Categories: "Home Theatre" or "3DTV" or "AppleTV" or "Blu-Ray" or "Boxee" or "Cable HD DVR" or "DVDs / NetFlix" or "HD Movies" or "HDTV" or "Momitsu V880N" or "OTA HDTV" or "ReplayTV" or "Roku XDS" or "Samsung HLN4365W1" or "Samsung UN50ES6500F" or "Time Warner/Cox Cable" or "TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite"

Pages: 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 49

06/29/13

  08:32:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2306 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Time Warner/Cox Cable, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Cox HSI

Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV

Sometime around mid-May, I think, I had gotten a plain business size envelope with just the Cox logo in the top left corner and my address on it. No other indication as to what the content was, so basically resembling similar letters pitching new services or such. Though those will probably start appearing again when the students return....

Not sure why, I opened it for some reason...and eventually found it to be a letter informing me that Cox is about to go SDV and that I would need to obtain some 'free' tuning adapters (where the only 'free' part is no new monthly charge to my cable card service -- where I only needed 4 tuning adapters to go with the 6 cablecards I'm renting.....the two older TiVo HDs having 2 S-Cards each...had thought about switching both to single M-Cards, but given my experience with previous 'self-install M-Card, turning into a full-service install charge because the M-Card was defective....so a tech had to come out to make that determination and give me a non-defective one.)

The letter said that I could visit a Cox Home Solutions store or call to have them delivered. After some thought, I decide that I will call and have them deliver 4 tuning adapters versus no idea how big or when I would make it out that way. Memorial day weekend was out, as was the first weekend of June for sure. And, the switch over was to be like June 25th.

So, I call and delivery is offered to me, which I confirm that is what I want. Where the agent checks to make sure they do shipments to Manhattan, but then later on its apparently not possible to deliver. But, after some further investigation by the agent, it seems like it might be possible and eventually I get a call back saying that they have been shipped and I should get them around Friday (June 7th).

From past experience, items are shipped FedEx Home Delivery, so I had expected to find them sitting there waiting for me when I got home from work...but there wasn't anything. Perhaps Saturday instead....while I didn't intend to wait all the way to when they did show up.... cacti consumed more time than I had intended that Saturday...

The delivery was kind of annoying...in that the delivery person dropped the boxes loudly on my door step with a big whomp...and then it was like he tried to kick in my door before running off.... mainly because it set off my burglar alarm.... :##

Anyways what I found were 4 huge boxes....big enough to contain DVRs or like components. Perhaps its the only size package they have for deliveries. But, after a quick unpack....the still packaged 4 tuning adapters would fit into one of the boxes, minus the ineffective foam insert...because the insert was sized to protect something bigger than the small boxes that had come instead.

At first it looked like I wasn't getting the complete self-install kit...but later I found that the self-install box contained one coax, splitter and filter...while the tuning adapter box contained the other coax along with usb cable and power wart.

Though I had decided before getting this that I was going to go with a splitter closer to wall and run new longer run to tuning adapter by each TiVo.... And, it was my intent for June 8th to be a Target run. It didn't pan out, and its not something that is sold by the union computer store or the union bookstore...so I ended up ordering cables from Amazon.com.

And, then it was a matter of figuring out when I would get around to setting them up. A number of times where I could've done it went by, but it didn't occur to me that I should do it then. Since the operation would be disruptive to my cable hookup, needed to avoid primetime. And, needed to be sufficiently awake and steady too.

And, then I notice there's a $10 self-install charge on my Cox bill.

Full story »

06/24/13

  08:57:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 838 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, Software, Momitsu V880N, FreeBSD, CFEngine

This just in, cfengine developers don't test or use cfengine!?

So, this morning I was was wonder why my nagios was still warning about something that it shouldn't be. I was positive I had changed the warning threshold above where it was. I do an 'svn status' on my work dir, nothing uncommitted. I do an 'svn up' on the cfengine server....no updates, I drill down to the file and its correct (perhaps I need an alias on this side as well...though I usually only use 'cdn' for where my svn work dir is or on the nagios server....though its because at work....where this alias is used in association with nagios as well (where work nagios is not yet managed by cfengine, but was considering it for the new nagios server that I'm trying to set up between fires and stuff at work....except the fact that we're still running cfengine2 is really starting to become a problem......though I wonder if cfengine2 could do it, if it weren't hampered by how former admin had implemented things....The work cfengine made a mess with using it to setup a new system because of weird cross interactions between 'promises' and that the promise wasn't written in the same sequence it was running, things that probably aren't a problem when cfengine was original deployed to promise that nothing ever changes....)

Anyways....I finally hunt through the -v output... which is now not much different than debug noise, and nothing like what verbose used to be in 3.4.4.....no more search for 'E nagios' to find where the start of "BUNDLE nagios" is in the out, and then finding the specific file promise..... what a mess. Its like they don't want you to know what's going wrong....

Turns out I missed some more uses of 'recurse' from cfegine_stdlib.cf, where xdev=true is busted.

It was one of three bugs that I had logged for cfengine 3....#2983. Which was almost immediately flagged as a duplicate of #2965 (3.5.0rc fails to recursively copy files with strange message)...and this morning at 5:03am, my bug was closed as that it indeed seems to be fixed for 3.5.1 (soon...).

Wonder what the definition of soon is....had a previous problem where cfengine was complaining about bad regex....when the default for insert_lines: is that they are 'literal' strings. Which was making it hard to use cfengine 3.4.x to make edits to my crontab files. After putting up with it for a couple of months, I finally visit the bug tracker and find that its already been reported and fixed for next version. But, months and months go by and no new version appears. Though it does seem to be fixed in 3.5.0.

Anyways reading #2965 was interesting.... aside from where the dev? spots another bug in the same code and has that pulled as part of the bug. Also that it was reported against RC, and made it into release. Though I had reported a bug in against an ubuntu 12.04 beta release....and it persisted into the release version, where they debated fixing it because apparently LTS means don't update anything after its release...(though I thought they had said things like firefox would stay current instead of staying fixed at the version at time of release now...) Plus it seemed I had to keep reminding them that my bug was reported before release, so that should be reason enough to release the fix. I'm pretty sure they did, but I hardly use that ubuntu desktop anymore (or any ubuntu desktop....though I did fire up my laptop yesterday, but its because there was a new VirtualBox and I hadn't updated the XP VM on there in quite some time....though I've been thinking of whether a FreeBSD laptop is feasible.)

Someone asks that they have a unit test for this bug. Where the response is a unit test would need a running server, which they don't have (yet)...how long has cfengine been around for them to not be using it? Sure wouldn't want to be somebody who's paying for this.

So does that mean nothing is being tested, and that nobody involved in development use cfengine? Because this was the kind of bug that pretty much anybody that uses cfengine3 would run into. Considering I only have the 3 systems (zen - policyserver, cbox, dbox) at the moment....

Perhaps I'm jaded by having worked for an Enterprise software company and how we did full builds every week, and with full runs of automated and manual QA testing. And, having to create unit tests for less than trivial bugs as part of fix/review before closure process. Though what I'm hearing about Chef...its worse....

Still haven't decided what I'm going to do with my Linux systems....migrating the files from Orac if I were to turn it into FreeBSD is the stumbling block, plus I would lose certain services...some of which might not really be an issue, since its probably time I make the leap to blu-ray. And, either I get another Roku or figure out how to incorporate the smart side of my TV into my life (probably time to finally upgrade my receiver....purchased October 27th, 1999)....

05/24/13

  08:20:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 509 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, WiFi, Storage, Samsung UN50ES6500F, FreeBSD, VirtualBox

I got another HSTi Wireless Media Stick

Link: http://hsti.com/products/wirelessmediastick

I had acquired my first HSTI Wireless Media Stick back on April 24th, 2011 (from a marketplace seller on Amazon.com)...it took some time to arrive and I blogged about it on April 30th, 2011 -- Getting local content to show on my Roku XDS.

Now my Roku has moved to my other HD display (24" 1080p), but that was before my old Samsung HDTV (43" 720p) regenerated into a Samsung Smart 3DTV (50" 1080p).... so I'm back to living room TV being my main viewing device for all content, though TiVo has a box that I could connect to the smaller display to access my TiVo content there....which I may want to get at a later date. The majority of content I watch is from TiVo...one of these days I need to setup my blu-ray player so I can get back into watching DVDs (not sure when I'll have blu-ray discs, but need to get back on my netflix backlog).

But, the other day I had an mp4 file that I needed to play....and I thought I should get someway to do that to my 50" HD display... Had to settle with using the Roku for a bit. And, decided that the plan will be to acquire another HSTi Wireless Media Stick.

After searching around online, eventually found that ordering directly from HSTi was the only option now. So, I ordered another one on May 17th. It arrived yesterday. But, I didn't set it up until I got home from work today. Somehow I had forgotten again that HSTi is in Calgary, Alberta. Not that I'll be going up there in the immediate future....

Anyways, no big surprises...good thing I had solved my USB2.0 and Windows 7 in VirtualBox on FreeBSD problem (got a Silex SX-DS-4000U2). I'm sharing TARDIS from orac to it still, since I don't yet have a replica on zen yet (need to free up space). Though when I moved the HSTi Wireless Media Stick it had forgotten the share, so had to pull up web again and add it back. Interesting that its graphic shows the itself, while the graphic on my older stick is that of the original Wireless Media Stick (it used to be the correct graphic, but after an update it keeps showing the graphic of the older version.) Though this one came from the factory with the latest firmware, so who knows what'll happen when there's an update.

Was interesting using the SmartTV to view it, though wonder if it'll be a problem with it constantly discovering the stick every time I turn it on and presenting dialogs and such. Afterwards I tried the Amazon app to see if that was working yet....it was still saying I needed to update my TV, though this time there was an update....and now that works. Which might make it interesting to decide on what I should do. The only problem with using the SmartTV versus some other viewer....the TV is only 2.1 audio while other routes I can get 5.1, and its a different input on my receiver....

Oh well, back to other projects....

12/22/12

  06:37:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1072 words  
Categories: Software, TV, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Ubuntu, FreeBSD

My First TiVo Premiere is back...

My first TiVo Premiere (activated July 12, 2010) started having weird problems a the last couple of months. After much pain, and troubleshooting with TiVo support. It was determined that my drive was failing, so freed up a bunch of space on zen, installed pyTiVo and started downloading as much as I could from the TiVo Premiere....I downloaded almost 1TB of shows. Had to reboot the TiVo now and then when it got confused again. Not entirely sure what I downloaded will be right. Since it was losing the links between metadata and shows, sometimes it would play the wrong show briefly before throwing an error...other times it would error out straight. Rebooting would fix it sometimes.... So, don't know if the downloading was affected.

So, now that I have everything that I could get...I swapped the drive (It was on my shopping list to get a WD3200AVVS eventually...though went with a Weaknees ready to go one instead. To start fresh. I had done a TiVo HD in the past with ddrescue to a WD1600AVVS via buy.com (where I have an extra for when my second TiVo HD needs it...seems odd that its my first TiVo HD that's going again though), which preserved its pairing with the My DVR Expander and all my shows...though that TiVo started having issues again in August, so the plan is to free up its My DVR Expander to put on my TiVo Premiere Elite...and then perhaps at some much more future date, swap the drive for a bigger Weaknees replacement drive.) and started things back up. Yay...its a blank TiVo Premiere. I used online TiVo Season Pass Manager to copy my season passes back onto my TiVo. It was slightly confused, because it still knew of the Season Passes that were there before....at first. I had cleared out all the season passes on the failing TiVo HD months ago, so it was where I had made a copy of all the season passes that I wanted to recover. It also took a while for my CableCard to work again....it was saying everything needed activation. So, 10 - HSN wasn't what I saw during guided setup...but I knew that it would be. Wish it would pick a channel that's more definitive....like a 2xxx channel. Since, I remove all the channels less than 2000 later in setup. I've been fully HDTV for some time now. Though seemed odd that cablecard comes into play for getting analog channels (unless things have changed, and there are digital streams of the analog channels now.)

So, I put those back....and over night it picked up 3 shows that had repeated recently....though it didn't need to, because the active shows have been recording on other TiVo's....and I had watched 2 of the shows it rerecorded already. Haven't caught up on the other show yet, so at least that one show I won't have to transfer back.

I checked through my channels..and I was able to get almost all my channels...though the activation screen would pop up on the occasional channel here and there....mostly ones I could probably live without, though it would be a nuisance.... Come to think of it...this is not the first time that this TiVo had done this. So, I call Cox and go through the pairing process again, and that fixes it. Strange that the channels I tried that were affected were, 2002 (The Weather Channel), 2101 (Hub HD), 2200 (Epix HD), and 10 (HSN).

So, I thought about starting the process of transferring back...but found that I couldn't list my shows on my TiVo Premiere. I guess I never tried it before.... I can browse the shows on my other installation of pyTiVo (ubuntu 10.04LTS). Also can't browser from my TiVo Premiere Elite. Wonder if there's some quirk with FreeBSD? I used the ports tivodecode? The newer python? But, then I find that I can browse from my TiVo HD.

I check the versions....the ubuntu version was originally much older (like a year or two) than the FreeBSD install. But, I had updated the ubuntu install...it was was 6 days newer than the FreeBSD one now. So I update the FreeBSD install....so now its newer than my ubuntu install. Only 4 files changed, though looking at the change logs on the files. There were changes that fell into the 6 day window. But, it still doesn't work.

I try debug, but can't seem to get that figured out. After much googling and head scratching...and looking at the code of where its throwing the exception. I see its looking at the .tivo file....hmmm, wonder if it might have an issues with the 0 length ones. Move those out of the way....and yup, its working now. Strange that the TiVo HD could tolerate them, but the Premiere couldn't....or something?

So, now that I've moved out the bad shows....I got to thinking how will I recover those. I'm searching around the internet, on what to do....when it occurs to me to check Amazon. Hmmm, yes...I can buy the missing episodes that way.... Hmmm, in some cases I can buy the whole season for a reasonable price. Wonder if I shouldn't do that for some of the shows, rather than deal with the pain of transferring them back. Plus watching will go faster with not having to skip old commercials (since I'm over a year behind on my TV watching in some cases....the commercials are really strange). Plus who knows what other bad episodes I'll run into when I do start catching up....along with episodes that got clipped or preempted, but I didn't know....etc.

:hmm:

Full story »

09/29/12

  10:50:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1626 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, Samsung HLN4365W1, Computer, Networking, AppleTV, HDTV, Roku XDS, Boxee, Samsung UN50ES6500F, 3DTV

It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for. Sort of...

And, it almost didn't regenerate in time....

First it seems my first TiVo HD is nearing its end. With it constantly locking up, and other problems that started ... but the moment had been prepared for.... With the Premiere Elite that I had gotten recently.... Just need to work on watching or moving the shows that are in it. Then it would free up the My DVR Expander to add to the Premiere Elite. And, since I have lifetime service for it...I suppose I would look into a Weaknees upgrade for it. But, I'll stay with eventually returning the cable cards for it.

And, now the end of my Samsung HLN4365W1X seems to have come. It came to me on May 30th, 2004, and it started having its latest issue on Sep 21st, 2012. Guess just over 8 years. I kind of knew it wasn't going to last forever. Since, it had consumables (bulbs) and mechanical components (cooling fans & color wheel).... and eventually I would like to upgrade.

I had replaced the bulb a couple of times....getting about 3.5 years.... Which is kind of sad, since I had gotten the 3 year extended warranty, because of the stories of premature bulb failures in this model. Now, its hard to tell what's wrong...the internet is kind of mixed on matching my symptoms with what might be wrong. But, I suspect the Ballast. It'll eventually come up, but it makes a lot of noise...and then it can't be turned off. It did settle down on Saturday so I could watch my Doctor Who...so I held off a bit on pulling the trigger to replace it, though I probably shouldn't have. I did some research on whether this was something I could fix myself, but in the end decided that it wasn't worth the hassle given the price of what a new TV is and how much sooner I'd get it. Just means, the other thing I was wanting to get this year will have to wait another year. Though its starting to look a lot like Apple isn't going to come out with anything new this year anyways.

I kind of had envisioned someday getting an LED TV in 1080p, and 50" that fits into my stand....perhaps even 3D.

The stand is just wide enough to accomodate a 50" providing the bezel isn't too wide. But, when that DLP came out, I wasn't ready to make that kind of leap. And, until recently, LCD/LED displays are either like 46/47" or 55"....the 50" size seemed to only be Plasmas.

And, I had considered whether it would be so bad to get a Plasma....though I think I want to not worry about when my next display is going to be for a while. So, LED/LCD TV is probably what I'll have to stay with.

Wonder if I can get something delivered next Saturday....

Pages: 1· 2· 3

07/23/12

  09:15:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 5 words  
Categories: DVDs / NetFlix

DVD: Wild Target

02/05/12

12/24/11

12/23/11

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 49

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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