Sep 14 2011

Blog - Cedia 2011 Roundup

If you at all interested in anything Home Theater related like I am, you will want to check out the Cedia 2011 Roundup that Andrew Robinson compiled over at Some of the big takeaways that I found was 4k, 4k and more 4k. 4k seemed to be the highlight of the show, from projectors to ultra wide screen HDTV's, you name it Cedia had it this year.The one issue Andrew brought up was that not all 4k displays were a true 4k (4096 x 2160) instead they were coined "faux k" or 3840 x 2160. So just as tall as true 4k but not as wide as true 4k. Kind of interesting on that aspect.

Andrew has a nice break down of some highlights for equipment that is definitely worth checking out. Andrew covers everything from projectors, to loud speakers, and sub woofers. So if you want a really well written recap of Cedia 2011 head over to Home Theater Review and check out Andrew's article.

Home Theater Review

Sep 12 2011

Blog - Blu-ray Releases - September 13, 2011

Poor Thor, if it was most any other week you would have been the easy pick, but alas not this one. For those not in the comic book "know," Thor is a movie based on the same-titled comic book about a guy who's a god in his world but gets shipped off to Earth as punishment (is it that bad?!) where he gets to date Natalie Portman, poor guy. Then battles ensue--it was a fun movie and will look awesome on BD. Then the other notable one is Spartacus--Gods of the Arena, the prequel to the Spartacus TV series which was just awesome.

MissingRemote's Pick of the Week

Probably the easiest pick in the history of these weekly blogs. If i have to tell you what Star Wars is...then you probably are between the ages of 0-2, or just came from a rock. While I don't agree with all the changes Mr. Lucas has made to the originals, and I wasn't a huge fan of the new ones, it's hard to argue that this isn't a must have in anyone's Blu-ray collection. I mean, it's Luke "friggin" Skywalker people!

Sep 10 2011

Blog - Back Again....

Well I've been on a hiatus for a while and thought I would update everyone on my status. I've had some issues come up that took me away from regularly posting on the site that has now been put behind me. I am looking forward to writing some new articles and guides for the site so stay tuned for those.

I am still big into Home Automation and still plan on doing a multi-part series on the intricacies of creating a system and having a life style around that system. Windows Media Center (7MC) is still a huge part of my every day living. I am now running a Ceton Quad cable card tuner, two Silicon Dust HD Homerun tuners for ATSC over the air for a total of 8 HD tuners, you can never have enough tuners Wink

Anyways stay tuned for great things to come. Any feedback on the topics please let me know, if there are any specifics in guides or setups you want to see lets us know and I will try my hardest to keep the content flowing this time around.

until next time,


Sep 10 2011

Blog - I Believe that Introductions are in Order

Hello Missing Remote readers. As this is my first blog posting, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Zach Christiansen (those of you who are observant already knew that) and I am a third year law student at Tulane University, with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech.

I have always been "Technical Support" for my family and friends. My first experience with anything resembling a home theater PC (HTPC) was when I convinced my parents to buy the first ATI All-in-Wonder for our home computer. We bought the card because my mom had made a slide show on the computer for my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, but didn't have a great way to share it with family and friends. Using the All-in-Wonder, we were able to output the computer display through a VCR (I still find it funny to think that at the time a VCR was cutting-edge technology) and record multiple copies for my aunts and uncles. Since that first experience, I have built several HTPC's for myself as well as family members. My youngest sister’s favorite part about her Windows XP Media Center was showing her friends her free "TiVo" that her big brother had built for her.

But enough about me… lets take a look at my HTPC setup:

Currently I have an HTPC as well as a home server. I alsohave two netbooks (ASUS 1000 HA) that my wife and I each use for light computing (general web surfing, IM, email, etc.), as well as a Macbook Pro that my wife uses for photo editing/blogging <shamelessplug> ( </shamelessplug> The HTPC is directly connected to my main TV which is an LG 32FZ4D-UA (older 1080i, HDMI capable CRT display that must suffice for the time being. I use RDP from the netbooks to access the HTPC and WHS to perform maintenance/updates etc. Before I get to the pics, I thought I would lay out the basic specs of the HTPC and WHS.



Sep 06 2011

Blog - Correcting HDMI Handshaking Issues with Windows Media Center and Onkyo Receivers

I don’t  know if anyone else has experienced this annoyance, but whenever I switch to the input on my Onkyo receiver (TX-SR607) associated with my HTPC and Windows Media Center is already running, the resolution and aspect ratio get fouled up. Everything is  much larger than I want it to be and  TV playback from my Ceton Infinitv4 does not work. Previously, the only fix was to close Media Center and open it back up.  I needed a cleaner solution.
- Turn off HTPC. Shut it down and leave it turned off.
- Go to the input on  the Onkyo for your HTPC
- Press the Receiver button then the Video button on the Onkyo Remote,
- Change Resolution to Through (this will pass signal as is from HTPC to TV)


What you should see on your Onkyo receiver when you are changing the resolution

- Turn back on HTPC

Now the resolution and aspect ratio are correct when you switch to this input and WMC is running.

Sep 05 2011

Blog - Blu-ray Releases - September 6, 2011

Scarface was an easy pick so I wanted to change it up, but it really is one of the great movies of all time, with a young Al Pacino as Cuban druglord. Fringe and The Office are great TV shows of course, and then a few decent films sprinkled throughout as well. Everything Must Go stars Will Ferrell but there was not many moments of humor in this dark comedy.

MissingRemote's Pick of the Week

I was not sure what to expect going into Hanna, but I was pleased with the results. Hanna is the story of a man raising his daughter to be essentially a spy from the get go, and it takes time to develop and explain why exactly so many people are after them. If you like watching 13-year old girls kick some serious action then you will love this movie. She's no Hit Girl, but it's still fairly entertaining although the plot is a bit thin and the acting is not stellar, but there were some nice twists and I was enjoyed throughout.

Sep 03 2011

Blog - Blog - Migrating Data from one Hard Drive to Another

A short while ago I had a failure in my MythTV server.  Luckily, all of my data was ok so I just transplanted the hard drives and tuners into my development system and was on my way again.  While I had everything open it quickly became obvious exactly how loud my OS hard drive had become.  I knew that it was noisy but the P180 case did a good job of keeping things quiet.  So I figured that now is a good time to replace it as long as I had everything all strewn about anyway.

To give you a bit of background, the OS hard drive that I am starting with is a 10GB PATA drive that is about 10 years old.  The "new" drive is a 250GB drive that is only a couple of years old.  The utility that I used to image the drive is called Clonezilla.  This is a tool that you load on to a bootable drive (i.e. a CD or a USB flash drive).  With both the old and the new drive installed in the PC you boot into Clonezilla, select the drive or partition that you want to back up (clone), select the new drive or partition and wait till everything is copied.  Depending on the amount of data being copied this can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours.

Aug 25 2011

Blog - Turning an Unfinished Third Floor into a TV Room: An Introduction

Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine a room that is 12ft x 10ft. You might be thinking to yourself that this room would make a nice guest bedroom. I’m sure that’s what the builder thought when he designed the house. Now I want you to fill that room with a love seat, an oversized chair, a coffee table and an entertainment center that houses a 40” LCD TV, PS3, Wii, Surround receiver, a sub woofer and of course, my home theater PC (HTPC)--my rear speakers are actually hanging from nails. Nails. But there is hope.

Ever since we moved into the house I have been waiting for that magical confluence of money and spare time that would free me from this claustrophobic impostor of a TV room. Well, that time has finally arrived and I am in the process of building out an unfinished third floor for this purpose.

Aug 22 2011

Blog - SageDCT Updated For SiliconDust & Hauppauge DCT

SageDCT 1.5It just took a couple tweaks to get SageDCT working with the Hauppauge and SiliconDust Digital Cable Tuners previewed last week.  With all the testing we've been doing to evaluate the tuners in their "native" environment (Windows Media Center) there hasn't been much time to really guarantee 100% support in SageTV, but it does work and with the Prime starting to show up on your doorsteps I thought it best to keep the torch burning by releasing this tonight.

Aug 22 2011

Blog - Welcome SageTV and CableCARD Forums

If you've been perusing the Forums today you will notice a couple of new additions. The first is probably an obvious one, a CableCARD forum. With the growth of number of tuner devices being released we want to make sure there's a clear home to ask any and all questions you may have about this technology.

The second is actually a group of forums, specifically for SageTV users. With the acquisition of SageTV by Google earlier this year, we saw the request for a new permanent home from its users. We have launched the SageTV Forum group with 5 sub-forums, and will expand as needed. We hope everyone finds this useful, knowing that MissingRemote is not going anywhere!

More improvements coming in the near future, so hope everyone is enjoying them!

Aug 22 2011

Blog - LG BD690 Blu-Ray Player OOTB Install

So my wife took the kids to grandma's and I finally had some time to open and install the LG BD690 she'd given me for my birthday. I had my eye on the LG BD590 for a while because of the built-in disk drive. IMHO, it just makes it a more functional and hackable device in the long run, and being able to pre-download a movie helps avoid any possible network hiccups. But, I'd been holding off since the BD590 didn't support Amazon, and with the Amazon Prime free streaming option, I wanted to find something that could stream HD video. Unfortunately, due to ridiculous copyright restrictions, Amazon/Vudu/etc.. can't stream HD movies to any PC, including an HTPC. That, and the fact that my experience with ArcSoft TMT has been less than stellar, I've been looking to pick up a standalone player that can do both Amazon and Vudu. I was very excited when I saw the BD690 make Amazon's VOD list of compatible devices. The fact it can also do 3D is meaningless to me, since my Pioneer Kuro 141FD isn't going anywhere soon, and it's still hard to find anything out there that beats the 2D picture. But the 3D feature does increase the resell-ability when it's time to move on.


So let's start with the obligatory box shot:
Hmm..  it says it's a BD player...

Aug 21 2011

Blog - CableCARD Installation: It's Getting Better


Having just installed my second CableCARD product, I thought it would be good to share my experience. Last December, I posted about my experience installing the Ceton InfiniTV 4. Back then, I had to pay a $75 installation fee and schedule an installer to visit my home only to hand me the CableCARD and call in to have it activated. Meanwhile, set-top box users had the less expensive option of self-installing which hardly seemed fair.

Fast-forward to today when we now have a mandate from the FCC that has brought the self-installation option to CableCARD users. A quick call to my provider, Cox Cable, had a self-installation kit drop-shipped to my front door the next day. I am now required to pay a $20 activation fee which is fair and reasonable. For $20, I get the kit shipped to me and a free return shipping label is included. All the cables needed for installation are also included along with the CableCARD, tuning adapter and installation guide.

Tuning Adapter

The installation guide (attached) is straight-forward and easy to follow. I am positive that even technology luddites could successfully follow the guide. That said, I did run into some snafus in the process.

Aug 11 2011

Blog - Intel i3-2100T and i3-2100: Heatsink and Fan Differences

In many cases, it may not make a lot of sense to purchase the 35W Intel Sandy Bridge T-variant parts because they are typically more expensive than the slight power savings and heat differences can justify in real-world usage. One aspect where the parts shine though is in small form factor (SFF) installations. When it comes to SFF, the height of the heat sink-fan (HSF) is often a concern and an aftermarket solution is typically sought. 

I recently put together a system with an i3-2100T and was pleasantly surprised by just how slim the HSF is. Unfortunately, back when Andrew reviewed the i3-2100T, he did not have access to the retail HSF so you can see it in all of it's glory here. Note that this is not the HSF Intel is working on for SFF installs that we learned about from the DH61AG board review.

The measured height from the top of the board to the top of the HSF is 1-7/16" for the i3-2100T whereas the i3-2100 is 2-1/8". The AA cell pictured is 2" in height. You'll also notice the fan design is different with the i3-2100T fan being slimmer with 11 blades compared to the i3-2100 fan with 7 blades.

Hopefully, you'll find this information useful if you're planning out an installation in a tight space. Photos after the break.

Aug 10 2011

Blog - Catching Up with SiliconDust: A Q&A with President and CEO Theodore D. Head


With the introduction of the SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME digital cable tuner (DCT), there are a good number of questions both from the Missing Remote staff and more importantly, our readers. Thus, we took the initiative to seek answers to those questions in an effort to clear up as much uncertainty as possible. Thanks to Theodore D. Head, President and CEO of SiliconDust, for taking the time to respond to our queries.


Q: For those unfamiliar with SiliconDust, tell us a bit about the company. When was it established & what have you made your mark on the market with?

 A: Silicondust USA Inc was established in 2007 with the consumer launch of the HDHomeRun Dual Digital Network Tuner - taking the TV tuner out of your computer and putting on the home network via your router. Allowing the freedom to watch pause record Digital over the air or unencrypted cable anywhere in your home on any windows, mac or linux device - we are the innovators of the Network attached TV Tuner for computers.


Q: We saw an announcement from Elgato on Mac compatibility, how did that come about? How's the feedback been so far? Is this any indication that Mac support might come to your CableCARD tuners?

Aug 07 2011

Blog - ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 Updated

ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 5

If you've been following the development of ArcSoft's Total Media Theatre 5 (TMT5), then you are aware that a beta version of the software introduced automatic refresh rate switching to the rate contained in the content natively based on display capability. There have been a few issues with the beta such as the Windows Media Center version of the player being unable to automatically switch. With the new release of, this problem seems to have been resolved at least from my experience.

Coupled with the latest updates to the Sandy Bridge platform, my personal 24p experience through a home theater PC (HTPC) has never been better *champagne cork popping* Smile. If you're unsure of why 24p is such a big deal, check out our primer on the subject, 24p: What You Should Know

While ArcSoft still considers the automatic refresh rate switching a beta feature, I have not encountered any issues with the latest release. Give it a try and let us know what you think of the release.


Jul 27 2011

Blog - 67 Easy Steps to a W7 Media Center Reinstallation

I started this blog posting back in February, and about the same time took over the management of the start-up I was working for, so while the blog post lingered, I continued to use it for my own purposes to track the changes I made to the system. There are definitely a number of useful nuggets in here, especially if you want to use an SSD for recording and then move them to a NAS device. I know some people on this site believe this is a bad idea, but I've been doing it for two years now without a problem, so I figured I'd finally clean it up and post what I had. The last thing I wanted to do is create and maintain a complete inventory of all the software on the machine as I was doing here. I found a very slick free program called WinAudit which generated a nice CSV file for me which I then had to pivot in Excel (not using the pivot function, which doesn't handle text well :(

Jul 26 2011

Blog - Crackle

     Interested in more streaming content to consume? Well Sony’s Crackle has managed to fly under the radar of many streaming fans, but offers a good service for free! Crackle has a collection of Sony films and some TV content that they own the rights to, available for streaming on the PC and through apps for iOS and Android. If you’re in the market for more streaming content and you don’t mind not paying for it (legally) give it a stream on the PC, iOS or Android.


Jul 25 2011

Blog - New Affiliate Links to Support This Site

Hi folks, just wanted to take a moment to update folks on what keeps the site alive, beautiful wonderful affiliate advertising. The Amazon, Newegg and any other product links you see throughout the site help support the costs associated with running this website (whenever you purchase something that you clicked through to the store from our site we earn a small percentage of that sale).

As we are now using Skimlinks our links have changed, so please update your bookmarks if you had saved them for Amazon and Newegg to reflect the new ones. Thank you to all for your continued support!

Jul 15 2011

Blog - Congratulations RKWRIGHT, Winner of the Fractal Designs R3 Chassis!

Just did the drawing for the Fractal Designs Define R3 Chassis and the winner is RKWRIGHT!

RKWright, you should have received an e-mail from me by now and have 48 hours to get in touch with me.

Thanks to everyone who participated and good luck with our future contests!

Jul 14 2011

Blog - Are you technical and interested in writing for

I'm hoping most of you reading this are familiar with, we are a website that caters to most of the folks on AVS here, and we do blogs, reviews, news and the like.

Thanks to our readers we have been growing lately and have the opportunity for someone who is interested in writing for the website. This is a partially paid gig (but it's not a ton, so you seriously will want to love this stuff). We are looking for someone passionate about home theater and home theater computer parts, but also someone that is technical and can put all that into words.

Here's what we are looking for in terms of commitment from this person:

  1. Minimum 2 News Posts per week
  2. Min. 1 Blog per Month
  3. Min. 1 Guide or Review per month

So what will you receive? Certain articles you will be paid for, and then you will also have access to some very cool hardware units which you would review, and then possibly would keep. If you're curious what types of items we review, just click the "reviews" tab at the top.

How to apply:

  • E-Mail mike (at)
  • Tell me a bit about yourself, your history, where you frequently post
  • Any links to any blogging or other reviews
  • And then a writing sample of minimum 400 words. You can just pick a device in your home and basically just write a review for it, so we can get a feel for your writing and technical style.


Jul 06 2011

Blog - Contest - Beat the Summer Heat and Enter to Win a Cool Define R3 Case from Fractal Design




The prizes and giveaways continue, this time up, courtesy of the fine folks at Fractal Designs we are giving you all the opportunity to win a DEFINE R3 Chassis!

And since Fractal Designs rocks, this contest is open to US AND CANADA readers of the site!!

Jul 05 2011

Blog - Congratulations Stardog Champion - Winner of the Bruins Stereo Headphones!

Congratulations to our latest winner, Stardog Champion, who won our latest contest for the Boston Bruins Stereo Headphones!

Stardog, you will receive a PM from me with additional information. You have 48 hours to reply and accept.

Thanks to all who participated!

Jun 24 2011

Blog - Contest - Boston Bruins Stereo Headphones

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! Winner will be announced soon!!

The prizes and giveaways continue, this time up, courtesy of the fine folks at we have a set of their Boston Bruins NHL branded Stereo Headphones!

ImageHere's some info on these cool looking (assuming you like hockey) headphones with an MSRP of $40:

The Coloud Twelve headphone is a thoroughly tested headphone model proven to work fantastically. It’s a one-size-fits all headphone with a neutral sound and a snug fit.


  • Team logo printed in 3D rubber patches give headphones a unique feel
  • Adjustable headband provides a perfect fit
  • Features 3.5mm jack for maximum compatibility including iPod


Jun 16 2011

Blog - ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 Update

In our first look at ArcSoft’s TotalMedia Theatre 5 (TMT5), we found the updated version a huge step forward; however, there were a few outstanding issues we highlighted that were stopping TMT5 from attaining feature parity with stand-alone players and media streamers available on the market.  Since that time, CyberLink has responded with an updated revision of their popular PowerDVD (PDVD) software, bringing it closer to the level of polish and overall user experience offered by TMT5.  In that context, we’ve been given the green light to share some exciting news about an update that should be going into public BETA within the next few days.

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