Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stuff I Like

1. I just watched Ratatouille. It was soooooooooooo good. I love being late cuz I get to enjoy things like they're new, without all the fanfare.

2. Television Zombies, a fun podcast that talks about shows I love and those I probably should.

3. Vampire Diaries! Because of the great people of Television Zombies, I started watching this show on Friday. Three days later, I had devoured all 14 aired episodes. This ish is great! Ian Somerhalder (Paul from Rules of Attraction [I don't watch Lost]) plays Damon, the bad vampire brother in this modern Dark Shadows-y mash-up of awesome and schmaltz. Love it and can't wait for it to resume in march. Chuck and Tina from TZ have a separate podcast for the show, Chuck and Tina Spread VD. It's pretty good.

4. Home Theater Solutions. You may recall this post where I muddle over the home media streaming options. Well I finally got off my indecisive duff and made some decisions. Instead of a wi-fi-enabled TV, I went the media player route. And while the WD Live is ubiquitous and attractive, the Patriot Box Office gets snaps for having a wider range of media file support, a hdd bay for storage, a vocal online community, and awesome customer support.

Since I don't have an ethernet line running to the bedroom, and media players have issues playing large HD files over a wireless network, I went with this, powerline networking. It's so convenient. Plug one into your router and the other into your device in any part of the house. Apparently you should make sure that both are on the same circuit. I guess mine are cuz this is working perfectly, no stuttering or dropped signals.

This is my media player. It's so awesome. It plays all my downloaded content, has good picture quality (file dependent, of course), and is small enough not to take up much space. Two issues: the UI is not that pretty and very basic and those running Windows 7 have to manually edit their registries to access files over a network. The first issue doesn't bother me much. The second took all of two minutes to solve. As I type, New Egg is sending a 120 GB laptop hard drive to install in this baby. That way I can store media directly on the device and enable the bit torrent option. Woo hoo!

Now the problem with having all these devices--cable box, media player, television--is the profusion of remotes. Now I looked into the Logitech Harmony thing, but 70 plus for a remote is ridiculous. Instead I chose this, the NXG NX-RM505, and based on the reviews, it may be just what I need. We'll see when it gets here.

So that's it.


Natalie said...

Got to love that little Rat! I've been sleeping on Vampire Diaries, maybe I'll get into it over spring break. Then again, you seem to have no problem with vampires that twinkle in the sun so I may not be able to trust you on vampire related business.

I think you'd like Lost...a lot. I resisted for years but was won over by glorious boredom. Now it's my fave.

Nice system. Curious to know how it works out.

atrackbrown said...

How desperate am I? Yippee, a comment! Let me seize this moment to talk my one reader's head off.

You can trust me on VD. I was gonna create this huge chart (and still may) on the differences between Twilight, True Blood, and Vampire Diaries. Just know that Twilight is the schmaltziest and weakest of the three (though probably the most bizarre) and is strictly a guilty pleasure. Vampire Diaries is better acted, more interesting, has badder-assed vampires, and is like a mix of Dark Shadows and Buffy. If that appeals to you, you'll like it, despite the teencentrism.

I'll update on the system.