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Posts Tagged ‘HDMI’

Just ordered a new phone!

Yeah, I love my Optimus V, but there have been several things about it that I’ve not been too fond of. Namely that it’s not all that fast, the minimal onboard storage capacity (it’s sitting there with a “low storage” warning in my status bar as we speak), the fact that it won’t play flash, so I can’t even play back the videos on my own website, and the screen is pretty damn small, even when I wear my readers. Even using ThickButtons, typing on that thing is really tricky, my fingers hit the wrong keys on a fairly regular basis. Plus there have been a few apps that I’ve run into out there that I’ve REALLY wanted to put on the phone, but while they’re compatible with my version of the android OS, they’re just not compatible with just that phone. 

(And yes, I noticed that out of everything I’ve mentioned about the phone, in this and previous posts, about how it operates, one thing that never comes up is how it handles phone calls. LOL. But I almost never use it for that, which is why that Virgin Mobile $25/month unlimited text/data plan with just the 300 minutes is so perfect for me. Essentially, I treat it as a PDA, that just happens to be able to make calls when I need to, which is rarely – don’t think I’ve ever gone over 30 minutes in any given month since I’ve had it. So as long as it can make them when I need them to, it doesn’t need to do much else so far as its phone abilities go.)

So as a rule, it’s been acceptable phone. Gets the job done. And it was the best one that Virgin Mobile offered when I bought it earlier this year. 

Motorola Triumph Phone from Virgin Mobile

But THEN, I made the mistake of going to my Virgin Mobile account to update my credit card info last week, then peeking into their “phones and plans” area. Whoops! The Optimus V is not their best offering any more. Now they’ve got a Motorola Triumph. With a faster processor. And a much bigger storage capacity. And a bigger screen. AND it will play flash video. PLUS it’s got two cameras compared to just the one on the OV. AND a flash for the still camera, which OV doesn’t have. AND HD video that you can play back via an HDMI cable directly into your TV set. In short, it’s like the OV, on steroids.*insert Tim Allen Tool Time grunt here: ARGH ARGH ARGH!*

Reviews on it have been mixed, but it seems like if you get a good phone right out of the box (which seems to be a problem on occasion, some folks have gotten real lemons right from the manufacturer), people have been happy with it.

So after hemming and hawing for a week (and missing Best Buy’s sale on that very phone in the process), and doing my usual comparison shopping, helped by the handy dandy plug in for FireFox called Invisible Hand which pops up when you’re shopping for something to let you know if there’s a cheaper price online anywhere, I found myself at Amazon. Invisible Hand told me it was cheaper on eBay, but I tend to like the return policies better from a known company vs someone on ebay where you’re not sure who you’re buying from. Plus if I put it on my Amazon store card, I’ve got something like 4 months same as cash to pay it off. THOUGHT I could use the nearly $50 in reward points from my Visa card towards it, but since I wasn’t using the Visa to pay for it, apparently that’s not an option. So did the next best thing. Used the $30 gift card that my sister got me for my birthday in July, put THAT towards the phone instead, saving my rewards points for my birthday purchase when I make it. Amazon seemed happy with that. So I got $30 off, free shipping, and 4 months same as cash. Nice deal. Ordered it this afternoon.

And one other thing I like about Virgin Mobile… If you’ve got a phone plan with them, and they change their rates, as long as you keep your same phone plan, you get to keep it at the same rates. So apparently even though VM raised their $25/mo plan to $35/mo recently, even if I swap out my OV for the Triumph, I still get to keep my $25/month plan. Sweet. :)

Can’t wait for it to come in so I can play. Fortunately it’s still an Android phone, so the learning curve on it won’t be to steep. AND all the apps that I already have via Amazon’s app store and the Android App Market should work with it as well (including, hopefully, the ones that were supposed to work but just didn’t like the Optimus V. So we’ll see.

Guppies and Other Technical blah blah blah…

This WAS going to be a tweet, but I realized that I kept typing and couldn’t shut up, so decided to make it a blog post instead. :)

Brought back the Tivo box back to Best Buy tonight, and made a pitstop at PetSmart on the way, to pick up the new 10 gallon aquarium that we’re buying to put in the living room this weekend. Or as I like to refer to it, “The Guppy Birth Control Device”. Once it’s set up, I’m fishing out all the male guppies from my 20 gallon tank downstairs and putting them in the 10 gallon upstairs, leaving just the Fertile Myrtles in the tank downstairs. Guppies really should come with a warning label, that when you buy two you’re really buying 30+ of them. In any case, separating the males from the females should put a stop to the population explosion my aquarium has been experiencing since the first batch of babies was born during the opening ceremonies of the winter olympics. Of course the fun really begins when I actually try to fish out JUST the males from the tank. YeeHAW! Fish rodeo! 😀

Then finished hooking up the rest of the video stuff tonight. Stole the HDMI cable from the Roku box to put on the DVR, bought new component (the red/green/blue ones, one step down from HDMI, but better than s-video or RCA) cables when I took the Tivo box back to Best Buy, for the Roku box, but then had to pull the Wii’s component cables from the back of the TV to give the Roku a place to plug in (the other component jacks are being used by the Panasonic VCR/DVD burner combo, and the other HDMI cable is hooked to the Toshiba HD dvd player), so switched out the components on the Wii back to the RCA composites (the red, white, yellow ones). I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference on the Wii when I upgraded from composite to component before, so no great loss there, really.

Whew! Confused yet? LOL Lucky I do this for a living, among other things. Didn’t have time to test either the Wii or the Roku out yet, by then “The Middle” and the rest of the Wednesday night shows were coming on, but things LOOK like they should work now, nothing is left hanging out in the room anymore, and even the cables that were hanging along side the TV while we were testing things out have been run down the back of the entertainment unit and out of sight. So HOPEFULLY everything works, I’d hate to have to try and move anything now.

Bought a Tivo box last night, already NOT a happy camper!

We don’t even have the Tivo completely hooked up yet, and already I don’t like it. Connections were a piece of cake, as expected; I hook up vcrs and dvrs on a regular basis at my job, so not a big deal there. Just pull out the Philips, replace with the Tivo, swap these cable for those cables, bada BING! It was hooked up.

Had already checked to make sure we had an available phone line ready to go last night so we’d be able to hook up to the Tivo service to at least the phone line and get it set up tonight (planned to get a wireless N adapter later – after my $50 giftcard from Visa came in – to hook it up to our home network eventually, though).

They don’t tell you on the OUTSIDE of the box that in order to do even the basic phone jack connection, that you have to buy one of their $30 adapters so that you can plug the phone cord (which you also have to supply yourself) into the USB port on the back of the unit. Why not just a standard phone jack on the back of the unit like everyone else does? Greedy buggers.

The good news? Fortunately, we do have a cable modem set up right next to the entertainment wall unit, that Time Warner set up when we got digital phone through them, so I was able to hook up an ethernet cable (which *gasp* they actually SUPPLIED!) directly from the Tivo box to the cable modem. AND it actually recognized it when I turned it on.

The bad news? I have to supply it with info like DNS address, gateway address, and a couple of other things, none of which are printed on the modem, and Time Warner didn’t leave with us when they installed the digital phone. (and I can’t get it off the PC, since that’s a different modem than our regular cable network modem with the router that I have downstairs.)

So now I get to call Time Warner tomorrow and see if I can’t get them to supply me with the four things that Tivo needs to have to connect via the digital phone modem. And if they can’t get it for me, since nobody local sells the phone adapters, I’ll end up either having to cough up another $40 at CompUSA for a wireless G (yes, G, they apparently don’t HAVE the N’s there yet!) adapter, or if they’re out of stock, another $20 on top of THAT to get it at Best Buy.

And this is in addition to the $130 I just coughed up tonight for a year’s worth of Tivo programming service. AND the hour I spent with tech support chat after I made all the connections that the guide said to make, in the order that they said to make them, only to have the Welcome screen turn on, sit there for 20 seconds, and then turn back off again and not do anything else. At least we got THAT fixed, though.

Not very happy with my Tivo experience so far.

I know it’s rare when electronics go completely right the first time, I learned that the first time I took my first computer apart and tried to upgrade it and nothing fit properly, thank you very much Packard Bell proprietary hardware. *pthththt* So I’m honestly surprised when I go to hook something new and it works exactly as advertised, right out of the box.

But would it hurt them to at least make ONE connection available right out of the box? How many people have a wired network connection sitting right next to the TV. Probably very few. And I wouldn’t expect THAT to work right out of the box. But when you need at least a phone connection to even get the box started, to not have that set up so that you can just plug the phone cord into the back of the unit and into a wall jack, and make you buy a $30 jack just to even perform the most basic functions, that’s just wrong.

Hoping that Time Warner can get me the modem info I need to connect with a wired connection tomorrow, because I’d really prefer that if I’m being forced into buying a wireless adapter sooner than I wanted, I’d really rather get the faster N connection, not the G, and if I can hook up via the wired connection, I can wait and get the N adapter that I really want.

EDIT: May not need to talk to time warner after all. Just remembered that handy dandy little command prompt phrase: IPCONFIG/ALL. If I can hook up the laptop to the ethernet cable on the modem upstairs, I should be able to get all the info that I need that the Tivo box was asking for. Have no idea whether or not I’ll still get stuck after that, but I’m thinking it’ll at least save me from calling Time Warner and trying to hash this out with them over the phone tomorrow. Will give it a go!

EDIT: Going to bed. Hooked up the laptop, using ipconfig, got the IP address and the subnet address, but the Default Gateway was blank, as was the DNS info. :( PLUS it does have DHCP enabled, whatever THAT is, so it’s also telling me that it needs my DHCP Client ID. *scratches head perplexed* Tis all Greek to me! Guess I’m calling Time Warner for the missing info tomorrow. At least I know I tried everything that I could to get it up and running tonight.