Gigabyte, etc. H55 and H57 boards all require it.

For more on HD Audio bitstreamng, see our guide Bitstreaming HDMI HD Audio Formats from your HTPC.

Dec 30 2010

Blog - Contest #17 - AMD Phenom 615E 2.5 GHz CPU

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED, THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!

 

ENTER TO WIN:  

AMD PHENOM 615E ATHLON II X4 2.5GHz CPU

AMD Phenom 615E

We hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful end to 2010. In celebration of not only this, but also continuing with the celebration of our new MissingRemote.com website (which continues to evolve), we have another fantastic giveaway for the new year. Courtesy of our friends at AMD, we have up for grabs a 2.5GHz from AMD's PHENOM line of ATHLON II X4 processors, the Phenom 615E. Rated at only 45 Watts, this low powered QUAD CORE CPU can easily handle HTPC duties as well as a wealth of other tasks you can throw its way. This is an AM3 processor and will require you to provide it a motherboard and heatsink to properly work.

HOW TO ENTER

The easiest and ONLY ONE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT TO ENTER is to respond to this post with an answer to: What CPU/Processor is in your main HTPC or computer? (if you don't know what a CPU is, just say so)

That's all that's required; respond with your answer and you'll be entered into the giveaway!

You are also able receive more than one chance to win, using Facebook and Twitter. The more entries you have, the greater your odds of winning!

  • Twitter Users:
  • Facebook Users:
    • Visit our Facebook Fan Page and click the "Like MissingRemote" button at the top of the fan page (if you don't see it, that means you're already a fan!)
    • And reply to the question on our Wall for this contest
    • Don't forget your username!!!
    • NEW: For EVEN MORE CHANCES TO WIN via Facebook, have your friends LIKE MissingRemote (hint: use the "Suggest to Friends" button on the left side), if they mention in a post on our wall the person who introduced MissingRemote to them, they automatically get entered and you receive a 2ND ENTRY!!
Dec 23 2010

Blog - Contest #16 - Win a QNAP NMP-1000P Media Player

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING, THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED!!!!! GOOD LUCK TO ALL!! WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!

ENTER TO WIN:

QNAP NMP-1000P Media PlayerQNAP NMP-1000P

Continuing our MissingRemote.com re-launch contest, we have a really special prize for the special holiday weekend. Courtesy of our friends at QNAP, we have up for grabs the awesomely powerful QNAP NMP-1000P Media Player. Valued at over $400 this digital video player is mighty powerful as we just recently reviewed.

While the chassis and form factor has remained the same on the NMP-1000P as was on the NMP-1000, the heart of any media player--the chipset--has received a nice upgrade. Now powering the unit is a Sigma Designs SMP8643 chip, running at 667 Mhz. This is a pretty serious upgrade from the SMP8635 300Mhz chip that powers the NMP-1000. While I did not have any experience with the 1000, I can attest that the menu navigation of the 1000P was extremely responsive. I’ve tested a number of different extender-type media players and the menu speeds were as fast as I have seen. The only negative I could see to this switch was the omission of S-Video and S/PDIF Coaxial outputs from the rear of the unit--I couldn’’t see any reason why they would have removed these ports from the NMP-1000 other than the chipset not supporting them or too much extra work to add them, since the space on the backplate is identical to the NMP-1000P.

HOW TO ENTER

The easiest and ONLY ONE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT TO ENTER is to respond to this post with an answer to: What is your home theater new years resolution?

That's all that's required; respond with your answer and you'll be entered into the giveaway!

You are also able receive more than one chance to win, using Facebook and Twitter. The more entries you have, the greater your odds of winning!

  • Twitter Users:
  • Facebook Users:
    • Visit our Facebook Fan Page and click the "Like MissingRemote" button at the top of the fan page (if you don't see it, that means you're already a fan!)
    • And reply to the question on our Wall for this contest
    • Don't forget your username!!!
    • NEW: For EVEN MORE CHANCES TO WIN via Facebook, have your friends LIKE MissingRemote (hint: use the "Suggest to Friends" button on the left side), if they mention in a post on our wall the person who introduced MissingRemote to them, they automatically get entered and you receive a 2ND ENTRY!!

Good luck everyone Smile

Dec 20 2010

Blog - Contest #15 - Western Digital AV-GP Hard Drives (2x500gb)

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! THANKS TO ALL FOR PARTICIPATING

 

 

ENTER TO WIN:  

2 x Western Digital AV-GP 500GB Hard DrivesWD Hard Drives

Courtesy of our friends at HD-Stor and Western Digital, we have up for grabs 2 x 500GB hard drives from Western Digital, their AV-GP line of optimized devices.

If this sounds familiar, it's because Josh recently looked into the drives and how they performed with his 10-tuner system recording!

The AV-GP line of Western Digital hard drives is mainly geared towards digital surveillance systems, but once you look at what they do you see they are a perfect match for DVR solutions.  Since they are based off of the WD Green Power hard drives they are low power, low heat and low RPM (think noise), which is great for a DVR and longevity.

HOW TO ENTER

The easiest and ONLY ONE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT TO ENTER is to respond to this post with an answer to: How much hard drive space are you using up right now?

That's all that's required; respond with your answer and you'll be entered into the giveaway!

You are also able receive more than one chance to win, using Facebook and Twitter. The more entries you have, the greater your odds of winning!

  • Twitter Users:
    • Follow us at Twitter @MissingRemote
    • Tweet the answer to the question above
    • AND include the following URL http://bit.ly/mrhdstor
    • Don't forget your username!!!
  • Facebook Users:
    • Visit our Facebook Fan Page and click the "Like MissingRemote" button at the top of the fan page (if you don't see it, that means you're already a fan!)
    • And reply to the question on our Wall for this contest
    • Don't forget your username!!!
    • NEW: For EVEN MORE CHANCES TO WIN via Facebook, have your friends LIKE MissingRemote (hint: use the "Suggest to Friends" button on the left side), if they mention in a post on our wall the person who introduced MissingRemote to them, they automatically get entered and you receive a 2ND ENTRY!!

Good luck everyone Smile

Dec 20 2010

Blog - Microsoft Security Essentials v2

Microsoft Security Essentials v2This is neither new news (it was released last week) nor HTPC news but I thought it was worth mentioning nonetheless that “Microsoft Security Essentials v2” is available for download.

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) v1 was my preferred anti-virus application and v2 makes significant improvements without adding bloat. I know many HTPC enthusiasts prefer to ignore anti-virus protection on their HTPC. I can't blame them, I've never had a virus and typically smart computing practices negate many of the risks but with Microsoft Security Essential there really is no reason NOT to run it.

Dec 20 2010

Blog - All I Want for Christmas v2, by MissingRemote Staff

We had a lot of fun putting our Holiday Wish List for 2009 together, so we figured we should try doing it again. I bugged all our staff writers and asked them what is tops on their wish lists for this year.

Aaron Ledger (aka Swoon)

If I had a wish from last year, it was a new 58" Panasonic V-series plasma. After much research and deliberation, I went with the Samsung PN58C8000 plasma instead due to better pricing, calibration controls, menu system, aesthetics and Panasonic's rising black issue.

Denon AVR-3311CI Audio-Video Receiver

My venerable Denon AVR-3300 has performed admirably since the year 2000, but now that HDMI 1.4 AVRs are out, it is time for me to make the transition. BD playback from my HTPC using multi-channel analog results in sub-optimal lip sync performance--something a new AVR can correct when using HDMI. The AVR-3311CI has some great features at its price point including support for HD Audio codecs, Audio Return Channel, Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction and network port for media playback and firmware upgrades.

Denon AVR-3311CI
Dec 18 2010

Blog - 2011 CES - We'll Be There!

Hey folks, both Michael Welter and I will be attending the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this (well, next) year which kicks off January 6th. We'll be there on the 7th and 8th and try to update you on anything interesting we find out as it happens.

If there's a particular subject or vendor you would like us to take a look at, let us know in the comments below and we'll do our best to find out for you.

Dec 17 2010

Blog - Contest #14 - Windows 7 Commemorative Edition

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED, THANK YOU TO ALL FOR PARTICIPATING!

ENTER TO WIN:

WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE COMMEMORATIVE EDITIONWin7 Commemorative

Courtesy of our friends at Microsoft, we have a very rare Commemorative version of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition! This was a very limited edition that was given exclusively to people who were special beta testers for Windows 7; including 32 and 64-bit versions.

Everyone knows what Windows 7 is, and the Ultimate Edition includes all the fantastic media features including, of course, Windows Media Center, as well as the new Play-To functionality. Play-To (Video Link of it in action)allows you to use your laptop to send content to your other PC's or devices in your home, straight from Windows Explorer and Media Player. Pretty cool if you've never tried it. And then of course, it includes CableCARD support--the only way you can get native high definition television into your computer. Read below for the full rules & conditions to win!

HOW TO ENTER

The easiest and ONLY ONE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT TO ENTER is to respond to this post with an answer to: What's your favorite feature of Windows 7?

That's all that's required; respond with your answer and you'll be entered into the giveaway!

You are also able receive more than one chance to win, using Facebook and Twitter. The more entries you have, the greater your odds of winning!

  • Twitter Users:
  • Facebook Users:
    • Visit our Facebook Fan Page and click the "Like MissingRemote" button at the top of the fan page (if you don't see it, that means you're already a fan!)
    • And reply to the question on our Wall for this contest
    • Don't forget your username!!!
    • NEW: For EVEN MORE CHANCES TO WIN via Facebook, have your friends LIKE MissingRemote (hint: use the "Suggest to Friends" button on the left side), if they mention in a post on our wall the person who introduced MissingRemote to them, they automatically get entered and you receive a 2ND ENTRY!!

Good luck everyone Smile

Dec 14 2010

Blog - Contest #13 - BigScreenGlobal Media Center Plugins

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED, THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!

Today we’re giving away another prize bundle from our friends at BigScreenGlobal. Since this is a software package this contest is open to EVERYONE around the world!

Fellow MVP and owner Niall Ginsbourg has put together a package and the winner will be able to select their choice of TWO licenses from the following products: BigScreenWeather 2, BigScreenHeadlines 2, BigScreenContacts 2 or BigScreenPhotos 2.

Make sure to visit the BigScreenGlobal website for full details on all products available!

Read below for the steps on how to win this awesome BigScreenGlobal prize package!!

HOW TO ENTER

The easiest and ONLY ONE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT TO ENTER is to respond to this post with an answer to: What's a Media Center plugin that doesn't exist that you want?

That's it, just responding with the answer above will enter you in the contest!!

For this prize, we'll also allow 2 more entries (Optional) via Facebook and Twitter.

Dec 13 2010

Blog - Contest #12 - Patriot Box Office

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED, THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!

 

Another week, another awesome set of prizes coming your way!

Today’s prize is a fantastic media streamer courtesy of Patriot Memory, the Patriot Box Office HD player. We reviewed this little guy earlier this year and found it to be a very solid and capable player with an MSRP of $99--read below for instructions on how to win!

Dec 13 2010

Blog - Got a Rechargable Harmony - Check the Battery

I love my Harmony One, so when the battery wouldn't hold a charge for more than a couple days it was an easy decision to order a replacement.  When the new battery arrived, I was shocked to find that that the original had swollen so much that the plastic was starting to crack and needle-nose pliers were required to pry it from remote.  Fortunately the remote wasn't damaged at all and it could be anecdotal, but I imagine that bad things would have happened to the battery hadn't been replaced when it was. 

So if you have a Harmony with a rechargeable battery it's worth taking a peek every so often to make sure that it's not about to explode.

Dec 12 2010

Blog - Ceton InfiniTV 4 Installation Tip and Experience

Yesterday was a big day in my household as I installed the long-awaited Ceton InfiniTV 4 CableCARD tuner into my HTPC (see mikinho's review here). My cable provider, Cox Cable, still requires a technician to come out and install the CableCARD, though, this will be optional by summer of 2011 thanks to the new FCC rules mandated in October.

Prior to my appointment, I installed the InfiniTV with the latest driver and decided to wipe my Windows Media Center (WMC) database of old tuner and guide information. Unfortunately, after wiping the database, WMC was not finding my InfiniTV tuner. With the technician showing up right at this point, I was a bit worried that I would need to reschedule the installation if I didn't get the CableCARD paired.

Fortunately, I found that Ceton provides an excellent utility to pair and troubleshoot the InfiniTV outside of WMC. After inserting the CableCARD into the InfiniTV, I brought up the following screen:

 

Clicking "More Info" brings up a browser-based diagnostic page:

 

The Cox Cable technician asked me to click the "Cisco CableCARD Host ID Screen" which brought up this tab:

 

The technician called in the information so that the pairing could be performed. I then brought up this "CableCARD" tab in the Ceton diagnostic tool:

Dec 10 2010

Blog - Contest #11 - Amulet Devices Voice Remote Control

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! THANKS TO ALL!

Congratulations to sturner151 who was selected as the winner of the Arcsoft Total Media Theatre Platinum!

Amulet Devices Remote

The prizes will keep coming and continue to get better believe it or not. For our 11th giveaway, we have courtesy of the fine folks at Amulet Devices, their Voice Enabled Remote Control for Windows Media Center!

With an MSRP of $199 (formerly $249) and continuing to have their software improved, Amulet Devices have developed the best way to control your Windows Media Center HTPC--simply pick up the remote, speak the command and voila!

We took an in-depth look at the Amulet Devices Remote Control and really loved how easy it was to use.

Dec 08 2010

Blog - Top 10 Home Theater Things We're Thankful For in 2010

Tis the season to be jolly right? Well, we here at MissingRemote are quite jolly about this past year and all the great things it brought to our beloved home theater market. So, we decided to comprise a list of our top 10 most influential things we're grateful for (from a home theater perspective):

  1. Bit streaming HD Audio FormatsBit Streaming HD Formats via HDMI
    Finally is supported from all major hardware vendors (AMD, then Intel, and finally Nvidia) giving consumers the option as to how (and how much to spend) to enjoy the latest in HD audio formats--up to 7.1 surround Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio.

    Next year's wish: 3D Support on-board all these same devices
Dec 08 2010

Blog - Re-Launch Giveaway #10 - Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED, THANKS EVERYONE!

Congratulations to holidayjay who was selected as the winner of the Phantom Lapboard! Please check your e-mail and respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!!

Moving onwards, more free prizes! We have a very special gift from our friends at Blue Monkey Communications, a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack!

Windows 7 Home Premium

I can't imagine there is much explanation necessary here, but this version of course includes Windows 7 Media Center for you to enjoy all the wonderful plugins and experiences that it has to offer.

Dec 06 2010

Blog - More Giveaway Winners Announced

Just wanted to announce and congratulate our next two winners of our prizes!!

jrandeck was the lucky winner of the GlideTV Navigator, and lfoust won last week's copy of Arcsoft TMT3 Platinum.

As a reminder, there is NO LIMIT to how many prizes you can win!! So continue to enter, and remember some contests you can have up to 3 entries to improve your chances to win. Read each individual contest rules for complete details.

Good luck everyone!

Dec 06 2010

Blog - MissingRemote.com Giveaway #9 - Arcsoft Total Media Theatre 3 Platinum

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED!!! THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!

If you missed out on our previous giveaways fear not, we have another from Arcsoft, giving away ONE copy of their awesome Blu-ray playback software for Windows, Total Media Theater 3 Platinum!

This fantastic Blu-ray playback software allows you to play high definition movies from Blu-ray disc and even stored on your hard drive. We haven't done a review of this latest software, but our editor Matt did a thorough job on a previous version if you want to get a refresher course. This has a suggested retail price of $90. If you've been waiting to jump aboard the Blu-ray bandwagon, maybe this can be your chance to do so for free!!

 

HOW TO ENTER

The easiest and ONLY ONE REQUIREMENT TO ENTER is to respond to this post with an answer to: What's a movie you want that is still not available on Blu-ray?

That's it, just responding with the answer above will enter you in the contest!!


For this prize, we'll also allow 2 more entries (not mandatory but only if you want a better chance to win) via Facebook and Twitter.

Dec 03 2010

Blog - MissingRemote.com Giveaway #8 - Phantom Lapboard

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING!!

First off, special thanks again to everyone for participating in our ongoing contest! Wanted to announce the last few winners in case you missed the blogs: Anjani (GT 430), PAPutzback (BigScreenGlobal) & NUKraze (Vidabox CubeCase)!

Next up, courtesy of the fine folks at Phantom Entertainment is their very cool Phantom Lapboard. Our very own Mikinho reviewed this bad boy back in July and he has admitted to me that it's his favorite keyboard/mouse device he's ever used.

"So what is a Lapboard and what makes it unique?  The Phantom Lapboard is a combination 2.4 GHz radio frequency (RF) wireless keyboard and separate wireless laser mouse.  What makes it truly special is an integrated mousing surface beneath the keyboard keys allowing you to use both keyboard and mouse from your lap, hence the aptly named Lapboard." 

Phantom Lapboard

HOW TO ENTER

The easiest and ONLY ONE REQUIREMENT TO ENTER is to respond to this post with an answer to: Do you play games through your HTPC? If so, what's your favorite?

That's it, just responding with the answer above will enter you in the contest!!


For this prize, we'll also allow 2 more entries (not mandatory but only if you want a better chance to win) via Facebook and Twitter.

Dec 01 2010

Blog - MissingRemote.com Re-Launch Giveaway #7 - GlideTV Navigator

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED!! THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!

GlideTV NavigatorWelcome to prize number slevin...errr....I mean Seven!! I wish that movie had been more popular, then you would all be laughing right now.

But I digress...you all want free stuff in celebration of this beautiful new website yes?? Well ask and we shall deliver!

Up next in our contest giveaways we have, courtesy of the generous folks at GlideTV, the GlideTV Navigator. If this sounds familiar, well it should be for you loyal readers! We reviewed this awesome little guy a while ago yet it still stands quite alone in its class. 

Nov 29 2010

Blog - Target.com does not honor their advertised price

Target does not honor price on Lord of the Rings boxsetI was determined last week to hold off on any Black Friday purchases but thanks to Aaron (swoon) I ended up buying The Lord of the Rings Blu-ray box set from Target.com.  Or so I thought...

It was an incredible deal at $7.99 + S\H + tax, especially as it was not advertised as a Black Friday deal.  There were no disclaimers of limited quantity available or any other signs of a bait-and-switch style promotion.  I purchased the box set and within minutes received my confirmation e-mail.  

Nov 29 2010

Blog - Re-Launch Giveaway #6 - Arcsoft Total Media Theatre Platinum

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED!! THANKS!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend and that everyone has enjoyed our contest so far. Just a reminder, we still have many more prizes to give away so keep the faith if you haven't won yet. The prizes will only get bigger as we continue!

 

If you missed out or didn't win from our first day, we have another from Arcsoft, giving away ONE copy of their awesome Blu-ray playback software for Windows, Total Media Theater 3 Platinum!

 

This fantastic Blu-ray playback software allows you to play high definition movies from Blu-ray disc and even stored on your hard drive. We haven't done a review of this latest software, but our editor Matt did a thorough job on a previous version if you want to get a refresher course. This has a suggested retail price of $90. If you've been waiting to jump aboard the Blu-ray bandwagon, maybe this can be your chance to do so for free!!

HOW TO ENTER
To enter to win, the easiest and required way is to simply respond to this post with the title of your favorite movie on Blu-ray.

That's it, just responding with the answer above will enter you in the contest!!

For this prize, we'll also allow additional entries (not mandatory but only if you want a better chance to win) via Facebook and Twitter.

Nov 24 2010

Blog - AO Install Same Trip? Don't trust Comcast billing with CableCARDs

AO Install Same Trip

Just a friendly reminder to not trust Comcast billing when performing CableCARD self-installs.

I've had my InfiniTV4 setup since day 1 of release (well a couple days before) and two ATI DCTs before that.  Each time my wife went to the local Comcast office and picked up a CableCARD for a self-install.  She even did the initial pairing with Comcast over the phone.  My Comcast bill would increase by $1.50 for each additional CableCARD past the initial one (here in Houston you get one “free” Digital Cable box and one “free” CableCARD per account.)

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