Creeping Obsolesence of Media PCs

Video Netcast on Tablet

In early 2011, I made a media PC to watch netcasts on my TV. At the time the system was connected to a plasma display and was running at 1440 resolution. Also at the time, it was perfectly able to play the netcasts from the Twit.tv network, as well as other videos.

Currently the jetway atom PC is connected to my new TV which is full HD and it has been upgraded to Linux Mint 14. Also I’ve noticed that it will no longer play live broadcasts or recorded shows from this site. So what has changed? Continue reading “Creeping Obsolesence of Media PCs”

Considering an Upgrade

Intel ci7 3770 box
Intel Core i7

I’m using two of my computers for, among other things, to edit and convert videos for upload to YouTube. Here’s my channel. One of he machines is an Alienware Aurora R2 I obtained used with Core i5-750, circa Q3 ’09. The other is a system I built from scratch, with a Core i7-2600 circa Q1 ’11.

I’m considering upgrading the older Alienware system to an Ivy Bridge 3770 processor. This upgrade of the processor, motherboard and memory will cost about $550. So the question is: How effective will this upgrade be in increasing Video Conversion performance?

A BenchMark

I decided to do some testing to find out whether the two systems that I have are very different in performance before proceeding with the upgrade. When using both systems to edit videos, they perform very well using Corel Video Studio X5 [2600] and X6 [750]. The editing process proceeds with no noticeable delays or lags. Any performance issue has to do with how long it takes to convert the video. Continue reading “Considering an Upgrade”

Corel Video Studio Pro X5 – Great Inexpensive Video Editing

Corel VS Box
Corel VS Box

Corel Video Studio Pro X5 is a great and inexpensive video editing suite for editing and burning both DVDs and BluRay disks.

I’ve been capturing game play footage from video games and wanted to make BluRay disks of that footage to remember and share what it’s like to play some of these games. I captured the game footage with Fraps  as full screen on my 1600×900 monitor with sound. Fraps allows you to define a hot key to start and end your video capture, so at anytime while you are playing the game,  you can start recording video. Corel VS made it easy to edit the videos, adjust clips, make short video backgrounds for the menus, and then burn the BluRay disks.

While I am making BluRay disks from video game footage, you can use any HD footage from your vacation, kids or whatever. The process is the same.

There are a ton of options, transitions, effects and other things in Corel Video Studio. I don’t use any of those, although I have used the titles. They are easy to apply if you want to use them, and there are tutorials on the Corel site and YouTube to give you more help. Continue reading “Corel Video Studio Pro X5 – Great Inexpensive Video Editing”

New TV – Sanyo 55 inch LCD

42″ Plasma TV

The Old TV

For about 10 years I’ve had a Fujitsu 42″ Plasma TV and it has been great. I understand that Fujitsu invented plasma technology and back when I bought this TV it was very expensive. The Best. $6000 plus $1400 for a three year extended warranty. The warranty was well spent since the TV died in about 6 months and again at 3 years when it was replaced by a refurbished unit.The plasma TV finally died. On the morning of 31 August the TV would no longer boot. It had worked fine the night before. When it last worked the plasma screen was still bright, showing none of the darkening that plasmas were rumored to show after 10 years. But oh how TVs have changed. Continue reading “New TV – Sanyo 55 inch LCD”

PS3 Died, New Vizio Blu-Ray Player

The PS3 died.

While playing a DVD, the machine suddenly stopped. I thought the problem was the BD player, and I disassembled the system, based on information on YouTube, to remove the DVD, which would not eject.

The system would run the BD motor each time it was started, but then stop and beep.

It is not certain that the problem is the BD drive. BD drives are going for about $60 on Ebay, so it seems to make no sense to repair the device. I’ll sell it on Ebay.

Update: The Vizio player was a bust. It had problems with my HDMI switch. The Sony BDP-S590 is a much better choice. I have had no problems with this model.

Continue reading “PS3 Died, New Vizio Blu-Ray Player”

Remote Gaming Console Idea

Gaming Laptop

I like to play games, like millions of the rest of us. And I have several machines to do that, unlike many of us. But my career was software engineering, so that’s to be expected.

But I have a problem that millions of the rest of us have too. Gaming laptops don’t work very well for serious gaming, and gaming desktops work great, but are cumbersome to sit next to.

I’d much rather be sitting in my recliner with my 15 inch gaming laptop while I play my MMO, or Black Ops, or whatever, than propped up in an office, or gaming chair, in front of my big screen gaming desktop.

Continue reading “Remote Gaming Console Idea”