601 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2018-10-09 15:50:33)

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Jerry's new show, Bravo Play-by-Play had it's "season-finale" in its third episode last night.  Not sure what that means.  I watched it.  It wasn't what I expected.  I think they don't need all the co-hosts.

Has anyone watched CARTER?

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Yes, I watched all 10 episodes.  Not a bad show.  I like the simple "Who done it?" approach that keeps you paying attention. Reminds me of shows from the 80's.

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I haven't seen the show. I'm not even sure where to find it...


quick search...


Ah. Yeah, I don't watch much Bravo. But reading the description, it sounds a bit like The Grinder. smile

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hallge73 wrote:

Yes, I watched all 10 episodes.  Not a bad show.  I like the simple "Who done it?" approach that keeps you paying attention. Reminds me of shows from the 80's.

Thanks. I saw a couple of episodes.  Not a crime show fan, so could not stick with it.

Informant wrote:

I haven't seen the show. I'm not even sure where to find it...


quick search...


Ah. Yeah, I don't watch much Bravo. But reading the description, it sounds a bit like The Grinder.

It's actually on WGNAmerica in the states.  In Canada, it's on a networked named Bravo (no relation to the Bravo U.S)

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So, I bought SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD when it first came out. But recently, I wanted to show my niece "The Guardian" despite her reluctance and was stymied when the DVD was scratched! I think that paper sleeve container simply doesn't protect the discs. To replace it, I... well, I don't want to buy SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD once again.

It looks like I could get SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON off eBay for ten bucks. But... I feel so angry towards Season 3. Even in recent years, it has found new ways to offend: in 2016, SLIDERS REBORN was the *second* highest viewed section on EarthPrime.com. That's right, my writing, my scripts, were second in popularity only to... the third season episode guide on the site. It rankled and offended so deeply and I feel everything in me crying out in rage when I go to buy SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON. What to do, fellow fans?

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Do they sell it per episode on streaming services?

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From the instant messaging archives:

TRANSMODIAR: "Are you really okay with me rewriting your episode reviews?"

ME: "I really like all these jokes you add to my reviews. I think you should rewrite everything I write."

TRANSMODIAR: "Just sent you a new review, check it out."

ME: "Sure, just let me dry off first."

TRANSMODIAR: "Dry off?"

ME: "Yes, I'm wet."

TRANSMODIAR: "Why are you wet?"

ME: "I was in the bath."

TRANSMODIAR: "Good to know."

**

TRANSMODIAR: " -- and I've set a schedule on the site for the next round of stuff, take a look."

ME: "Sure, but I'm not logged into the CMS on my tablet; let me get out of the bath first."

TRANSMODIAR: "Wait -- you're NAKED right now?"

ME: "Yeah, I always take a bath this time of the day and catch up on my messages."

TRANSMODIAR: "Okay then."

**

TRANSMODIAR: " -- and I said I wanted it in my personnel file that that person coming after me was COMPLETELY CRAZY."

ME: "You've led quite a life."

TRANSMODIAR: "Did you ever read my political blog?"

ME: "I bookmarked it on my laptop; let me get out of the bath and I'll re-read it. I remember you having a lot of truther style conspiracies."

TRANSMODIAR: "Again with the bath!"

ME: "What?"

TRANSMODIAR: "I do NOT need to know that you're in the bath! I don't need to know that you're naked when we're instant messaging!"

ME: "Oh."

TRANSMODIAR: "Oh, check out the website preview for the REBORN section in the redesigned site layout when you're dry and wearing clothes."

ME: "I'm looking at it now and crying."

TRANSMODIAR: "What? WHY ARE YOU CRYING?"

ME: "The SLIDERS REBORN section. It's beautiful. It's a dream come true. Thank you."

TRANSMODIAR: "You're welcome. Look, we can talk about SLIDERS REBORN and whatever you want; just don't tell me when you're taking a bath. I don't need to know."

ME: "Okay."

**

TRANSMODIAR: "What're you up to right now?"

ME: "I cannot tell you."

TRANSMODIAR: "What are you doing, burying a dead body?"

ME: "No."

TRANSMODIAR: "Then why can't you tell me?"

ME: "You said not to tell you."

TRANSMODIAR: "Are you taking a bath right now?!"

ME: "You said you didn't want to know! Why are you asking?"

TRANSMODIAR: "I'm sure you're doing SOMETHING ELSE as well!"

ME: "Yeah, I'm looking at flights to San Francisco."

TRANSMODIAR: "You visiting family or friends or something?"

ME: "No, I was thinking I'd go for a week, see the sights and write in landmarks and geographical references for the SLIDERS REBORN scripts."

TRANSMODIAR: "You are out of your god-damn mind."

ME: "What?"

TRANSMODIAR: "Don't fly to San Francisco for fanfic! Just use Google Maps!"

ME: "Oh, okay. I suppose you're right."

TRANSMODIAR: "Are you still in the bath?"

ME: "You said not to tell you. Why are you asking?"

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I would like to watch a show about the two of you traveling in an old VW van and solving mysteries.

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I dunno. I feel like the format requires that he and I aren't actually in physical proximity, just texting each other.

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ireactions wrote:

So, I bought SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD when it first came out. But recently, I wanted to show my niece "The Guardian" despite her reluctance and was stymied when the DVD was scratched! I think that paper sleeve container simply doesn't protect the discs. To replace it, I... well, I don't want to buy SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD once again.

It looks like I could get SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON off eBay for ten bucks. But... I feel so angry towards Season 3. Even in recent years, it has found new ways to offend: in 2016, SLIDERS REBORN was the *second* highest viewed section on EarthPrime.com. That's right, my writing, my scripts, were second in popularity only to... the third season episode guide on the site. It rankled and offended so deeply and I feel everything in me crying out in rage when I go to buy SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON. What to do, fellow fans?

I ordered Season 3 off eBay for $7.81, but then -- well, I was converting some old PC game discs to ISO files for hard drive storage. One disc wouldn't copy, but then I gave it a cleaning using a cloth dampened with lens cleaning fluid and it worked. It occurred to me to do the same with the inoperative Season 3 disc rather than just using water -- and now "The Guardian" is playing fine off the DVD. I've asked the eBay seller to cancel the order and hopefully they'll do it or I'll have the dubious honour of owning two sets of the season from hell.

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....... anybody want a DVD box set of SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON?

After the Mill Creek envelopes for the discs proved inadequate, I moved the discs into a book shaped disc album. I guess I could swap out the Mill Creek discs of Season 3 and replace them with the Universal release with its (marginally) better video quality (as the Mill Creek discs were even more compressed than the Universal release to fit the episodes into fewer discarded). If I ever want to watch “The Guardian,” “Double Cross” or “Murder Most Foul,” it’d be less blurry than what I had before.

Anybody want the Mill Creek Season 3 discs?

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And now for Tech Talk, with Quinn Mallory:

I've never had much use for a smartwatch, but I did have use for a fitness watch for tracking my steps, heartrate, sleeping patterns, calories burned, etc.. When the world was going nuts over the Apple Watch, I instead got an open box Fitbit Blaze which didn't have apps. You couldn't answer texts or talk on the phone -- it was just a fitness tracker that had a colourful screen that snapped into a wrist-strap and helped me figure out how much I could allow myself to eat. Fitbit released the Ionic, a square and huge smartwatch with a discrete GPS and a development platform for apps that were... not awesome. Fitbit released the Versa, a rounded and compact smartwatch that relied on the phone for GPS and had a development platform for apps that were still... not awesome.

I was content with my somewhat clunky but oddly charming Fitbit Blaze -- until a new announcement of Fitbit OS 3.0 for the Ionic and Versa with a new app for the Versa that could monitor your physical readings when you were sick and then, in the future, warn you of an impending illness so that you could take preventative measures via extra sleep, vitamins and herbal supplements. I immediately ran out and bought a Fitbit Versa for this feature. Only to discover -- this app, Achu, isn't an app for the watch. It's a (hideous) clockface. And the data the Achu uses to offer its assessments (on this clock face) is actually gathered by an Android app tracking your Fitbit readings -- and Achu would have worked just as well with the Fitbit Blaze.

......................... anyway. I sold the Fitbit Blaze for 53.2 % of the money it cost to buy the Versa.

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And now for Tech Talk with Quinn Mallory:

I remember the exact moment I gave up on the Moto G5 Plus smartphone. I was making a two hour drive down an express highway when the podcast player went dead while Google Maps was guiding me towards my destination. Watching the road, I swiped my finger across the fingerprint sensor to switch to the previous foreground app -- the podcasts -- so that I could hit play. In mid-switch, the phone proceeded to shut down Google Maps. I think what it came down to was that 2 GB of RAM just wasn't enough for Android to multitask anymore. The phone had been lagging a bit until an Android update at which point the Moto G5 Plus dispensed with freezing, unresponsive UI performances by simply quitting apps.

So I sold it. That and fifty bucks bought me a refurbished, slightly scuffed, mildly chipped Samsung S7 with 4 GB of RAM and state of the art flagship hardware from 2016. It's pretty good and the camera might liberate me from carrying DSLRs and camcorders going forward -- but a few things alarm me.

The first is that the phone has a subtly curved edge around the screen. The result is that tempered glass protectors either don't attach securely or attach but create distortions of air pockets down the sides of the screen. The only workable screen protection so far has been a gel-film protector that adheres to the screen with liquid and can curve to fit the rounded surface -- and such protectors guard against scratches but offer no real drop protection. I didn't realize the phone lacked a flat design suited to tempered glass and I've dropped my phone a lot over the years.

I recall shattering the screen on my Samsung Galaxy S3 twice in my pre-tempered glass days. However, it occurs to me that the S3 used Gorilla Glass 2. The S7 uses Gorilla Glass 4 which is estimated to be six times less breakable and scratchable than Gorilla Glass 2, so maybe the stronger glass, my protective film and the TPU case can handle my life. That said, I've used gel-film with liquid installs on my tablets. They adhere permanently to flat surfaces. On the curved surfaces like the rears of my tablets, however, they've always peeled loose over time. The curve on the S7 screen is so subtle and slight I didn't notice it until I tried to apply a tempered glass protector, though -- maybe it'll hold.

If it peels off, however, I'll have to turn to my last resort -- a liquid screen protection fluid that supposedly applies a microscopic coating to glass to guard against scuffs and scratches and (in theory) drops. But for all I know, it could be mineral water in those tubes.

The other thing that weirds me out is how crazy heated the phone got. My Moto G5 Plus had a metal backing (on a plastic frame) and always felt cool; the S7 got really warm as it was downloading Google Play app updates. Eventually, I found the battery settings and switched on the CPU limiter. I also turned off the Always On display because I'm nervous that that's a recipe for burn-in. The screen offers a 1440 resolution but lets you dial it down to 1080 and 720. I set the screen to 720 pixels wide and... couldn't tell the difference between that and the highest resolution, so I left it on low if only to take it easy on the graphics processor. The phone has cooled now, but for an hour or so, I was wondering if it would burst into flame like a Note 7.

I had to connect the phone to my computer to activate immersive mode and hide the status bar to prevent burn-in. Samsung has kindly opened up themes for their Android build, so I chose a Google Pixel style theme and installed Nova Launcher which mimics the Google app launcher and also installed Google Messages, Calendar and Clock. The software looks like a Pixel now.

Informant, do you have the option of changing the resolution on your Note and can you tell the difference?

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Apologies for my slow replies... I've been pretty sick since just before Christmas, so I haven't been online very much.

I don't have a lot of experience with changing the resolution of my screen. I have a good battery, so I keep it turned up and it lasts me all day. However, I just did a quick toggle, just to see the difference, and I have to say that there is a noticeable change in text. The lower resolution almost looked like I needed a better prescription for my glasses. And, of course, video is very different in higher resolutions.

If you're not used to the higher resolution and you don't notice any fuzziness, you're probably fine with keeping it low. However, since I always have it turned up to the max resolution, turning it down to the lowest setting did make a big difference. I didn't try a middle setting, and I only tried this for a few seconds. It's hardly an in-depth study.

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I'm sorry you've not been well. What's going on with you? And your brother? And your father? And your curse of MacGyver?

**

I suspect that the lower resolution is a problem on a Note 8 because you have a 6.3 inch screen. I have a 5.1 inch screen and 720 pixels is still a lot of pixels.

Do you have any status bar burn in? Or burn in from the Always On Display and the navigation bar? Or is the slight pixel shifting that Samsung programmed in adequate for preventing burn in? The S7 uses capacitive buttons without a navigation bar, but I've disabled Always On and the status bar.

It's pretty great to have 4GB of RAM. I'd accepted that my Moto G5 Plus needed me to run the lite versions of Facebook and Messenger and constantly having to clear the RAM and close all apps and restart at night so it'd be smoother in the morning. The S7 doesn't need any kind of maintenance that can't be set and forgotten.

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I just have the flu, I think. My theory is that I've just been so stressed out for the past year, and physically/emotionally drained for a while now that my plan to take some time off around Christmas gave my body an excuse to just give up for a while. I'm getting better though, just in time to get back to some stressful work. smile

I used to walk my dog in order to clear my head and gather my thoughts for writing, but he died a while back and my only remaining dog hates walks.  I'm now working on a new way to sort of focus my brain (I usually have about a dozen trains of thought screaming in my head at any given moment, making it hard to focus on one), so maybe I'll actually be able to write again soon.

As for my family, they're all doing more or less well. I did give my brother the flu though. Oops. smile


Okay, phone stuff...

I don't see any burn-in. My nav bar disappears after a few seconds if I'm not using it, and my status bar changes color, depending on what's on the screen. The always-on display seems fine too.

That said, the only time I ever saw significant burn-in was on one of my brother's old phones, and even that was only noticable on pure white screens. Because of this, I've not been too concerned with things like the always-on feature. I do keep my home screen background pure black though, to save a little bit of battery (since unused pixels are turned off). So even if I did get burn-in, I don't have many complex images that would be burned in.

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And now, for Tech Talk with Quinn Mallory:

I adore coffee and have always been fascinated by Keurig coffee pod machines. I have, however, refused to buy one because the cost of coffee pods versus the cost of drip coffee was unworkable -- although, I confess, I ruin a LOT of coffee. Sometimes, the paper filters collapse inside the coffeemaker and the brew is filled with grounds. Sometimes, I miscalculate the water to ground coffee ratio and end up with too strong or too weak a result.

And, when wandering through my thrift store, I spotted a Keurig machine for $20 which was far more tenable than the $120 or so cost of most of these machines. So I bought it and bought some refillable pods as well (four for $15).

I got home and was horrified to discover: the reason this machine cost $20 is because it was made when Keurig tried to prevent customers from using coffee pods from manufacturers who hadn't paid Keurig a licensing fee by including a scanner that looks for infrared ink on licensed pods. The machine will refuse to begin the brewing process if the scanner detects a pod without the infrared ink made by a company that didn't want to pay Keurig licensing fees for putting hot water through ground coffee.

I grimly refunded my refillable pods and bought a single official Keurig refillable pod for an insane $20 -- if only to make sure the machine worked. It did. But this annoyed me so much that I started looking at hacks to overturn the DRM restrictions. Some hacks involved buying a licensed pod and taping the infrared inked label to the scanner lens, some involved using neon marker or neon-coloured adhesive paper and a clip.

One involved disassembling the machine, locating the cable that sent data from the scanner to the processor and cutting it to permanently bypass the DRM protocol. I felt Quinn Mallory would do the last one, so I took apart my Keurig 2.0, cut the wire and promptly lost the screws needed to reassemble it and spent some time on my hands and knees locating them on the floor.

Anyway. I guess I'll go run some descaling solution through the machine. Who knows what's been through it?

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Yeah, I hacked my Keurig too. Clipped that stupid wire, and also placed a magnet inside the machine, which granted me more control over the brewing features on my specific model. Don't know which model you have, but you should look into the magnet thing and see if it's an option for you.

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I’ve read some reports that the magnet can damage the internal carafe sensor, so I decided to hold off. I did disassemble the upper lid on the K400 and found the two wires that, if looped together, tricks the machine into thinking that a carafe is present. However, I didn’t have a wire stripper on hand.

I also don’t buy pod-packed coffee, only reusable pods, and I’ve yet to find a locally sold carafe-sized pod. The official reusable k-cup only brews 12 ounces of coffee at the most. And the only locked function in the menu that I see is for brewing carafes. Also, the Keurig 2.0 carafe is an insane $40 and buying one reusable coffee pod for $20 was already pushing it.

I think, now that the machine is unlocked, I’ll buy the four-pack of refillable coffee pods for $15 and if I need to make coffee for guests, I’ll pre-load those pods and load them in one after another.

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I think we have similar models, but I'm not sure.

Without the magnet, my machine can brew 10 ounces at the most. With the magnet, I could fill up to a 16 ounce mug. True, that might make it taste watered down, but with the right coffee, I think it can work. Especially with the "strong" setting that I always use. Typically, I make a 12 ounce cup, which isn't an option without the magnet. The entire menu is different for me, once I put the magnet in. I've been doing that for a couple of years now, without any problems with the machine.

I haven't purchased a carafe either. I have another coffee maker for "real" coffee, so I only use the Keurig for my quick cups, usually later in the day. My local grocery store sometimes has a good sale on their giant boxes of store-brand coffee, and I've experimented with some to find the ones that work for me. Again, not as good as coffee from my larger, slower, better coffee maker, but passable. Not as bad as some of the other cheap brands that I've tried. I have some reusable pods too, but I usually find another sale/clearance deal on the big boxes of coffee before I need to use the refillable k-cups.

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My machine allows me to brew 16 ounces, but I see what's going on here. Because, pre-wirecutting, the Keurig 2.0 didn't accept common refillable pods, I bought the official Keurig My K-Cup Universal Reusable Filter ( https://www.keurig.ca/accessories/my-k- … sal-filter ). This reusable pod has about twice the height of a standard coffee pod and when you insert it into the pod basket, it lowers the latch and retracts needle (which a normal-sized pod won't do). The Keurig 2.0 detects that a larger-than-normal pod has been inserted and unlocks the 16 ounce option.

I bought four of the standard size, non-Keurig brand refillable pods today and put one in. These pods aren't long enough to trigger the latch and retract the needle, so the machine detects a normal size pod and limits you to 10 ounces. However, I tried putting the official pod in but without the lid, instead dropping in the smaller pod into the larger pod casing. This unlocked the 16 ounce brew option as well.

Anyway. If you've got a magnet in there doing the same thing as the larger pod, I think you're fine. As for me -- even my largest travel mug can only hold 10 ounces of coffee with enough space left for cream.

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Yeah, whatever does the job smile

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I made mini hamburgers for lunch today following a White Castle-esque recipe. I actually do order mini hamburgers in restaurants sometimes so that I can hear someone's voice saying, "Sliders." I've always joked that SLIDERS should be revived with Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo running a hamburger joint that specializes in miniature burgers.

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When visiting my niece at her house:

INT. FRONT HALL - DAY

Ib is walking through the hall when he accidentally barefoot kicks a HARDCOVER BOOK lying on the floor. He looks down and shrieks.

IB: "Gaahhhhhhh!!!!"

Lauren dashes down the stairs.

LAUREN: "What!? What!? What?!" (surveying the scene) "Did you kick the book? I told Mom not to leave it lying around -- "

IB: (pointing a shaking finger at the book cover) "He killed Dad!"

Lauren stares at Ib, looks down at the book and picks it up. The cover reads THANKS A LOT MR. KIBBLEWHITE: MY STORY, by Roger Daltrey.

LAUREN: "Uh. Your dad's not dead and... wait, is this about that time travel show?"

IB: "You KNOW it's not a time travel show. I think you call it that just to annoy me a little."

LAUREN: "Only a little, but I notice it annoys you a lot. Was Roger Daltrey on SLIDERS?"

IB: "Uh. Yeah. He plays this crazy US colonel who sucks the wise Professor's brain out and shoots him dead and then the Professor's corpse is left on a planet that explodes."

Lauren winces at the description and studies the book cover.

LAUREN: "My mom bought this book as a gift for someone, but then she wanted to read it first. I wouldn't really expect this guy to be playing a psycho killer."

IB: "Yeah, I don't know what his deal was -- he was on LOIS AND CLARK, also playing another slasher type character. He's not very good at playing villains. In real life, he's a drunk, affable goofball, but the only time I ever saw him playing a drunk, affable goofball was on HIGHLANDER."

LAUREN: "Well, he's a musician."

IB: "Are you saying that all musicians are drunk, affable goofballs?"

LAUREN: (thinking on this) "Yeah!"

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Every once in awhile, I come across a product that I must not only appreciate for my own use but also share with you all for its utlity and revolutionary design. This is not one of those times.

Recently, my sister fried my laptop. She was visiting and she plugged a space heater into the same power bar I use to fuel a 10-year-old laptop I keep plugged into a TV to run streaming services and play local files off an external hard drive. The heater blew the circuit and the laptop no longer powers on. She offered to replace it, but I mentally began calculating how much of her property I’ve destroyed during our association and it seemed best to stop thinking about it while I was not ahead.

I bought a used Chromecast, thinking I could use it with my streaming services and periodically copy locally stored video files to my iPad and stream them to the living room TV. But I was disappointed to find that some video files like my AVI backups of SLIDERS DVDs and my MKV conversions of STAR WARS fan restorations didn’t stream well; the video apps couldn’t handle decoding and casting the file to the TV. I bought a refurbished blu-ray player only to find it couldn’t decode those video files either (despite loudly advertising its ability to do so on the box).

I went to the tech store and began looking at racks and racks of open box Android TV boxes. “These are all garbage,” a salesman told me miserably, gesturing at a small wall of returned, open-box Android boxes. “They are too slow to run streaming services and there is no real market for good ones; most people just buy a smart TV.” My TV, however, is just a 40 inch monitor bought eight years ago.

Anyway. I figured that even a low-powered Android box could handle local video playback. I brought one home, plugged it into the TV — and there’s something quite surreal about seeing Android 4.4, an ancient phone interface stretched to tablet size and then stretched again to fill a TV screen. This MyGica ATV380 is. so underpowered that it lagged and froze until I uninstalled most of the built-in apps. The machine encourages you to use with a remote controller’s arrow keys to move a cursor about a touchscreen interface that’s on a TV. I had to plug in a wireless mouse instead. The built-in video player couldn’t decode a lot of my video formats.

The best that can be said: the manufacturer left the Android interface under their launcher untouched, so I was able to install a personalized homescreen, a file explorer and a video app with the right codecs. It definitely doesn’t have the power to stream Netflix well, and even if it did, it’d be the Android app blown up to a TV screen with the need to use a mouse. But it can play locally stored 1080p video files; the Chromecast can handle screening services and the blu-ray player — well, I only have like seven blu-rays and a bunch of DVDs. And I bought everything used or refurbished, so it cost under a hundred bucks.

Anyway. Android TV boxes are stupid. Android is for phones and the software and hardware on these devices are a joke. I think most people should just get a wifi-enabled TV with streaming service apps built in as well as USB ports for hard drives.

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I have a smart TV, but I probably do most of my streaming through my Roku. It has more apps/channels available and it's easier to upgrade over time than a TV. I've been using Roku devices for about ten years now. I'd definitely recommend them, and there are good deals on them pretty often.

I have one of their boxes, not one of the streaming sticks. I can't vouch for the sticks.

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I thought about getting a Roku streaming stick or box, but I couldn't tell if they could access a USB drive and a used Chromecast was cheaper. My niece has a Samsung TV and the Netflix interface is so slow and laggy and the wifi hardware so poor that she just uses the XBox X to play video files and streaming services.

As a kid, I had one box to handle TV signals and one VHS player. Now I have a blu-ray player that's very good at playing blu-ray and DVD but awkward or non-functional for playing video files and it has no streaming function. I have a Chromecast that's very good for streaming services if accompanied by a tablet but useless for locally stored video. And I have an Android TV that should technically be good for any Android app, streaming or not, but it kept lagging and freezing just trying to download and install apps. The only thing it can do well is play locally stored video files.

I admit that the user experience doesn't really matter so long as the video files play, but make no mistake, this Android box is a piece of crap and the salesman told me that it was the cheapest of the three he hated least. I wonder if there exists a machine that can do blu-ray/DVD and also streaming services and also play locally stored videos and there probably is, but it also probably costs more than $100 whereas these three items cost about $80.

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Roku has a variety of different products. The one I've been looking at for my next upgrade is the Roku Ultra (currently $99, but it was about half that price around Black Friday). I don't think that it plays AVI files, but it does have a USB port, for local playback, so there's always the option of converting files to a supported format, if you don't mind the long process of doing so (find a converter that can batch process and I suppose you could set up several conversions at a time)

My Samsung smart TV works pretty well. I guess it comes down to the model, since the technology is always progressing. I can even mirror my Note 8 screen on my TV without any trouble.

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Samsung is urgently exiting the blu-ray player market:
https://www.denofgeek.com/us/culture/27 … ay-players

Hmm. Well, I have to say, the prices on blu-ray players are INSANE. When my sister fried the living room laptop I used as a home theatre system for the TV, I was looking around. A new blu-ray player at Best Buy cost $225 USD. I had to go searching with refurbished stores and open box models before finding a sensible $35 USD model (open box with no wifi functions). I only have a few blu-rays (Seasons 1, 2, 4 and 5 of CHUCK, Seasons 8 - 9 of SMALLVILLE). And I don't see myself buying any more. The average new release on blu-ray disc at Best Buy starts at $25 USD.

In an era of all-you-can-view subscriptions with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and in a market of $40 Chromecasts and Rokus, it doesn't make financial sense to spend $25 on a single home viewing experience or more than $60 on blu-ray players that you can only count on to play blu-ray and DVD. Sony's latest $250 wifi blu-ray players only promise support for Netflix and YouTube. It's terrible value for the money.

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I watched SLIDERS in IMAX! Sort of.

In COMMUNITY's sixth season, Jeff Winger declares that virtual reality is lame. I didn't doubt it, but I didn't know that for a fact. Jeff's issue with VR was the absurd complications and exertions to perform simple tasks like copying files. In his view, there was no need for a computer system to resemble a real-world environment.

Arguably true, but VR also hopes to be like a STAR TREK holodeck, so when I saw a Samsung Gear VR headset for $20 (you slide a Samsung phone into the goggles), I decided I would like to find out for sure. I'm not much of a gamer, but I thought it'd be neat to try watching TV shows on a simulated IMAX screen in virtual reality.

It's extremely lame. Despite the high resolution of my Samsung S7 phone, the magnified lenses of the VR goggles inflate the phone's screen image and create an unfortunate screen door effect; you can see the space between the pixels. You feel like you're in an IMAX theatre -- except the screen is like a low-res cathode ray tube.

However. The SLIDERS DVDs are extremely poor quality transfers with a shocking lack of detail and a very blurry image quality. And, when I put my DVD rips on my phone and watch them in the VR cinema, the screen door pixelation obscures the lousy bitrate and overcompressed picture. Gear VR video makes low-res, substandard SD versions of 90s television look acceptable on a massive CRT-esque screen. I watched "As Time Goes By" in an IMAX theatre setting. I watched "The Guardian" in an IMAX theatre setting. With a Gear VR visor and high-bass Bluetooth headphones.

Well. That was worth twenty bucks. :-)