HD Debate :Quality Difference -Does It Matter ?

So , here is another article on Quality difference between HD and non HD Sources. As some of us ask , why do we need to fork a lot of money and get a HDTV whereby we could get to see the same movie on our normal CRT. An average Malaysian thinks it in this way , as he or she can get to see stuff from ASTRO (Satelite provider here in Malaysia , they broadcast in 4:3 SD 576i). So its pretty much tuned for an old TV. However if you plan to hook up your brand new shiny LCD/Plasma HD TV , you’ll notice that the quality doesn’t look great. You’ll be seeing blackboxes for 16:9 movies and other funny stuff. For your information , on widescreen televisions you shouldn’t be seeing a letterbox , its meant for normal 4:3. However you wouldn’t have any choice if the broadcaster broadcasts at 4:3. However this isn’t the issue here. What We are going to focus on how the picture looks like when you view it on HDTV and a normal TV. For this case , i’ve taken a scence from Star Wars Episode III : Revenge of the Sith.
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My New Genuis MediaCruiser 810

This is a mini-review of my newly bought keyboard , which happens to be a Genuis Media Cruiser 810
Well here is the story. At first I was using the Microsoft Wireless Optical 700 , yeah it was the cheapest Wireless Keyboard and Mouse set that I could get. It was only for RM 99 , thats cheap man for a wireless keyboard and mouse.  Anyhow i faced a problem , it was too hard to control using a wireless keyboard and mouse without a proper table. How would you expect to control or click something with mouse by using a normal mouse on a couch. Its not comfortable at all , and on top of that the range became a limiting factor , the Optical Keyboard 700 has a very minimal range and i wasn’t able to lean back on the couch and control it. Nevertheles , my search continued after I stumbled across this , Microsoft Media Center keyboard. Its meant for Media center , it has these cool media center keys such as record , play , puase , rewind , etc. Sounds nice , but one thing for sure is that it has a cool bulit-in pointer (aka a joystick) which makes it easier for me to navigate through menus and other things. I mean how sily would you look if you are using a normal mouse and a keyboard just like I before. Not to say its sily but its a bit annoying , especially when you’re trying to use the mouse to navigate through menus and other things !

The Media Cruiser
The Media Cruiser- It has a cool finishing and I love it

One nice thing I like about it is that it uses RF (Radio Frequency) and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to configure this thing. It just works automagically , just plug it and play. It works out of the box with Windows Vista and I believe it does the same thing too for Windows XP Media Center Edition. As for the media center function it just works , hit the start Button and you have Windows Media Center. You can navigate through it , such as scrolling down through menus , watching live TV (ASTRO in this case) , watching recorded videos , watching downlaoded videos and even Internet TV as well. Overall its pretty good , I mean what more can you expect from this keyboard. The mouse isn’t prefect though its just like a joystick but its handy to navigate through menu and for use it to surf the Internet ! Here is another shot below
The price is RM 279. Yes its a bit pricey for a keyboard , what do you expect , its very hard to finish here in Malaysia and there aren’t many vendors that carry these sort of keyboard and HTPC is usually stereotyped by Malaysians as for the wealthy ones only !
Trendy keyboard matches my table !

Minor Update

Just a bump to my blog entry. Its been ages since I’ve updated. Busy with real life and other sort of things. Now I’ve updated some stuff over at home. This includes changes that I’ve done to my Bedroom and found a way to stream music everything and play playstation. So there we go
Will post more reviews and other stuff later.
Cya and oh yeah Happy Deepavali as well to my readers !

Sneak Peak on ASTRO's Next PVR/Setup Box

This is just in , I was reading the forums the other day and managed to get latest information on the up-coming ASTRO Plus. Its just a hype/rumour yet. I am not sure what are in store for us. Anyhow , does it matter ?. This is the information that I’ve extracted from this original source. On top of that , I’ve added my thoughts and cool alternatives (if you don’t have the moola to fork out that much of money).
First of all , you may ask What is ASTRO Plus (according to this guy , the name of the new setup-box isn’t confirmed yet – Think of it as Malaysia’s TiVo). Its a replacement for ASTRO Max. Its way better then Astro Max and it does more then just recording. According to the author who posted it, it has many new features. Firstly it is capable of outputting HD , meaning that once ASTRO launches HD Service (whenever that is) , this decoder can output HD , however its only through Component (The Red,Blue,Green cables) and not HDMI (what a surprise). That isn’t the issue here as Component is capable of outputting 720p and 1080i. So thats not an issue , Full HD users might rant as there isn’t any option to enable full use of 1080p. Does it matter ? It does for some. Okay thats the box overall
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The Throttling & The Truth Behind It

Great , this is another chapter from our ISP in Malaysia. Recently , TMNet has started to throttle peer-to-peer connection. This holds true for BitTorrent , eMule and other forms of p2p including lime wire. Some even say Peer-2-Peer TV applications are also throttled as well. However I am not able to verify it. Now let us face some harsh facts shall we. Let me all ask you a honest question right here , in this very blog entry – let me ask you this harsh question
Can you afford to fork out a lot of money on buying retail DVDs and BluRay disc in Malaysia ? (I am not going to compare to countries such as the US , UK whereby you can get rentals at a very cheap price)
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Playstation 2 as a Media Center

Look at the interface - It looks like PS3/PSP's Interface but it is on PS2

Ever thought of using your Playstation 2 as a Media Center whereby you could play your favorite songs , watch movies and uh even get latest weather information. This way your playstation 2 can be more then just a gaming machine. When I say it acts a Media center , it means that it can play all your MP3 collections , Divx videos that you ripped from DVD or ‘borrowed from the Internet’ , and now even MP4s (which i find it pretty amazing :P). Oh , not to mention that is has a cool looking GUI much like Playstation’s 3 and PSP’s XMB Media Interface. It gives you the feeling of using PS3 but on a PS2.
Some of you may ask what are the advantages over say a normal DVD Player which has USB Port and can playback these files.  Well , firstly its cheap to get Playstation 2 these days as opposed to say getting a dedicated DVD Player which can do this. Plus , the software is expandable , meaning that as developers come up with new methods and add more codecs , the Playstation can play more files. You can even listen to live shoutcast streams (provided if you have a network adapter which is linked to a Internet connection). The two USB 1.1 ports are pretty handy if you ask me compared to one as it comes with normal DVD player or BluRay player (I haven’t seen one which has two). Overall , its totally worth the money and you can play classic Playstation two games. Bored ? , then fire up GameBoy emulator or SNES emulator and play classic games with your PS2. It serves a pretty good gaming console
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