A Nightly Gadget Update
I didn't see any news today because after work I became enmeshed in the online world of electronic gadgets. I'm still replacing the items taken during my home invasion last month, and since I wasn't insured, I have to go slowly. Make that at a snail's pace. I've spent untold hours this week learning and relearning the features of dvd -vhs recorders, blue ray players and units that do both with upscaling convertibility to 1080p so the picture matches that on your 1080p Hi-Def tv. [More...]
I've mentioned before that I think the Sharp Aquos model HD-TV's are the best. I have two.
The dvd-vhs recorder for one of the tvs went off with the bad guys, along with the tv. The other is this Panasonic with an 80Gb hard drive, as well as dvd and vhs, so you can record to the hard drive and then to the vcr or dvd, or any combination you want. I got it years ago, and learned today they are no longer sold in the U.S. Too much pressure from the media companies who didn't want stuff you record on tv, especially movies, put onto hard drives and then transferred to dvd and distributed.
So, my Panasonic, which I bought for around $300, is going for up to $1,900 on Ebay and elsewhere since otherwise you can only get dvd recorders with built in hard drives in Europe and Asia. I thought of selling it, but it has a feature I really like: Hooked up to my comcast dvr, it will transfer stored programs from the dvr onto a DVD. I don't want it to transfer movies or premium cable shows, just recorded news shows I appeared on as a guest. It's HDMI capable, and upscalable, so it's as good as whatever is out there now.
Then there's the blue ray player I got for free by cashing in 30,000 points I had on a credit card. In exchange for the points, I got 6 $50 Amazon Gift Certificates, the price of the Blue Ray I wanted, and used them online at Amazon's site to get the player.
There are differences between blue ray players -- the biggest one is if you want Netflix movies. With the Samsung Blue-Ray player I got, the BP-2500, it's set up for you to pick your movie or tv series on Netflix and watch on your tv (not computer) in less than 30 seconds. As uncoordinated with cables as I am, I managed to set the blue-ray correctly to the tv, update the firmware on the blue-ray player, and then have my netflix account activated on my player in 4 minutes. Then, I went to Netflix on the computer, picked four or five movies and clicked "add to instant queue." I turned on the blue ray player and there they were. All I had to was click to watch.
The picture is really HD quality and it streams effortlessly. No glitches, the video and voice sync appropriately, etc. Netflix charges $1.00 per month extra for this for unlimited viewing. You could watch 50 movies a month if you had the time, and the added cost to your Netflix plan is $1.00. The only minus is your player needs to be somewhere near a wired ethernet port. I dug out an old 50 ft. ethernet cord in the basement and it worked just fine. It works so great that I recommend it to all of you.
Back to my old comcast dvd recorder that has my old tv appearances on them. Getting them from the comcast recorder to another dvd recorder is tricky because they don't like you to do that. But I'm almost 100% certain I can do it if I hook it up to the old Panasonic recorder with the hard drive. I should be able to record hard drive to hard drive and then transfer them to dvds as I have time.
I can also return to recording stuff on the hard drive and then putting just the segments I want onto dvd to convert and upload to You Tube. I like making You Tube videos.
My last hurdle was what to do about the other flat screen tv: Get another blue ray player or another vhs-dvd- recorder without the hard drive. I hemmed and hawed on this all day, reading specs and consumer reviews and price comparisons, and ended up buying the Toshiba 610.
It would be nice if they made Blue-Ray recorders, not just players, and they may in 2009, but not yet.
I'm 90% done from the home invasion that started this whole project. I really want to be done by Xmas so I can return full time to blogging and lawyering by the first of the year.
I'm tapped out for now, and I've only got two items on my wish list: Replacing my 13" Macbook with this one and my Flip Mino HD recorder. If anyone wants to buy either for me, those are the links. You can also give $5.00 Amazon gift certificates which I can use towards it.
This has been quite a month, it literally turned my world upside down, between the bank, credit card and online password fraud issues (now fully resolved) and the odd feeling of walking around your house and not seeing your most fun things there.
I'm wiser now: I have a burglar alarm system that's always on (whether I'm in or out of the house) and heavy duty renter's insurance. Fool me once.....
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