Mar 02 2011

Blog - Giveaway #24 - Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 3 Blu-ray Software



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!!



Feb 25 2011

Blog - Congratulations to DennisHalling and DavidStein!

Congratulations to our last two winners of the Patriot PBO Core Media Player and the GlideTV!

  • User DennisHalling won the PBO Core
  • DavidStein won the GlideTV Navigator

You should both be receiving an e-mail from me shortly requesting information.

Congratuations to both of you, and worry not everyone else, we STILL have more prizes upcoming!

Feb 23 2011

Blog - LiveTV in Media Center over Remote Desktop via RemoteFX

Just a quick screenshot to show "proof" of Live TV using a Ceton InfiniTV over Remote Desktop via RemoteFX.

What is interesting about the screenshot, at least to me, is that I took it of a RemoteFX Remote Desktop Protocol (rdp) session from another RDP session that was connected via VPN over the WAN.

LiveTV in Media Center over Remote Desktop via RemoteFX

I'll be following up with a full overview of RemoteFX.  If you listened to today's podcast you we talked about it a little bit.  I do not believe it is a valid architecture for HTPC usage, at least not yet, but it is extremely cool technology.  It is just too expensive, both in hardware and software, to be used.  It most cases it makes more sense to get a low power Intel Core i3-2100T or AMD Zacate (if it proves a valid HTPC choice), you'll save money and energy consumption.

If you have any questions feel free to ask, I'll try to answer each in my RemoteFX follow up.  I'll go over what hardware I am using and what I am using it for.

Feb 14 2011

Blog - A Quick Look at Boxee Box Netflix

Since it's Valentines Day I have to make this quick so just the highlights.

  • Boxee's Netflix uses the new HTML5 Netflix application
  • HD is available
  • Multi-channel audio tracks are listed (Dolby Digital Plus!), but don't play - see the screenshot gallery for the error.
  • Subtitles are listed and work
  • DVD titles are listed in the results (but I wish they weren't)

Let me know if you have any questions, I'll try to answer them as best I can.

Feb 14 2011

Blog - Contest #23 - Patriot Box Office (PBO Core) Giveaway






We had a short break after a non-stop string of prizes, but fear not as we still have lots more to come!

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

PBO Core has an enhanced User Interface which is more visually pleasing, while also proving to be easier to use and navigate. Functionality has been enhanced with the addition of Internet Media Services (IMS), greater compatibility with HDTV’s, ability to play data from external optical USB devices and album artwork during audio playback. The addition of IMS provides a variety of streaming and internet enabled services such as video RSS feeds, streaming podcasts, online photo albums, live stock info, weather, news and more! The latest firmware which provides these features and improved user interface is available now and is backwards compatible with all Patriot Box Office media players on the market.

Feb 05 2011

Blog - SageDCT - Public Release

Two weeks ago I teased SageTV users with a screenshot of a Copy-Freely CableCARD content recording.  As tough as it might have been to wait; it's now over and I think SageDCT is stable enough to share with everyone.

For those who don't have the hardware, but are interested in seeing SageDCT in action.  I made a short video demonstrating how quickly channel changes are executed.

Enjoy Smile

Feb 03 2011

Blog - Congratulations LEHIGHBRI, Winner of the Ceton InfiniTV4!!

After tabulating the awesome amount of entries we had for the CETON InfiniTV4 CableCARD tuner, the winner is...LehighBri!!!

LehighBri, you will be receiving an e-mail from me asking for your information. As stated in the rules, you have 48 hours to reply or we'll have to *gulp*, re-draw (you can also PM, tweet, facebook me).

Congratulations and thanks again everyone for participating! If you didn't win, feel free to enter our current giveaway of the GlideTV Navigator!

Feb 03 2011

Blog - Giveaway #22 - GlideTV Navigator







GlideTV Navigator

 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. 

Per our review:

Finally, you can actually use the device right away without having to install a single thing. The remote works off of universal control device shortcuts for a lot of the tasks which makes using it a snap. I found myself switching between my laptop and my HTPC during some of my testing as I had a variety of online content on the laptop but didn't feel like holding it.

GlideTV Navigator

Feb 01 2011

Blog - Behind the Broadcast of Super Bowl XLV

If you didn't know already, Super Bowl XLV is just a few more days away and FOX will be handling the broadcast honors this year. It's not every day that I get to peek behind the scenes of the biggest broadcast event of the year so I jumped at the opportunity to meet Jeff Rozak of Calhoun Satellite Communications, Inc. and take a look inside his mobile uplink truck.

Jeff and his truck are going to be playing a critical role in bringing this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV broadcast to your home by linking up Cowboys Stadium to FOX production facilities. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the uplink truck and get an overview of how the broadcast will make its way to your TV.

Jan 28 2011

Blog - LG Optimus V Android Smart Phone

I realize this is only loosely related to home theater, but I picked up the just released LG Optimus V smart phone for Virgin Mobile. This isn't the best spec'd or sexiest phone out there, but it packs a lot of value for $149.

Jan 27 2011

Blog - Hauppauge Colossus Q&A

Update 4/1/2011: Hi Everyone, Michael has some other priorities right now so I am going to take over his efforts with the Colossus. I should be getting the card next week and will try to get a working setup in the next couple weeks to continue on with this thread.

I currently have a prototype Hauppauge Colossus HD PVR in my development HTPC and wanted to start a Q\A thread here at Missing Remote.

Hauppauge Colossus HD PVR

Jan 24 2011

Blog - SageDCT - Teaser

Those waiting for SageTV to get Copy Freely Digital Cable Tuner (aka CableCARD) support will just need to wait a litle bit longer.  I sent out a few copies of SageDCT to a private beta group earlier this evening Smile

Jan 20 2011

Blog - Congratulations WKTAYLOR, Winner of the WHS!

I already confirmed with him, but wanted to make it public. The winner of our copy of Windows Home Server is WKTAYLOR!! Congratulations and thanks to all who participated.

If you haven't (or even if you have) won a prize yet, don't worry we still have a lot to go. Don't miss our current awesome giveaway, a CETON InfiniTV4 CableCARD Tuner!

Jan 19 2011

Blog - Giveaway #21 - CETON InfiniTV4 CableCARD Tuner






 Ceton InfiniTV4

We have a fantastic prize up for you for the next two weeks, with the ever so coveted CETON INFINITV4 television tuner. Thanks to our friends at CETON, we have up for grabs one of these awesome CableCARD tuners where you can stream up to FOUR high definition cable streams to your Windows 7 Media Center system via 1 actual CableCARD! But don't take my word for how awesome this card is, here's a snippet from our very own Michael Welter's recent review of the card:

I had a few more hours of work before I could get home and finish the setup so I wasn’t too worried. But it seemed like such as waste of a few test hours. I called my wife and asked if she would setup the tuner for me. She was a little reluctant but she also had a show she wanted to watch, and eventually she agreed. I told her to follow the instructions provided on the Quick Installation Guide, skip the CableCARD activation step and give me a call if she ran into any issues.

Jan 16 2011

Blog - Congratulations to PAPutzback, Winner of the HDPlex Chassis!

Congratulations to our latest Giveaway contest winner, PAPutzback who has won the HDPlex silent chassis! As you may remember, PAPutzback was also the winner of one of the BigScreenGlobal prize packages a few weeks ago.

Don't forget our current contest, where you can WIN a copy of Windows Home Server! And don't forget you can get additional entries through Twitter and Facebook to increase your chances of winning just like PAPutzback!

Jan 13 2011

Blog - Giveaway #20 - Windows Home Server





Windows Home Server

Thanks to our friends at Blue Monkey Communications, we have up for grabs the ever so popular Microsoft Windows Home Server with Power Pack 3! This is of course the popular home server solution from Microsoft that provides all sorts of backup and network sharing capabilities in your home. In case you forgot, we had a good ol Battle of the Windows Home Servers a bit ago where we built a couple using this and how it panned out.

Next, let's cover the 2nd Windows Home Server box I built. This time, I was a bit wiser regarding WHS as a software solution, and aimed to focus my purchases on a lower-cost, and more attractive solution than the 50 pound behemoth previously covered. As WHS has grown in popularity (and reliability thanks to Power Pack 1), so too has the availability of WHS-targeted components. Obviously, any type of hardware will work as proven with the Frankenstein WHS, but you saw the biggest disadvantages to going that route -- size and power consumption.


Jan 07 2011

Blog - Congratulations to our last 2 winners - KustomKid and GumiBears

Well, one person's loss is another person's gain. Per our contest rules, the previous winner of the Western Digital AV-GP hard drives did not respond, so we had to re-draw for those...and the winner is KustomKid!

And then, for one of our most popular contests to date, the AMD Phenom 615E...the winner is....GuMiBears!!!

Congratulations to both of you, you will be receiving an e-mail from me shortly.

Btw, it's worth mentioning that both of the above winners also had entries from Facebook and Twitter which obviously helped! So keep that in mind for future contests, having more entries helps your chances Smile

Jan 07 2011

Blog - Mikinho CES 2011 Checklist

While this is not my first time in Vegas, it is my first time attending CES. I really don't know what to expect. What do I bring? How do I act? Do I resist the urge to gamble all day and night? What if I follow in Jeremy's footsteps and lose my wallet? As sad as this may sound to some, this will be my first trip without my beautiful wife (who spoils me rotten) since before our wedding. I'm without my better half--the normal half.

I envision myself in that episode of Malcom in the Middle where the mom leaves Hal alone with the younger boys for a few days for the first time while she takes care of their elder son Francis. Will I digress? Where will I find killer bees? I know I will be among fellow tech geeks but do I let my inner geek run rampant? What the hell does that even mean?

Jan 06 2011

Blog - VUDU – Video On Demand Perfected?

I recently took a look at VUDU’s high-definition (HD) video on demand (VOD) service by viewing Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster, Inception. While watching using my Samsung TV’s built-in VUDU app, I experienced something amazing. Was it a dream or a dream realized?

VUDU promotes itself as a premium, instant and “eye-popping” 1080p streaming VOD service with day-and-date release and the most HD titles. VUDU has also recently announced their carriage of 3D content which is welcome in today’s 3D-starved content market. A quick check of their catalog reveals more than 3600 titles available in VUDU’s HDX streaming format.

Note: The pictures here don't capture the true detail offered by VUDU

What is this HDX you ask? HDX is VUDU’s top streaming quality tier featuring 1080p resolution and a Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack. Viewing Inception in HDX was eye-opening, to say the least. Internet streaming video, while convenient, is often associated with poor quality video and audio lacking surround. HDX is a bright exception to that notion. HDX has different levels of streams with the minimum being 4.5 mbps and the maximum being 9 mbps. I had the good fortune of watching at the highest HDX bit rate as indicated by the VUDU app.

Jan 06 2011

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







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





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 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.


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



QNAP NMP-1000P Media PlayerQNAP NMP-1000P

Continuing our 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.


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

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