TV Fool

I do not believe that streaming files from the internet or a media server is a satisfying alternative to cable or satellite service.  For me, television viewing begins and ends with programming.  At my house, this programming is broadcast television.  Broadcast television is superior to internet streaming for local programming and noninteractive viewing.  It can be superior to cable and satellite for cost and image quality. Continue reading


Turn the TV Off

There are now Roku channels for Spotify, Amazon’s Cloud Player, and a number of radio stations.  While these provide excellent entertainment, I don’t like having my 50″ plasma television running when no one is looking at it.  This morning I discovered that my Rokus output on HDMI and composite at all times.  By running a cable from the Roku to the auxiliary input of my receiver, I am able to play music without running my television.  If your Roku spends a lot of time playing music or radio stations, this tip may help with the electric bill.

By Len Mullen Posted in Tip

How Much Will You Pay for Cable TV?

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

On October 10, 2012, the FCC voted to lift a ban on the encryption of basic cable channels.  That ban expired Sunday.  Now, cable companies are free to encrypt any and all channels they deliver to the consumer.  The FCC has empowered the cable companies to require that every piece of equipment that receives their service receive it via cable a company owned or sanctioned interface. Continue reading

By Len Mullen Posted in News

Plex (review)

Plex is a suite of products that facilitates the aggregation and distribution of media. The Plex Media Center is open source, the Plex Media Server is closed source, and various Plex clients are free or commercial. Plex also offers a sevice called MyPlex which is free, and PlexPass is not free but offers access to premium features through MyPlex. Plex aggregates content via plugins. Many plugins (channels) can be installed via the various Plex user interfaces, but others are only available for manual installation. This article will attempt explain the purpose, installation, configuration, interactions, and use of the various Plex components.  It’s intended to help you decide if Plex is worth investigation and walk you through a functional installation. Continue reading