Countryman recently did an article on my use of the B2D. You can find that article here http://blog.emusician.com/briefingroom/2012/11/28/countryman-associates-help
Logitech sexy new Harmony Touch Remote. Logitech just released their latest harmony touch remote. The Logitech Harmony Touch Universal Remote with Color Touchscreen – Black (915-000198) will run you $234.57 on amazon.com. Click the link above or below and it will take you to the page on Amazon or check out the Church geek store. This would be a great gift to stuff the stocking of the geek in your life. I know I want one!
A little while ago I wrote a post reviewing the galaxy audio headsets. Galaxy audio now has changed their design a little bit they now offer a much better cable. The cable is now replaceable it has a little connector at the top of the headset where it can be detached and you could change out the cable for different mic packs or replace it if it gets damaged. They also fixed the problem with the cable cracking right at the end of the connector exposing the wires. The also now have another headset with an upgraded element. I’m going to try my best to get my hands on a few of these to review and test out. Check back later for my wrapup of the WFX conference.
So by far this is the best lapel mic I have ever used. We’ve been using it for a while now for our senior pastor it’s so good we actually ordered two so he’ll have a backup ready to go. This mic has a hypercardioid pattern which helps it reject ambient noise and helps with gane before feedback.The hypercardioid design countryman states “the B2D has an extra 6-10 dB of headroom compared to an omni lav”. And I believe this, I’ve tried, it works, phenomenally! As of right now until we can get to the phase where we can redo our audio system our senior pastor is preaching almost in front of the main loudspeakers. This is due to the stage rebuild we did a year ago. So with that said this mic is a lifesaver for me. One of the cool things I like about this mic is that you can change out the adapter for different brands of mics, so we can go from Sennheiser to shure with just ordering a new adapter. It’s also big win with our pastor because it’s so small and it’s very easy to hide.
A few months ago I needed to replace our microphones we use for baptisms. I was looking for a headset that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, because I knew it would probably get messed up and/or wind up in the water. I have used some galaxy audio mics before in the past as well as other galaxy audio products. When I got them in I was actually incredibly shocked at how good they sound for the price. Don’t get me wrong its no countrymen, but for spoken word they are pretty dog gone good. To the point we just ordered 16 more for dinner theaters this fall. There are two drawbacks to the mics one is there not as adjustable as I’d like and two the parts where the cable connects to the terminal on the Sennheiser adapters tends to crack and expose a little bit of the wires. but hey for a mic that is under $100 you really can’t beat this one. Give Daniel at DCR media systems a call He can get you a great deal on them.
So I moved my 30 year old archer antenna to the roof and mounted it to the old dish mount. It helped a bit but I bit the bullit and order 2 new antennas, a 2nd 18dB RF amp ,and 40″ mount. The First antenna is a Multi-Directional Bowtie UHF Antenna. The 2nd is a
Winegard HD-1080 HDTV High Band VHF Antenna
Here’s how I decided on the antennas. I used www.antennaweb.org which was created by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to help discover the correct antenna type. When you go to www.antennaweb.org you can put in your zip code in street address in it will plot all of the transmitting antennas around your area.
One thing you need to do is double check to make sure it actually pulls up your correct address. It was a bit off for my address but, once I relocated the marker it drew the coordinates and the compass readings just fine. It suggested a medium to long range directional antenna. If you read above that’s not what I chose. I chose a multidirectional antenna because if you look at the map I have stations coming in from several different directions. Hence the multidirectional antenna. 2nd antenna is designed to pick up the VHF frequencies.
2 weeks later.
So after everything came in, unboxing and bolting together I swapped out my antennas and here’s what I found out. The DB8 didn’t do any better job than my old antenna did in some cases it did worse so it got returned. The
Winegard HD-1080 HDTV High Band VHF Antenna antenna however works better than any other antenna I've tried over the entire frequency spectrum FM, VHF, and UHF. Love this antenna and it's much cheaper so it stayed and is now the only antenna. So I guess this goes to show that the antenna really does make a difference. I also sent back that 18dB amplifier because I didn't need it. I still may try to get a higher power amplifier. I would like to try to get an amp somewhere around the 28dB to 32dB range. Of course if TiVo would put a decent set of tuners in their boxes I wouldn't need a more powerful amp. Although I haven't tried the higher series TiVo's. I would hope the one that reached THX certification has better tuners in it. Anyways we are very happy with our results.
Sneak preview I’m testing out the Wealth TV app on my logitech revue. I wish more and more TV stations would do this. hint… hint… CNN, Fox News.
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The TiVo Premiere
One reason I chose the TiVo is it had a seamless integration with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon video. This makes it easier for my wife to use. One of the cool things about the TiVo search is it searches through all available content providers. It will give you a list of that particular show or subject in who is providing it. Something else I noticed is the sound quality is really good. Way better than DirecTV. Which makes everything worth it with just that in my opinion. They released an update a few weeks ago that fixed one of my major problems with Netflix and YouTube interfaces. However I still like Netflix and YouTube interfaces on my Logitech Revue better. The Netflix app on the TiVo is a little buggy but a far better improvement over the old one. The Hulu interface works pretty good, although one of my favorite shows is only available on the computer and not on the personal player. That sucks! Amazon prime video is not available for instant streaming yet on the TiVo. You can buy videos from Amazon and play them on the TiVo. But that kind of defeats the point of a prime account. The only other thing about the TiVo that’s kind of annoying is the amount of signal strength it requires or the Turners just sock. You have to have it least 65% signal strength on any station to maintain a good consistent picture quality. Our Visio TV upstairs in our bedroom receives more over the air channels and has a much higher consistent quality over the TiVo. I called tech support about that, which they are very nice and speak English. They said that it was because the TiVo requires a higher level of signal strength to produce a stunning picture. Well anyways, this is one reason I’m thinking of switching my antenna out for a multidirectional. That’s for another post. All in all were quite happy I will keep everybody updated on my tweaks and what I find.
So TiVo did release an update. They fixed Netflix so you can surf through categories like most popular, new releases, and your instant queue. I like it. For those of you that use a Google TV interface it looks just like that now. Which I think is more of the standard interface.
YouTube also got an update. The problem with all my content not being pulled down as been fixed. Although it’s not the friendliest app to use, it is definitely an improvement. The cool thing is the remote control. This works with the android YouTube app and m.youtube.com sorry not the iPhone app. If I log into m.youtube.com on my iPhone I can search for videos or load videos from any one of our playlists and play them on my TiVo. I think I’m going to use this more than anything. It works on my iPhone and iPad but doesn’t on the Mac or PC that I found.
TiVo also released an update to allow Xfinity on demand to work on the TiVo. However I don’t have Xfinity so I can’t test it. I do plan on looking in the see if you can actually just purchased Xfinity on demand content. Someone told me you can do this but I haven’t actually researched it yet. Although according to TiVo’s website it’s only available in certain areas. Anyways till next time there’s a link below for TiVos updates if you care to read more.
So last Monday I called up DirecTV and canceled and honestly haven’t missed it. For a week straight we have been using a TiVo premiere, Netflix, and Hulu for our TV needs. We are saving about $58 a month. We may be able to turn this down even more because were not totally sure that we are going to keep Hulu.
I’ve still got some fine tuning to do, I think I need to switch out my 30-year-old archer long-range antenna for a multidirectional antenna. I’m also going to try to get it out of the attic and mount it a little higher on the chimney. But for the most part it works pretty good and the attic. I have a little bit of dropping out on the low VHF channels.
I start out with my 30-year-old archer antenna that feeds into an 18 DB power amplifier that feeds into a 2 way splitter. One legged runs down to our 22 inch Visio TV in our bedroom. The 2nd leg feeds the TiVo. Something I have noticed is that tuners in the TiVo require a lot of signal strength. I have 50+ channels on my Visio I get about 27 of them on the TiVo. Hopefully they’ll release an update to fix this but I doubt it. Although one note some of the channels are in Spanish so it doesn’t really matter. The Visio in our bedroom also is internet-enabled giving us the same Internet capabilities and their as well . I do have plans to resurrect my home theater PC and put it in the office. The TiVo premiere was the most expensive purchase for this project so far, I got the antenna from my parents basement. The TiVo and Phillips 18 DB amplifier I purchase from Amazon.com. The splitter and cable I had laying around the house. All in all this whole project cost a bit more than my one month DirecTV bill.