Thursday, December 31, 2009

Entertainment Hybrid

There was nothing wrong with my old desktop PC, other than the fact that it was a few years old and I wanted better performance for my gaming. Since I wanted to upgrade not just certain aspects, but everything -- video cards, processor, RAM, etc -- it was simply quicker and easier (and cooler) to get a new system. But I still have the old one, and I decided to keep it in use for something other than gaming.

I download a lot of video, to include movies and TV shows. For example, I'm currently watching House, and I've downloaded Seasons 1-5 to watch at my leisure. The downloads are HDTV quality video in an MKV format. I burn these files to DVDs because I want to keep them, and obviously keeping an entire TV show where each episode weighs in at 1.5 GB on my hard drive (regardless of the fact that it's 2 TBs) is not something I want to do.

When I want to watch these episodes, I naturally just play them on my computer with Zoom Player or Windows Media Player. I have a 24" widescreen monitor for both of my computers, so this really isn't that big of a deal. There are a few minor downsides to this, however: First, I have to sit in my computer chair. While this is very comfortable for gaming, I like to stretch out when I'm watching TV, either on my bed or on the couch. Secondly, I have a 46" widescreen TV sitting ten feet away from me not being because I'm too lazy to burn the video files to DVD in a format readable by a DVD player.

I decided to resolve these issues using my old PC. The first thing I did was get an HDMI cable, and ran it from the second monitor port on my computer to my TV. I then established a dual monitor setup in my display settings, and was therefore able to use my TV as a second monitor when I turned the TV on to HDMI1. This meant that I could now play this video files there, and they looked great. Open up the file in media player, drag the player over to the second display, and hit the fullscreen button. Orgasmatic.

Next problem was sound. I'm anal, so the video coming from the TV with the audio coming from my computer doesn't work for me. Since I'm not going to be using that PC for anything else anymore, the solution to that problem was simple. I moved the speakers to my TV.

So last night, I was lying in bed watching episodes of House on my TV. It's a beautiful thing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

The holiday does not hold as much tradition for me as it once did.  Part of that is simply part of growing up.  The magic disappears and you realize there is no Santa Clause, there are no elves, and that there’s nothing magical about the day at all.  But there is still happiness here, in the form of the time I get to spend with my family, and the general good feelings that come with that.  So yes, Merry Christmas indeed.  Even if it’s not your holiday, I still wish you a Merry one. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

No Posts

It's the holidays and I'm busy. Doesn't look like the first half of January is going to be any better either with this project coming up. But the second half of January is looking mighty relaxing...


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...