Movie reviews etc

Netflix for magazines and games

It is now more than just rumours, Netflix will be setting up shop in Denmark – Lovely, although I do fear that it will be a LIGHT version as the European right holders are notorious for being greedy and thus the titles online will likely be a lot smaller than the US version.

Anyhow, I just realized that there are actually services like Netflix for both Magazines and Games;


www.onlive.com
Is a gaming portal where you can “stream” your games, the game is actually run on the companies server and thus you only get the video streamed.  You can sign up for a package that will contain a bunch of games, not as attractive as Netflix but still for younger kids maybe still worth while – you can also get a settop box and controller so you can play on your livingroom tv.  Sadly of course its US only 😐  but with a VPN service and a little ingenuity you should be able to bypass this..

 


http://www.nextissue.com/storefront/
Is for Magazines what Netflix is for video, here you can pay a monthly fee and get access to a bunch of magazines. Sadly of course its US only 😐  but with a VPN service and a little ingenuity you should be able to bypass this..

Crackle.com – more streaming

While ‘playing’ with my Roku2 box I came across Crackle.com and thought I’d mention it.

Www.Crackle.Com is a fully Free (yes I don’t get the business model either) streaming service (USA only, but this can be fixed with either www.witopia.net eller www.unblock-us.com), not quite as good selection as www.netflix.com but FREE 😀

Sony 400-Disc DVD/SA-CD/CD Changer

On the subject of mediaplayback, now dig this a 400 disk CD/DVD changer!?   Had it not been because I am fully into streaming (Netflix) these days this would have been a god send gift – no more shuffling around with cd’s/dvd’s strangely however no mention of Blueray disks?

Anyhow, read more here if this is up your alley 🙂
http://uncrate.com/stuff/sony-400-disc-dvdsa-cdcd-changer/

Update;
After just a few clicks in google I found the Blueray ‘version’ 🙂
http://www.electronichouse.com/article/review_sonys_400_disc_bdp_cx7000es_blu_ray_megachanger/

I’m surprised I never heard about these models before, could be because of their initial pricing which was somewhat steap.

 

Roku 2 HD getting it to work in Europe (Partly anyway)

Today my Roku2 set top box arrived from the USA (my first order via www.shopusa.com which seem to have workd fine), I had ordered this to be able to watch Netflix in my bedroom and the Roku2 box seemed the easiest and cheapest way.

The device which comes with remote and build-in wifi seemed nice, small and elegant and I did not expect many issues connecting it, I had read in advance that the service www.unblock-us.com was supporting this unit so everything should be a brease.

Well things did not go acording to plan 🙁

First things first, www.unblock-us.com works by you replacing your DNS servers with servernames (or rather IP’s) they provide, well the darn box has no network settings it gets it’s configuration from DHCP and that is it.  Well no problem, I run a Windows 2008R2 server with DHCP so I just created a new reservation for the MAC address of the Roku 2 box and setup the Unblock-us DNS server ip’s for this reservation – and sure enough this part worked like a charm (note you have to follow the instructions on the www.unblock-us.com site and activate the service before starting to use it, I’m not 100% sure how they register you, likely by your external IP – but how do they deal with dynamic IP’s then??).

So now I had the device connected to my WLAN and tv.  The first thing is then to link the Roku box to an account, you need you computer for this – so I created an account and entered the ID-code from the Roku 2 box (it displays a code you need to enter into your new Roku account to link the device to your account), and everything worked like a charm (I used a P.O.Box address in the USA as my postal address and my American Express as credit card, everything was fine).  But now began my trouble, see the device somehow knew that it was not in the USA and only showed a few totally uninteresting streaming channels (no Netflix, no Hulu etc. etc.), and now began a lot of googling – I found these two threads that seemed to give some insight to the matter;

http://support.unblock-us.com/customer/portal/questions/141869-roku-2-not-showing-us-content

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1695235

And the issue appears to be that the account somehow is not accepted as a fully valid USA account, now I tried deleting the account and recreating it via a USA vpn as some suggested, I tried different credit cards, I tried creating a USA Paypal account but nothing solved the issue.  It was suggested that by using a verified USA creditcard you might overcome the problem, however USA credit cards are hard to come by in Europe :-/  I only know of a few places where you can obtain these and these are not free so a streaming service would end up being fairly expensive 😐

Link to obtaining a USA credit card;
http://www.unblock-us.com/how-to-set-up/us-unlocked
http://www.kanmandet.dk/?p=1860 (might also work)

I did however in the end find a liveable solution to my torment, once the device is fully configured and setup you unlink it from your Roku account – then you wait a few minutes and either restart the Roku or refresh your channels – this strangely enough caused the device to remove all channels BUT at the same time restore the Netflix launch button to the frontpage – and now Netflix works (and possibly also Hulu) – you still need Unblock-us not to forget, however all other channels are gone…  Ok, my objective was to get Netflix so I’m happy with this, but at the same time it’s a shame to not be able to try out all the other stuff – but I guess there is no winning every time 🙁

Btw; the powersupply supports both 110v and 220v so no problems there other than the wall jack which a universal adapter took care off

So status at the moment is; Got Netflix working (by unlinking the Roku from my Roku account) but now that is all the device can do…..  Hrmpf I am not totally satisfied, but guess this will have to do…

Streaming and Netflix navigation seem to work fine, quality is not fully as good as when I stream from a PC but quite acceptable.  Do let me know if anyone figures out a way around this messy situation.

Another odd thing about the Roku 2 box, there is no standby?  you need to unplug the darn thing to shut it down, acording to Roku it is because it uses so little power, now I don’t know in these days where we all are suposed to be thinking about the environment :-/

UPDATE March 8th 2012;
Found this site that appear to offer a workaround for any non USA credit card problems, I have not had the need to test it myself but it looks like a workable solution:
http://www.buyfrompowerseller.com

A-Team movie – There is no plan B

ateamHow neat is this, the A-Team series from the 80’s (1983) will be ‘revieved’ for a movie, sadly not with the original actors (most known is likely Mr. T., but also Dwight Schultz is very well known for his roles in Star Trek) but with a new cast and perhaps with a newer up-to-date finish ala 2010..

I for one found the show very entertaining, it was so quirky and fun – no one ever got hurt in the show, and the ‘punchline’ was always the same – build something out of nothing (a bit like McGyver) and help the underdog..

Links;
The original series; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084967/
The new movie; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0429493/

Now with trailer;

Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player

During Christmas I visited a friend of mine, he had just invested in a “Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player” and ran a quick demo for me..  It actually looks quite nice with a lot of useful features, it streamed perfectly from his NAS even HD ran perfectly and it had YouTube support and whatnot 🙂  The remote seemed a bit toy-ish but was very responsive and worked much better than how it looked..

I have the XBOX 1 (Classic) with a boot chip and use XBMC on it, so to me there is little need to invest in this new box, that is until I get a HD tv then things might change 😉

Like to know more about this box?  Here’s a YouTube review for you;

Avatar 3D

AvatarPoster_000I have just been at the movies to see the movie Avatar in 3D, WOW, it is as simple as that…  this was my first 3D movie in a cinema and both the technical part and the movie itself rocked..  The 3D glasses are a bit annoying but fitted quite fine on top of my own glasses but still they made the experience slightly darkish (I tried removing the glasses a coupple of times and the screen appeared much brighter without)..

Don’t miss out on a great movie, both technically and plotwise (it’s even got romance so you can bring your girlfriend :-)).. 

 

 

 

 

Thumbs all the way up..  I love it…

Windows 7 codec

So you upgraded to Windows 7 but are as always having issues with Codec’s (A codec is the ‘decoder/encoder’ for a video or soundfile in a specific format eg. DivX or Xvid).

Under Windows Vista the Vista Codec pack seemed to work perfectly, but I was reluctant to install it on Windows 7 out of fear to create problems for H.264 (H.264 is now native to Windows 7, which was not the case for Windows Vista).  However in the end I had to (too many things did not work without these codec’s), anyway it turned out that the Vista Codec Pack would not install on Windows 7, it cleverly detected that it was a new OS and pointed out that a new package was available here.

So all in all, my worries was laid to rest and I downloaded Windows 7 codec pack and everything was back to the old working state.

Do you need this codec pack?  Well very likely not, most users can download the VLC player this player has build in most common codec’s and can thus play most video/snd files you get hold of, however if you need to do video conversion etc. then it is a different matter, Windows then need to be able to ‘understand’ the fileformat and this may ofthen require a codec.  The rule should be, try VLC player, if its enough dont install anything more if not install the Windows 7 codec pack or Windows Vista Codec pack (also works for Windows XP).

Transformers II – Revenge of the fallen

Last night I took the time to go see the Transformers II movie, my expectations was “so so” as a friend of mine had claimed it to be poor, but as I liked the first movie why would I not like the second one..

megan-fox

Conclusion, well true the story line is a bit odd (as some guy wrote “they keep making poor choices” in this movie) and the plot might have been better for a movie with a budget like this..  but that said, rarely have I experienced such a marvel of CGI effects – it was one long show off with excellent action sequences and cool effects.

Don’t bring your girlfriend to watch this one, but for a guy’s night out this is definitely worth a look (if for nothing else then for the HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT Megan Fox).

 

 

 

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DoubleTwist a torn in the Apple

doubletwistDoubleTwist will allow you to sync music and video from Itunes to a lot of other devices than Iphone/Ipod (such as PSP, Blackberry, Nokia etc), and whom other than DVD JON to be involved in such an annoyance to Apple.

Download a free beta from the DoubleTwist website.

 

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