So this morning I was browsing my TiVo and discovered something I have wanted for a very long time on my google tv. Spotify is now on the TiVo!!! For those of you that don’t know Spotify is a subscription-based music service. Kind of like Rhapsody I believe. The big difference is they stream at the highest bit rate of all of them. So no cymbals sounding like frying bacon. Spotify is based out of London into here so ago came to the US. For $10 a month you can listen too and even save off-line playlists to your mobile devices Unlimited. Check them out at Spotify.com.
So recently for Christmas I decided to do something for my wife that I said I would never ever ever ever ever ever do….. I got cable! (Yes never say never.) Which is a whole other blog post altogether. But for this particular one I will focus on the TiVo. So I knew getting cable meant I’d have to have cable boxes in there’s no way on this green earth I would ever use the Comcast box. So I knew exactly who to call.
I originally ordered my 1st TiVo premiere because it was the only thing I find that I can afford that would tune over the air broadcast. And since I’ve been using it, I fell in love with it. Yeah I know the one complaint I have is the over the air tuner could be a little better but all in all its a great box. I like to think so much I ordered a 2nd one for the bedroom. I was originally going to order a another Premier but actually decided to go with the Premier 4. The Premier 4 has 4 tuners built into it instead of just 2. This literally gives me 6 active tuners to record 6 shows at one time. The one drawback of the Premier 4 is it does not have an over the air tuner like my original Premier. But come to find out talking with the nice people over at TiVo they’re actually discontinuing the over the air tuner (in some cases I don’t blame them) I actually suggested that they come out with some sort of a USB dongle for tuning over the air.
But anyways back on subject now, one of the main reasons I chose the TiVo it has all the features like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon instant video, AOL video, and hopefully soon xfinity on-demand. But they also have a really cool feature that they had in their boxes, that’s the ability to access content on multiple boxes across your network. Nobody else out there is quite figured this out yet. There’s one company that came close but they charge you for it. The other cool feature is you transfer recordings from one box to the other. Which means all of my stuff gets recorded to one box and all of my wife’s stuff is recorded to another. When I bought the Premier 4 I also bought the Western digital my book AV DVR expander. This is basically a 1 TB hard drive with a eSATA port.
I recently re-did a friend of mines theater with the new projector and as I was setting it up I realize that his ” HD” DVR from Comcast was not actually out putting an HD signal. (Which this could become a another blog post altogether as well) that’s why I love TiVo they have some of the best equipment out there on the market. There Premier XL series is actually the only THX certified box that I’m aware of. Their products are just solid in their customer support should be a model for every company in America. Since getting my 1st TiVo I’ve fallen in love withTiVo to the point I even bought stock in them.
All of the above items talked about can be found for purchase on the Church Geek store.
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.