Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I hooked up the Blu-Ray player tonight. Things are working fine, but unfortunately I don't have a Blu-Ray disc to actually try out. I imagine that I'll have to wait until after Christmas to try that out.

We also brought in the new TV stand and we'll get that situated tomorrow. Unfortunately, that means I'll need to re-wire everything (again) but that shouldn't take too long.

The home theater now consists of

Samsung HL61A750 61" LED DLP HD TV
Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-Ray player
Denon AVR-981 AV Receiver
2 Mirage AVS-200 Left\Right channels
1 Mirage AVS-100 Center Channel
2 Mirage AVS-200 Left\Right surrounds
1 Mirage FRx-S8 Subwoofer

In an ideal world I'd like to get a new AV receiver, but realistically mine is fine and plenty loud. The only real problem is with the room itself, as there are too many openings and architectural details that absorb the sound.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We bought a new TV stand from Craigslist since neither of our existing ones would work with both the TV and all of our components. We're in the process of painting it and it should be ready to go tomorrow or at latest Wednesday. We also purchased a Blu-Ray player. We should have a pretty nice home theater setup once everything gets hooked up. I'd like to upgrade the receiver, but I realize that it's not necessary. One can dream though...

Friday, December 12, 2008

It turns out that everything looks good in HD and I never want to watch another non-HD program ever again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holy cow does basketball look good in HD!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The cable guy saga continued tonight. He came out and brought the multi stream card with him. For some reason though he decided it would be necessary to check the cable levels (AGAIN) even though he just did that on Monday. Once again he unplugged the TiVo during that process. If you've got a TiVo you know that once unplugged, it takes between 5-10 minutes to get back up and running. Well, as if that wasn't bad enough, he decided to not listen to me and plug the CableCard in while the TiVo was starting up (even though the directions specifically say not to do this.) Once it booted up all we had was a purple screen. So I told him we should power it off and try it again, but this time wait until it was on. He listened to me this time and 5-10 minutes later he plugged it in and the TiVo recognized it perfectly. He didn't get all of the activation numbers off of it though, so he had to eject it. Somehow in this process he manhandled the TiVo to the point where the ejection button no longer worked. Thanks a lot. He had to actually use tweezers to pull it out and then got the info he needed and put it back in. At this time, the channels came in just fine and multi-channel recording was working. Good enough. Hopefully we never have to deal with the cable company again.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Time Warner is coming out tomorrow. There are several issues that will hopefully be resolved. The first is that one of the CableCard tuners doesn't work. That's the easy one. The second and more annoying problem is that when you leave the TV off for a while (> 10 minutes) then it "forgets" how to decode the HD signals. I have to go back through the CableCard setup and have it test for the channels and then it works fine.

I'm pretty certain that the non-working CableCard they gave me actually is not defective. I think they just didn't activate it correctly. They're supposed to be bringing out a multi-stream version tonight, so that will replace the existing two and hopefully all the problems go away.

My in-laws have a HD TiVo and a multi-stream CableCard decoder and don't exhibit the problem of it "forgetting" how to decode HD, so hopefully we'll be fixed tomorrow.

I also hooked up the surround sound again, but because we don't have a proper TV stand yet, it just looks like crap. Actually, it looks like a dorm room. Components are on the floor. Cables are everywhere. It's just a mess. Once it gets properly situated then I'll take a picture of it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our HD TV came this weekend and Time Warner came out today to install the dual cable cards in our TiVo. Of course, they didn't work. They paired up pretty quickly, but the channels didn't work. Later, one of the cable card tuners worked and one didn't. They gave us two single stream tuners. They're coming back out on Wednesday sometime from 6-8 to change it up to one multi-stream cable card. Why they didn't just bring that in the first place is pretty annoying. By trying to give us two single streams they can charge us an extra $3 per month. With one multi-stream we'll save that $3. Stupid cable company.

By the way, we got a 61 inch Samsung and a new TiVo HD for those of you that are interested.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

To those who may not know, my grandmother passed away this past Sunday at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Oddly, I am at ease about it. We all obviously knew it was coming, but I still didn't know how I'd feel. She was in constant pain near the end and was fighting for every breath. Because of that, we're happy that she's not suffering any more.

I also think that it hasn't quite sunk in yet. Who knows if it ever really will.