Alan’s Build Log: Episode #4.5


There wasn’t enough accomplished over vacation to call it a full point release, so here we are at #4.5 of my build log. I will break it down into categories so it is easier to follow.


As luck would have it, my replacement ATI OCUR arrived 30 minutes before I left on vacation. Think of the torture knowing I had to wait 10 days before I could open it up! About 20 minutes after I got back from vacation I had it hooked up and the firmware updating to ensure everything is working OK. 

I scheduled an appointment for March 3rd to get the mythical CableCards installed. I was almost sure someone would put up a stink about installing the cards in a Media Center PC, but there was no problems. I was almost hoping for some sort of controversy but it was not meant to be.


I installed Anthony Park’s Netflix Plugin. What can I say… It works :). The first thing I tried was to stream Heroes and it worked extremely well. The quality was very good but not HD quality. I am not entirely sure it will replace browsing movies on my desktop but it will be an easy reference for what is on our queue and will easily allow me to add any new releases.




I had mentioned a week or so a go that my music tags needed a little fine tuning. I decided to go with Media Monkey for its batch tagging capabilities. I primarily use an Artist/Album sort so I had to retag some of the various artists CDs I own so the artist tags are ‘various artists’. It annoyed the heck out of me having a few hundred artists with only 1 song and no albums attributed to them. I have some album art and other issues to fix down the road

An alternative tagging program to look at is mp3tagger.

Windows Home Server

I haven’t done any real work on WHS since I moved all of my media to this server and installed Web Guide. I have yet to get all the bugs worked out of my WebGuide install. I am not entirely sure this will be useful as I think the firewall at my work is too restrictive.  I plan on spending more time configuring back-ups and remote viewing in the following couple of weeks.


Yup, thats right I am the proud owner of a Zune. I really have not had much of an opportunity to play with it. I downloaded the software last night and found the sync’ing operation to be a bit "forceful". Meaning it automatically tries to sync way more then I want and I am constantly having to go in and fight it. I have some music video files that the Zune software does not like. Does anyone have any suggestions on program would work best to convert these mpeg and avi files to WMV for the Zune?

Nothing to report on the hardware side other then the Zune Original artwork is pretty cool. I will report back when I have had more of a chance to play with it.

Home Theater

I keep threatening to do a calibration of my TV and receiver. I just find too many other things to fiddle with. I guess this is a testament to the out-of-the-box PQ of the Sony 60A3000.