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Thread: The gadget thread

  1. #1

    The gadget thread

    I am a self confessed gadget junkie. I love electronic gadgets and gizmos of every size and variety. Honestly, I could ramble on for pages on the various computers, tablets, pmp's smart TVs, remotes, etc that litter my house. But I'll just start with my favorite:

    MythTV
    MythTV is to Tivo as Tivo is to a VCR. It is the ultimate DVR. It's an open source program that runs on linux, the fact that it's open source and you build the device yourself gives you incredible flexibility. It's not for everyone, it does require some expertise and upkeep, but that's half the fun for me (actually more like 68.7% of the fun). You add the tuners that you want - cable, satellite or antenna. I have 4 tuners that can record 11 shows at a time. I don't think I've ever recorded more than 5 at a time, the computer would probably melt if I tried 11. 2 HDHomeruns (dual tuner, each tuner can record 2 shows if they're on the same multiplex, a dual tuner analog card for SD cable and an HD-DVR for satellite. HDHomerun is a stand alone digital tuner that plugs into the network rather than the pc itself. I have a 3rd HDHR, an HDHR Prime that takes a cablecard, but it doesn't work with MythTV (I'll get to that one later).

    The coolest thing about MythTV to me (other than no monthly DVR bill) is it will do query based recording. You can set up rules and it will record anything that fits that rule. I have rules set up to record every prime time show, every night on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and WB (I'm pretty sure i've never watched a WB show, but I have them all anyway). It also records the today show, all of the late night shows, some syndicated shows (simpsons, big bang, seinfeld, etc) and a handful of random programs (such as How it's made). I usually record about 20-30 shows a day. I have 5 terrabytes dedicated just to recording shows, so I have about 6 weeks worth of recordings at all times. Of course I only watch a fraction of the recorded shows, but it's nice not having to choose beforehand what I'm going to want to watch.

    It has a built in DLNA server. For those not familiar with DLNA, get familiar, it's incredibly cool. It's essentially a whole home DVR. I can watch any show recorded on my MythTV box on any TV in my house that has DLNA built-in or an attached blu-ray player.

    MythTV records shows as MPG2, which is huge, but it has what are called User Jobs available for post-recording. I have user jobs set up to knock the show down to mp4 (with handbrake, takes a 2GB show down to 150-200mb) and rename the file by show, season, episode number and episode name (with a program called filebot). So no more starting shows in the middle, just start recording and start watching once I have a full season or series, on TV, computer, tablet or phone.

    As I said, MythTV isn't for everyone, but if you are a technically proficient TV junkie like myself, it's a must.

    Who else has a gadget/technology review, good or bad?

  2. #2
       
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    Wow. Closest I come is ipads are great for autistic kids.

  3. #3
       
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    Jeepers! 25-30 shows a day? I'd spend all my time deleting stuff! Sounds great, tho.

  4. #4
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottDCP View Post
    Wow. Closest I come is ipads are great for autistic kids.
    ipads are a freaking godsend for workers in the physical therapy industry, especially those working with children. My sister works with children for a school system and it's amazing what kids with handicaps can do with them.
    "Make sure you come to the game day chat to see my feeble attempts at typing there, it's abhorrent. "
    or as gobig calls it "Ragaring"

  5. #5
    iPads are also great for people who live with paranoid attorneys who refuse to let you hook up to their Internet.
    Part owner of the 13-time world champion Green Bay Packers

    1929-1930-1931-1936-1939-1944-1961-1962-1965-1966-1967-1996-2010

  6. #6
    Haha but I seriously missed the tech side of things. My father ran his own business before he passed building custom PCs out of our basement and he worked for Sharp writing technical manuals and fixing crap around the office. Sadly he passed when I was 5...he woulda been blown away by the stuff we have now. A guy I worked with recently for a couple months was my dad's friend growing up. My dad bought a CD burner back in the day for $2,000. He said they put a CD in, went to the diner, watched a movie, and finished a 30 pack and the CD still wasn't done burning.

    My brother picked up on the tech pretty young. He was always more into computers and went to college for computer science, though he never graduated. He caught on at a job with a company that makes iPhone games a few years back and has been with them ever since. He's extremely tech savvy. Me on the other hand? I use a Samsung Alias for my phone, I have a broken Dell laptop, a PS2, and an iPad my brother bought me for my county college graduation. If it wasn't for the iPad, I'd be back in 2001 with my tech.
    Part owner of the 13-time world champion Green Bay Packers

    1929-1930-1931-1936-1939-1944-1961-1962-1965-1966-1967-1996-2010

  7. #7
       
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    I love sitting in the coffee shop reading my smart phone It's Android, not that that matters much. It's a wonder to me that I can get so much info and carry it around in my pocket.

  8. #8
    I'm not a fan of apple products in general, but the iPad is incredibly cool. I still prefer my Android tablet (Galaxy Tab), but both have value.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeland View Post
    I'm not a fan of apple products in general, but the iPad is incredibly cool. I still prefer my Android tablet (Galaxy Tab), but both have value.
    Can you explain the differences? I'm like a soccer mom with this stuff. :P

    Also, I'm curious to hear why you're not a fan of apple. I hear so much pro-apple stuff from my brother it's sickening...my laptop had a problem and I ask him for help and he goes, "Step 1: Uninstall Windows. Step 2: Kill yourself for buying a PC or redeem yourself and buy a Mac." I'd like to hear what you have to say on this topic. You seem to be all about customizing products, so is it an open vs closed thing?
    Part owner of the 13-time world champion Green Bay Packers

    1929-1930-1931-1936-1939-1944-1961-1962-1965-1966-1967-1996-2010

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
    I love sitting in the coffee shop reading my smart phone It's Android, not that that matters much. It's a wonder to me that I can get so much info and carry it around in my pocket.
    It must be mind-blowing to the older generations. I grew up with tech so its not a real shock to my generation, but people like my uncle (almost 30 years older than me to the day) couldn't grasp the graphics on NFL 2K3 for GameCube. He said it looked exactly like he was watching football. I couldnt imagine the dichotomy between no computers, no cell phones, to ultra books, tablets, PDAs, smartphones, etc.
    Part owner of the 13-time world champion Green Bay Packers

    1929-1930-1931-1936-1939-1944-1961-1962-1965-1966-1967-1996-2010

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