I mentioned a week or so back the problems I was having with connecting a Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 HD video camera to a TV via HDMI so I could playback the videos I had taken with it on the big screen. I said I was going to try and use a different TV and see if that would make a difference.
No it did not!
I even tried a different connection method, using component video, but that did not work either.
I have been playing with a Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 HD video camera and it comes with a docking station which has an HDMI connection.
I thought if I docked the camera and connected the docking station via HDMI to my TV I could watch the video and see the photographs I had taken on my TV.
Well that’s what I thought what would happen.
Well no it didn’t, even though the cables were connected, the playback was still on the camera and not on the TV.
I then thought, it might be because the dock was not connected to a power supply, I did that and still the TV remained blank, though this time the camera went blank too!
So I went to read the manual, which was to be honest no use at all. It gave no additional information, as according to it, what I was doing was what I should be doing. As for the troubleshooting guide, well that was not very insightful.
Even the Google failed me with finding a solution.
Going to try with a different TV and see if that helps. However it shouldn’t be this complicated and this challenging, it should just work!
Everytime I think about writing about something which is described by others as “dead” I try to avoid it, as I seem to have gained a bit of a reputation in the edtech world as, well as I was once described as the “Grim Reaper of Education” and “it’s not dead until James Clay says it’s dead”. However I did find this article from The Verge about the death of 3D quite interesting and illuminating.
As it happens if you are looking out for a source of tech news, I do like The Verge, as well as a very nice looking site, there are a range of news and reviews, and more than just repeating press releases or what other sites have said. If you like Engadget, you will like this, if you like The Register, probably less so…
If you attended CES in the US in the last few years, you would have been bombarded with 3D images. There has been a huge focus in the cinema in 3D films, the one that most people would remember was Cameron’s Avatar, but Hugo received a fair few positive reviews. The recent released Hobbit is available in 3D and the movie companies have spent a fair bit of time and money retrofitting existing 2D films into 3D, Titanic for example!
As well as cinematic 3D, there has been a fair few marketing dollars thrown at 3D in the home, 3D HDTVs have been available for a few years now, and aren’t that much more expensive than a 2D TV. You of course need some 3D content, the BBC have experimented with 3D and Sky offer a fair bit in 3D. You could also get 3D Blu Ray discs, but you need a 3D Blu Ray player for those.
The question I would ask you, and remembering that you are reading this blog, so are probably interested in technology, do you have a 3D TV?
Are you planning to buy a 3D TV?
What was the last film you saw in 3D?
Most people I know who are “into” technology and like gadgets generally “may” watch 3D at the cinema, but they don’t have a 3D TV and won’t have a 3D camera either!
I will say that I am slightly biased in that I am not a great fan of 3D, given the choice I will take the 2D option.
3D is not a new thing that has “just arrived” it’s been around for years and every so often comes to the fore. I do remember spending good money and going to see Jaws 3D, which was a disaster of a movie and the 3D added nothing…
Apart from the odd experiment on TV, the next big thing I remember seeing with 3D was Cyberworld at the IMAX in Bristol. You had to wear these huge 3D glasses and the 3D only really worked if you sat in the middle of the IMAX cinema. The 3D was really only a gimmick, the film had no real story or plot. It was very much about showing off the 3D IMAX technology.
In the last few years, we have seen an explosion of 3D in the cinema. Some would say this was an attempt to make cinema, as in the cinematic experience different (well the movie companies would say better) than watching a film on your TV (or a pirated film on your laptop). However now with 3D on your TV, I can’t see this now as an unique feature that makes the cinema different to the home cinema experience. You can watch 3D at the cinema and now you can watch 3D at home.
I should say that I really like going to the cinema, and the cinematic experience is in many ways so much better and superior than watching the same film on a TV, even a big HD TV. So similarly I do understand that the 3D experience in the cinema is different to the 3D experience at home. I also can’t see the point of retrofitting 3D to films shot in 2D, this is in my opinion just a gimmick.
I have seen a few 3D films in the cinema, I saw Toy Story 3 and Tintin, though if it had been my choice I would have chosen the 2D versions. I did initially think it was very clever, but within ten minutes or so I wasn’t noticing the 3D and was just enjoying the film. When there was a 3D “moment” I found it more annoying than wow!
So if 3D is defunct, can’t bring myself to say dead, what is the next big thing in video? Well according to the pundits who attended CES it is 4K or ultra HD as some marketing people are calling it.
As you are aware 1080p HD is four times the quality of standard definition television, 4K is around four times the quality of 1080p HD. Some say it’s like looking out of a window.
So do you prefer 3D films over 2D? Or are you looking forward to 4K? Or are you saying I prefer the radio!
I have managed to borrow a Mac mini, one of the new ones, and I have connected it up to my HD TV using an HDMI cable.
After realising that I needed to change the audio output from the built in speakers to the HDMI output I was very impressed with how well it looked and worked.
I haven’t put any content on the Mac mini so far, just streaming content from my home iMac across our 802.11n wireless network.
The first thing I tried was EyeTV, using EyeTV 3 on both computers I was easily able to stream recordings from the iMac to the Mac mini. I was quite impressed with the picture quality, even though it is SD television. There was no buffering or stuttering which impressed me.
I then tried Front Row and browsed my shared photographs, which looked lovely on the big 40″ HD TV.
I then was able to browse my iMac iTunes Library from the Mac mini and was again impressed, though it made me realise I need to be better at playlists. Then I tried to stream some HD iTunes content from my iMac to the TV and fingers crossed, was it going to work?
Though I do like HD pictures it has taken me some time to go HD.
In the early days there was the “battle” between HD-DVD and Blu Ray and though in the early days it looked like HD-DVD would win, my preference was for Blu Ray, so I decided to wait and as well all know now, Blu Ray won. Though with the availability of HD content via services such as iTunes, maybe physical media won’t be here much longer… well it might be in my house as my broadband connection is not the fastest in the world!
So without any kind of HD player, why should I bother buying an HD TV so I didn’t…
Then along came Sky HD… this meant that I could watch HD TV if I wanted to… however I didn’t fancy paying large amounts of money every month to Sky for the odd HD programme.
Freesat promised HD without the monthly contract, but I would still need a dish on the side of the house and to be honest they are very ugly and I didn’t see much on Freesat that I couldn’t see on Freeview that I would want to watch. Too much work really to go HD via Freesat.
This week sees me getting a Sony Bravia HD 1080p TV.
So why have I gone HD?
Well Freeview HD has been switched on in my area. Yes it is only three HD channels, but they should be picked up by my aerial, so no dish.
Combine that with the Blu Ray player I got for Christmas to replace my aging DVD player, I am almost ready to watch HD.
I will probably (finally) get an Apple TV too, so that I can watch content from my iTunes collection on the new TV.
All I need now is for Elgato to releaves a Freeview HD adapter.
HD is undoubtedly buzzing this spring – take a look at any advert for anyone who sells TVs and associated boxes, or wander around your local shopping centre or supermarket.
A few years ago HD was specialist television – it is now pretty much everywhere. Around 23 million HD-ready TV sets are estimated to have been sold in the UK, and 70% of the TVs sold in the last three months of 2009 were HD-ready according to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom.
But there are millions of people across the UK who mistakenly believe that once they’ve got their HD-ready TV they are watching HD pictures, regardless of whether they’ve installed an HD set-top box or Blu-ray player as well, according to the British Video Association.
Though I do like HD pictures it has taken me some time to go HD.
Engadget reports that Apple may be ready to launch a new Mac mini with HDMI.
A Mac mini with HDMI. Makes sense, right? Well, it hasn’t to Apple so far, but it looks like it just might be ready to change its tune. That’s according to AppleInsider, at least, which has it from “two people familiar with the matter” that prototypes of a Mac mini with an HDMI port have been seen making the rounds in the usual inner circles.
Back in March 2008 (two years ago) there were rumours that Apple were going to kill the Mac mini. Back then I said:
I do like the Mac mini, it works well as a little Mac for testing and trying things out as well as introducing people to the Mac. I also have used it in the past as a server for various web services and for limited use it works really well – probably would not be too happy if it was a production server.
I did try it as a TV computer, in other words connected to my TV, but I never really used it, in the main as it was an old G4 PPC model and was rather slow for recording and capturing video from an EyeTV USB device. The newer Intel models have the advantage of remote control and faster processors and graphics better suited to video.
I am looking to get a new TV when the Freeview HD models become more widely available. At the time I did consider getting an Apple TV over putting a Mac mini under the TV; as the Apple TV did have HDMI and as well as buying HD TV shows from the UK iTunes Store, you could rent HD movies for use ONLY on the Apple TV. If there is a new Mac mini with HDMI and you can rent HD movies on the new Mac mini then I may get one over an Apple TV.
Was thinking of buying a new HD TV in the near future and after a little searching this evening I was reminded that I should really be getting an HD TV with an intergrated Freeview HD Tuner in it, not just one with Freeview.
We don’t get Freeview HD until April, but I don’t really want to get another box and another remote just to watch what will be a couple of a channels, I’d rather slightly future proof and have it built in.
Back in June 2008 when Apple put movies into the UK iTunes Store I had a go and didn’t have a huge success.
So my first proper attempt to get films off the iTunes Store was not a great success, ah well maybe next time.
So now over a year later, what’s the situation?
Well I am downloading a fair few movies from the iTunes Store now, buying and renting.
I do like how quick and easy it is, and sometimes how much cheaper it is too (and annoyed by how expensive it can be too).
I usually watch the movies via an iPod through the TV, as I still haven’t got round to buying an Apple TV, but then I still don’t have that HD TV to watch them on (and I am pretty sure I can’t easily connect an Apple TV to my current TV).
I will probably get an Apple TV if I get an HD TV as I would prefer to watch HD movies on an HD screen.
My ADSL is still way too slow, which means it takes hours to download a movie. Also I have a monthly bandwidth limit which means I usually plan my iTunes downloads overnight as Plusnet my ISP gives me a “free” download time between midnight and eight in the morning.
Also now and again iTunes fails to download the movie “properly”, so it downloads it again! As a result I have two versions in my iTunes library.
However despite a few minor issues I am pleased with movies and TV on the iTunes store and use it on a regular basis.
I do like BBC iPlayer, I like the fact that I can catch up with old BBC programmes that I have missed that week or can catch up on series that I may have missed. I like the fact that I can watch BBC iPlayer on an iPod touch and that I can connect the iPod touch to my TV and watch that way.
However there are a few things I don’t like, some of this is down to BBC iPlayer, and a lot down to my poor ADSL connection.
I don’t like the fact that not everything on BBC is on BBC iPlayer. I know that ITV and Channel 4 content won’t be on iPlayer, but their versions are nothing like as good as iPlayer and as easy to use. They also don’t work as well on the Mac and there are no iPod players either. Of course though a lot of BBC content is on iPlayer, not all of it is. Films I understand, however why isn’t The Day Of The Triffids on iPlayer? It’s currently on BBC Four, however no triffids on iPlayer!
I don’t like the fact that some of the BBC content is on BBC iPlayer and is available through a web browser, however that same content is not available on the iPod. For example 12 of the 13 episodes of Robin Hood
are available on my iPod touch at the time of writing, however episode 13 is not available!
Well I know it’s probably a rights issue or something. The same thing happened with Outnumbered
series two, again with the final episode.
I have mentioned my slow ADSL connection before, as broadband has got more popular my connection has got slower and slower. I did once have nearly 4Mbps, today my speed is less than 1Mbps! The other problem is that BBC iPlayer is quite popular and so at peak times it is almost impossible to watch!