Blogs

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 15 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.)

Nov 24 2010

Blog - Overwhelmed lately but getting back on track...1st up is Yammm v2

It probably comes as no surprise to many that I am long overdue for updates on many of my Media Center add-ins.  It has been a hectic year trying to juggle everything that life has thrown at me, but things are finally starting to settle and I am ready to get back to my partially complete projects.

Nov 24 2010

Blog - WHS Drive Extender Alternatives?

With yesterday's announcement that MS is killing off DE in the next version of WHS (Vail), I'm on a quest to find a replacement.  What I'd like to get from everyone is what they would replace DE with.

Obviously, the first option is RAID.  Personally, I'd go with RAID6 for the added safety net.  I have considered this many times in the past and I just can't bring myself to go back to it, due to the possible migration issues if the RAID card fails.

The second option would be unRAID, but I have two issues with it.  First off, it's built on Linux and I'm no expert with Linux, so I'd prefer not to have to struggle with a lack of OS understanding when I'm troubleshooting something.  Second, I would need the PRO version (due to my 13 hard drives) which costs $119 and that seems a bit steep to me.

I just stumbled onto Greyhole today, which is billing itself as a free, open source, Linux alternative to DE.  So far, the issues with it are, once again, Linux, and the fact that it's not in a stable state yet (according to the author).

My last known option is a return to FlexRAID, which I had been considering, anyhow, even before MS made this announcement.  Previously, FlexRAID showed issues under WHS and the system load, which does seem to speak to the issues MS was having with DE.  Currently, this is my first choice, but it will require some investigating on it's current state.

Any others?

Nov 24 2010

Blog - Just been one of those weeks

As the title says it has been one of those weeks. Between having a sick daughter all weekend, getting into a small accident in my car due to an ice storm we had Saturday night into Sunday and then my HTPC decided to die on me Sunday night in the middle of a football game.So needless to say I've been a little on edge all week. Monday night I was finally able to settle down, collect my composure and actually spend some time diagnosing my HTPC issues.

Nov 24 2010

Blog - Re-Launch Giveaway #5- Nvidia Geforce GT 430

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED, THANKS TO ALL FOR PARTICIPATING!

Is everyone still enjoying the contest?? I surely hope so, because we still have a TON of prizes! Given the upcoming holiday weekend upon us, we decided to have a special prize and make it last longer than the rest.

Thanks to our friends at NVIDIA, we have up for grabs a brand new EVGA GT 430 Video Card with 3D & HDMI 1.4a support!!!! While it's not exactly the same, you can get an idea about the bit streaming support of these new awesome 4-series graphics cards from Andrew Van Til's Review of the GTS 450 card.

The EVGA GT 430 has arrived. Tap into the horsepower of the GPU for a visually-charged boost on your favorite applications. Edit your photos & HD videos and push the limits of your Web experience with a new generation of GPU-accelerated browsers like Internet Explorer 9. Boost your gaming performance with the next generation gaming architecture built from the ground up for DirectX 11 and take 3D home with the latest Blu-ray 3D movies.

EVGA Geforce GT 430

Nov 23 2010

Blog - 24p: What You Should Know

Background

Long ago, filmmakers decided to standardize shooting film at 24 frames per second (FPS) primarily due to the high cost of film and state of the technology at the time.  Film became popular worldwide and every piece of production and distribution equipment was made to support this frame rate.

When television came into existence, the cathode ray tube (CRT) display technology was used.  CRT design at the time used a multiple of the power line frequency which is 60Hz in North America and 50Hz in Europe. The National Television System Committee (NTSC) standard developed in the United States in the 40’s and 50’s actually ended up slowing down the CRT refresh rate by 0.1% to 59.94Hz to compensate for some distortion that occurred due to the nature of the way NTSC transmits information.  Later, the Phase Alternate Line (PAL) standard was developed in Europe and had no such anomaly.

It should be noted that the refresh rates of PAL and NTSC are field rates because PAL and NTSC transmit frames using interlacing which is essentially a means of compression.  In other words, it allows more lines of resolution in a given amount of bandwidth, albeit at a slower frame rate.  When a frame is interlaced, it is divided into two fields with each field representing half the frame.  The fields are then transmitted in alternating fashion such that the frame rate is equal to half the field rate.  Thus, the frame rates of PAL and NTSC are 25fps and 29.97fps, respectively.

Naturally, people wanted a way to take film content shown in cinemas and display it on their televisions.  However, this presents a problem because film and video frame rates are different.  To compensate, “telecine” was created which is the general term used for “pulling down” film frames into video.

Nov 22 2010

Blog - MissingRemote Re-Launch Contest Giveaway #4- BigScreenGlobal

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! Thanks to everyone who participated.

We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that you’re enjoying the contest giveaway as much as we are! Even if you haven’t won yet, remember we have a LOT more prizes coming so you still have plenty of time!

Now onto this week’s worth of prizes! Today we’re giving away a prize bundle from BigScreenGlobal. 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.

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