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Mac Mini HTPC?

By on Jun 29, 2009 | 9 comments

Over the last few months I have considered buying a Mac Mini to connect to my TV. I would use it primarily for listening to music and watching digital copies of movies. The most recent hardware update to the Mini makes it much better suited as a HTPC (home theater PC) than the previous models. The updated integrated video card and slightly better processor should be more than enough to push 1080p content to my Samsung LCD. I have read online about other people using the Mini for this purpose. It is low powered, and very quiet. That is something that is definitely important to me for this type of use. Currently I use PS3 Media Server on my iMac to stream all of my media to my PS3. By using that program, I can play practically anything on my PS3 by transcoding the media files on the fly. This works fine but requires me to always have my iMac and PS3 running when I want to view that type of content. If i purchase a Mac Mini that would not be necessary. I’m just not sure that I will utilize it enough to spend over $600 on another computer that will basically only serve the purpose of media playback. Obviously, I am still on the fence about it. I’m curious what others think about using the Mini for this purpose… Any suggestions of software for the media library would be great. I have read about a few, but some suggestions of what others have used would be...

IM+ with Push Released

By on Jun 26, 2009 | 5 comments

IM+ version 3.1 has finally been released on the iTunes App Store and is now available for download. It is compatible with the iPhone and Touch using the 3.0 firmware. It includes all popular IM protocals such as AIM, Yahoo, etc., and now even includes Twitter. I bought this app when it was on sale months ago for $.99. It is currently priced at $9.99. I think it is worth it, even at that price. Click the iTunes button below to view the...

Some FiOS PPV info

By on Jun 15, 2009 | 4 comments

Yes I know, another FiOS post… FiOS is gaining popularity, and for the most part, information about it is not that easy to find. So, as I come across things related to FiOS I will be sharing them here. This time, I am going to talk about a few things regarding the pay-per-view (PPV) services that Verizon offers. First off, you can order a PPV basically in 2 ways; on your set top box or online with FiOS TV Central. If you order a PPV on a specific set top box, you are limited to that box for watching the PPV. As I have tested while watching multiple UFC events on PPV, you are able to record them to your DVR. If you have a multi room DVR you can actually hit record and then watch it on another box in the house. Just remember, if you stop playing it completely you will not be able to enter the recording again where you left off. I guess this is a limitation of viewing something while it is currently recording. As far as I know, if you record something like a UFC PPV it will stay on your DVR for as long as you keep it there. I left one for about 5 days to see if after 24 hours is was disabled, but it never was. The other way to order, as stated above, is online. This works fairly well from my experience. I ordered UFC 99 via the web interface about 20 minutes prior to the show. When ordering online, the PPV is not limited to a single box. It will play on every box in your house and there is not a limit of viewers either. I tried watching it on 3 of the 4 HD boxes in my house and it showed on all of them at the same time with no problem. The only limitation to ordering online is that you can’t record the event. If you hit the record button on your DVR it pops up a message saying that can not record without purchasing. Obviously, if you are able to watch it then you have ordered it, but once again it’s just a limitation of their system. So basically, if you want to record an event you need to order it on your DVR. If not, online ordering is the way to go so that you aren’t limited to one...

Viacom HD channels soon on FiOS

By on Jun 11, 2009 | 1 comment

A few weeks ago it was announced that Verizon had finally made a deal with Viacom to add their HD channels to the lineup. Rumor had it that we would get them some time in late June/July. Well, it looks like a date has finally been set. Here is the proposed channel lineup: MTV HD 710 VH 1 HD 717 CMT HD 721 Nick HD 752 Spike HD 554 Comedy Central HD 690 The first of these channels should be live starting on June 24 (subject to change), with the rest to be added over the following week. This is in no way official, but it has been spreading over the internet today. Let’s hope that it’s true. I have been waiting for Spike HD. Now that it has been added I basically have every HD channel that I need. All is...

Sirius, I’m not coming back

By on Jun 11, 2009 | 3 comments

Back in November of 2008 I cancelled my Sirius subscription. I got rid of my Jeep and my new car, a 2009 Maxima, has XM built in. I never knew cancelling a service could be so hard. At the time, I had one radio and the premium web stream with Sirius. I called and was trying to explain to them why I wanted to cancel my service. After being transferred 5 times, I was finally able to cancel my service…or at least I thought so. Soon after I “canceled” my service I started getting constant phone calls. Each time I told them I wasn’t interested in going back because I now had XM. I even asked them why they would keep calling considering Sirius XM is now a single company. I never really got a good answer. All they said was that the subscriptions were still separate. Anyways, when I cancelled I was told I would get a credit because I had paid for a quarter that wasn’t over yet. The next month I saw that I didn’t get a credit, so I checked again the next month to see a charge from Sirius. I called them and asked what it was for. They said when I cancelled my subscription the person still left the online radio portion on file. So now I was being charged the full $12.99 for just the web radio. I said to the person on the phone that I wanted everything cancelled and they took care of it and credited me all the money back. She also told me that she took my credit card completely off file so that it wouldn’t be possible to get charged again. Over 6 months later I am still receiving calls and constant mailings from Sirius asking me to come back, even after calling their opt-out number 888-440-6342 and then telling them to never call me again once I received even more calls. Honestly, after all this time, Sirius still can’t see that I have pre-paid a 2 year subscription to XM? No wonder the company went bankrupt. Stop wasting resources on someone like myself who is already a customer and spend the money on programming, because as of late, it’s become totally horrible. It’s hard for me to believe that I am even paying for a radio service that each channel plays about 15 songs a day over and over again day in and day out. Why would I even consider paying full price for a Sirius subscription when I could pay less than $5 a month to add “the best of Sirius” to my XM package? All of the actual music stations have basically meshed together and are on both services anyway. If XM wasn’t built in to my car I would just cancel everything and pay the termination fee. I can’t stand it anymore. Just go completely bankrupt already so that I don’t have to hear from you ever...

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