Archive for the ‘HTPCs’ Category

Macworld 2007

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

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Just a few quick general impressions from the show today.

iPhone and AppleTV

First, iPhone and AppleTV are two huge new platforms for Apple to develop and deserved the spotlight today. That said, not really being able to touch or to truly get a “live” demo of the iPhone was a bit of a bummer. I guess this is why Apple usually doesn’t release products that aren’t done.

[Jan 10, 2007 – David Pogue gets a hands on with the iPhone – “Typing is difficult”

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The AppleTV seems to be on the surface of things a great platform for Apple to develop. That said, I think they may need to do some convincing to those of use with HDTVs. While photos look great on this device, video was …lacking. Maybe it’s the fact that I was looking at a 42″ HD set from less than 3 feet away, but video looked kind of horrible. I’m not sure if it is the device or the video, but man, it didn’t look good.

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Fanboy Whining

No Macworld would be complete without a little complaining. I know we’ll see it soon, but I really, really wanna see what Leopard looks like. I get that two big products were introduced today, but what’s shipping from today? Typically, we get a little software to play with before the hardware ships, so I’m bummed that we didn’t get iLife ’07 today. I suspect that it is tied to the features in Leopard we haven’t seen yet.

Finally

From a visit to Macworld perspective, Macworld is pretty boring. Folks at home are getting as much of a hands on experience as we are at the show. However, the AppleTV and iPhone launch are the most significant new directions we have seen from Apple in years. Exciting times, indeed.


More pictures from the show

EyeTV meet FrontRow, FrontRow meet EyeTV

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

I’ve been a mostly happy user of EyeTV for about a year now (I’ve got the EyeTV 500 for recording digital TV signals), but I’d always hoped that they would go the 10 foot interface route.

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I use EyeTV in our kitchen and record programs mainly for my daughter and to stream signals to a network DVD player in my bedroom. My biggest complaint with EyeTV is that unlike it’s PC brethren (Windows Media Center, SageTV, and Beyond TV), it lacked a good way to control it from far away.

The new version of EyeTV will work in full screen mode (that is a little more than an homage to Apple’s FrontRow)and it appears most of the features will be accessible from a remote control. The upgrade will work with the Apple remote or the remote that was bundled with the EyeTV hardware. Unfortunately, there are no screen shots of program scheduling or upcoming schedules, but the two screen shots they have provided, it seems that they are keen to keep the simplicity of the FrontRow interface, for better or worse.

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It’s a bit strange that this is a dot release for EyeTV given their recent upgrade from 1.x to 2.0 was a small upgrade feature-wise and they charge $79. This upgrade completely changes EyeTV into a TV friendly application, rather than merely a way to watch television on your desktop.

As a first release, I’m sure that their will be some kinks to work out, but I look forward to the EyeTV upgrade later this month. Kudos to Elgato for continuing to build and improve this great Mac program.

Yahoo! acquires Meedio

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

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Ten foot interfaces. Microsoft has one and recently, so does Apple. And now, Yahoo! bought their very own. Meedio, one of the many television front ends for Windows XP, was acquired today by Yahoo! Strangely, tho, it appears that only the company was purchased but not all of their products, so it is unclear whether Yahoo! intends to use the technology as a DVR front end or to merely have ten foot interface of their own.

This acquisition reminds me a bit of the Konfabulator (now Yahoo! Widgets) acquisition made earlier this year by Yahoo! Much like Konfabulator, Meedio had an avid developer community and there were many plug-ins developed for weather, news, RSS and the like. So while a web based DVR may be part of the picture, don’t be too surprised to see Yahoo! on your television in the not-to-distant future.

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(Via Zatz not Funny)

Windows MCE on a iMac

Monday, March 20th, 2006

imacmce.jpgNot satisfied with just running regular XP on an Intel Mac, the folks over at the OSX86Project have gotten Windows MCE up and running on an Intel iMac. They don’t have the IR port working yet, but I imagine that it will only be a matter of time.

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(Via Matt Goyer’s Media Center Blog.)

DirecTV and CableCard on Windows Vista Details

Monday, January 30th, 2006

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Thomas Hawk, digital media enthusiast, has a long write up of his recent blogger’s dinner with Microsoft exec, Jim Allchin. In a turn of events, it looks like DirecTV will have less draconian rules than cable as to how their services will work with PCs.

All CableCard enabled Windows Vista boxes will have to be certified by CableLabs, the organization that created the standard. So, not only will manufacturers have to get certified by CableLabs, but each shipping PC must be certified as well. Basically, it means that you can forget about building a CableCard enabled HTPC yourself. This will make it tougher for smaller manufacturers to build these machines, as well.

On the other hand, DirecTV will allow after market cards to be installed by individuals, rather than buying brand new boxes. This will certainly make DirecTV more attractive to tweakers than cable.

No word on pricing or timing, but there are many details of the hows and whys of satellite and cable and how they integrate with Vista.

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(Via HDBeat.)

Rumor Mill – Mac Mini PVR?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

indexweight20050111.gifIs it that time already? It looks like the speculation has already begun as to what will be announced at Macworld Expo in January. Apple announcement speculation has a special place in my heart. I like to kick back at the end of the year with my nerd kin and come up with what we want Santa Jobs to give us post-Christmas.

Think Secret is reporting that Macworld will deliver us an Intel based Mac Mini PVR. While in my nerdy heart of hearts I want this to be true, I think it’s too soon after the release of Front Row. For the record, I believe that Front Row will be bundled into whatever Apple has cooked up for iLife ’06.

(Via PVRblog.)

New Macs reviewed

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

imac.jpgThe PowerMac G5 dual core (2.0Ghz and 2.3Ghz, but alas no Quad) got a write up in Macworld yesterday. Looks like Apple’s claims of dual core processors equaling the dual processors were true if you believe the Speedmark numbers. It will be much more interesting to see the numbers on the Quad 2.5 to see if they truly double their processing power.

Verdict – Fast, but the Quad will be faster.
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Next up, our pals at Macintouch review the new iMac G5 (isight). The reviews focuses on Front Row and iSight integration which in general, they like. The new iMacs are also thinner and quieter than previous models.

Verdict – Not much faster, but cool new apps and thin profile make a cool package.
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