Wednesday, June 25, 2008

HD Recording and Playback the Gefen Way!

HD Recording and Playback the Gefen Way!
Gefens new High Definition PVR (Personal Video Recorder) the GTV-HD-PVR is a great way to record your favorite HD content for later playback. It has a great selection of Inputs - Composite Video, S-Video, Component Video and two HDMI Inputs. Connect your non-HDCP encrypted HDMI sources and HD Component Video source and record them at resolutions from 480i up to 1080i. It also has an SD Disk slot for offloading your movies to computer. A great way to archive your HD Camcorder movies or Time Shift your favorite TV Shows and movies. While not inexpensive, it is a very versitile little box that with a built-in 80GB Hard Drive.

For Professional use - this makes a great device for Digital Signage Applications!
The Link:
Gefen GTV-HD-PVR, High Definition PVR

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Digital and Analog Audio Conversion, Common Problems

Digital and Analog Audio Converters:
Why, when and where do you need them?

We get people looking for solutions to Audio problems with need for Analog to Digital, Digital to Analog and Coax to/from Toslink Optical Audio all the time. Here are some common problems.

Digital to Analog (DAC):
  • PS3 Digital Output to your Standard Stereo or TV input.
  • Connecting Audio Device with Digital Output to Standard Stereo Connection.
  • You have a HDTV with an ATSC tuner or Cablecard Tuner, the HDTV has Digital Audio out, but no Analog Audio out, and you don't have a Digital Input on your Stereo or Home Theater.
  • You have run out of Digital Inputs on your Receiver and need to connect something that only has a Digital Audio Output.
  • Your Receiver has a Zone 2 (or Zone 3) that you use for another room, but the Zone 2 will not pass a Digital signal to the second Zone, only Stereo analog audio.
Analog to Digital (ADC):
  • You have run out of Analog Inputs on your Receiver, but still have a spare Digital input that you want to connect a stereo device to.
  • You have a single coax cable in your wall and want to transmit stereo audio to another location.
  • You have a Digital Recorder with no Stereo inputs, and need to connect stereo audio.
  • You need to run Analog audio a long distance without loss.
Toslink Optical to Digital Coax/Digital Coax to Toslink Optical
  • Your Receiver does not have enough Coax Digital Inputs for your Devices.
  • Your Receiver does not have enough Toslink Optical Inputs for your Devices.
Digital and Analog Audio Converters

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Repeat after me - There are no useful video sources that support Deep Color.
There are no useful video sources that support Deep Color.
There are no useful video sources that support Deep Color.
There are no useful video sources that support Deep Color.
There are no useful video sources that support Deep Color.

Got it? Anyone who implies that deep color is useful or will improve your Color uniformity issues or vertical banding effects is quite simply - a dummyhead.

Home is where the Plasma and Projector is

It is nice to get home from some hotel with a crappy TV and get back to all of your recorded shows and rentals and DVD's, etc and go and watch them on your HD Plasma, LCD or projector. Ahhh, home again.
How many people out there feel the need to eyeball calibrate your hotel TV? I know I do. They always look terrible with over saturated colors, too much sharpening and poor selection of video mode that is way off (vivid).
Those 19 inch TV's or whopping bigger ones like the 32 inch ones they have in some hotels are no better setup than the one at your local pizza parlor.
It just goes to show that most people have no idea that TV's are not at their best with default settings. The ISF has been trying to educate the public for years, but with limited results.
It's all about perceptions of manufacturer intent and delivery.
TV's are set up out of the box to be ultra bright and ultra razor sharp, and in no way accurate. Many of them cannot be made extremely accurate even with ISF service menu calibration. In many cases service menu calibration is not even useful.
Why? Well, that question is one to annoy the manufacturers with. First off, they should make it possible to do grayscale calibration and other crucial settings without having to go into the service menu. That way, they don't have to worry about problems with returns because of failed calibrations. It would also result in their HDTV's looking as good as possible for the largest number of consumers. Oh yeah, that would be terrible!
The trouble is that a lack of consumer education has left the whole calibration issue in some kind of alternate universe where everything is not perfect out of the box. If manufacturers would just admit to this truth, consumers and dealers and calibrators would all be able to work from the same page - truth.

OK, enough ranting. Tbush should have a new article on recording Microphones with computers real soon, for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Seattle Weather sucks like a bad ATSC USB Tuner

I'm in Seattle this week for a conference and boy does Seattle weather suck. I don't know how Seattle people deal. These are some stout minded people here, when the weather is even marginally ok, they treat it like it's a beautiful sunny freaking day. Hey, it's a great city. Lots to do and see, great people, and all of that, but really, this is June weather? Having a conference in someplace like Alcatraz might be more uplifting. It's no wonder all those great grunge bands and Jimi Hendrix came from here. Weather like this must make you want to explode when you get a chance. I hope that if we ever learn to control the weather to some extent we try it out here first. Imagine this place with, like, sunshine? Whoah! Frickin San Diego would be jealous.
What else sucks? Trying to use a non hardware encoding ATSC HDTV card to try to watch HDTV on your laptop if it's a bit old or lacking in the video card department. I got a "big name" brand USB ATSC tuner at the local BB with my "rebate" (and a few more bucks) for getting my HD DVD player there. What a waste. I thought I'd be able to watch some shows in HD on my laptop here in the middle of town if the weather sucked. Well, to make a long story short, I could tune a bunch of local channels with decent signal strength but without hardware encoding I could not watch anything. Sure, my laptops a bit old, but not that old, it's still fine for watching DVD's, and I thought I might get it to work ok at lowered resolutions. Bah! No such luck. Couldn't watch HD or standard Def even with good signal strength. I should have got a hardware encoding tuner that offloads cpu intensive processing to the adapter - not the cpu, and I should have already known that.
We do sell them, but as often happens, I wasted money to try to save a few bucks. I should have sunk that BB gift card into some new Blu Ray disks like I did with the rebate for the other frigging HD DVD player I bought.
Shoulda got: AutumnWave OnAir USB HDTV GT