Archive for March, 2008

ETA on my CableCARD tuner, 2 months!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

You read that right, my XPS 420 with CableCARD finally has “In Production” status and while the XPS420 is expected to ship within two weeks — also crazy — the ATI CableCARD tuner isn’t expected to ship until May 22nd. That is almost two months from now. Is ATI that back ordered that it takes two months to receive one? I know Dell always tries to under promise and over deliver, but wow.

Vista Media Center gets a chance

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

For the past week I’ve been going back and forth about trying to use Vista Media Center to replace my two TiVos and today I finally decided to take the plunge. After spending some time with my friend Dave’s setup today, it really just came down to price. With all the deals Dell runs, I didn’t want to pay too much. With Apple it’s easy, no one gets a deal; but with Dell, you have to be more careful. In the end it was a combination of a $400 off deal via and no interest for 12 month — you know I’m a sucker for those. The only downside is I had to buy a 22-inch display with it, so you can look for it on eBay in a few weeks.

As for the specs — I’m waiting on the Blu-ray player and the extender until I’m sure it’ll be a good replacement for my wife and I, but I’m getting started with a Quad-Core 2.4Ghz, 3GBs of Ram, 500GB HDD, ATI Radeon HD3650 256MB GDDR4, and a single ATI CableCARD tuner. Ohh and free 2nd day air shipping, but who knows when it’ll actually ship.

All said and done, it’ll cost me $1200 to my door with tax. So after I sell both my TiVos, it’s $400 out of pocket. Of course I’ll only need one CableCARD from FiOS and no more TiVo tax, but even with the $24 a month savings, it’ll take me about 17 months to break even.

Is it time to trade in my TiVos for a Vista Media Center?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

I’ve been a TiVo users since the first TiVo HD for DirecTV was released — used ReplayTV with commercial advance before that. But lately I’ve been seriously considering selling my three HD TiVos (2 Series3s, and one TiVo HD — thanks Steve!) and buying a Dell XPS 420 with a single CableCARD tuner. Then I’d add my HDHomeRun, as two additional OTA HD tuners for a total of 3 tuners. Add a Media Center Extender for my other TV and a Blu-ray player with WinDVD 9 and I’d have a really nice setup.

My main motivation is to converge all my media on to one box. I can have all my HD, TV shows, my Blu-ray movies, and stuff I download all accessible from the same UI — for me I find that I’m less likely to consume media if I have to switch inputs, so if it’s not on my TiVo it doesn’t get watched. Add to this the new DirecTV HDPC-20, and I’d have a really sweet system. Plus, this would save me from buying a new AV/R as I’d have access to TrueHD and DTS-HD content via analog outputs, thanks to the latest WinDVD 9 update.

The problem of course is the price. If I sell all three of my TiVo’s and my BD-P1000 I’ll get about $1200. A Dell XPS 420 with a CableCARD tuner, is $1300 — assuming I can’t find a better deal. Plus, I’ll need a at least one extender for $300 and a Blu-ray drive at $130. This makes my grand total at $1730, minus my eBayed items, leaves me at $530 out of pocket.

If given a choice, I’d just wait on the CableCARD tuner, as I don’t really need it until football season kicks off — damn ESPN and the NFL Network. But according to a Dell XPS rep, it can’t be added later.

Of course the lack of TiVo tax is a factor, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I’m not sure Vista Media Center is ready to replace my TiVos.

Thanks for the TiVo referral Devron!

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I’d really like to send a thanks to my friend Devron for sending me a TiVo referral! I love TiVo, and I’m glad I’m more successful at being a TiVo evangelist than I am at being an Apple evangelist.


Who knew there were provider fanboys?

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

The fanboy phenomenon is really interested, just think about people who attach to a corporation and defend it online despite all logic, it really is like a religion. We dealt with them on EHD all the time during the format war, and I’m sure Joystiq can tell you some stories about about game console fanboys — the PS3 fanboys have come after me a few times and all I can say is wow. But who’d a thought there were provider fanboys.

Yesterday I saw a post on a forum — I won’t say which, ’cause I know they wouldn’t want to be associated with the poster — where a DirecTV fanboy was taking great pleasure in taunting Dish Network subscribers because of Dish’s failed satellite launch the other day. It’s hard to believe he has anything to personally gain from Dish’s failure, but even then, the language he used was as bad or worse then I ever saw used on EHD, and definitely one we would’ve deleted without hesitation. Despite this loser’s comments, I still hope the best for DirecTV’s launch tomorrow.

My fav EHD comments 2: “Blu-ray is DVD”

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

In the second edition of my fav EHD comments we have a really smart guy who decides to correct me.

Here’s Andy Sullivan in response to my Why Blu-ray will be the next DVD post.

First of all, blu-ray is not competing with DVD. Blu-ray is DVD. It is competing with SD DVD. And unless it can come very close in price for players and movies then too many consumers won’t even pay attention to it.

I really hope you’re joking Andy, as the two aren’t anywhere near the same thing. I’ll give you that they both contain movies and are the same size, but that’s pretty much were the similarities end.

We do agree on the price part, though.