Watch Satellite TV Online Quick Tips

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Anyone who wants to watch satellite TV online can do so quite easily in today’s context. This is already happening with the emergence of PC satellite TV software. PC satellite TV software is one nice and neat piece of software application people use to watch satellite TV online via internet connection. This technology though new is fast catching up with the rest of TV media world and are now providing more than a million TV viewers with instant access to TV channels from many countries such as US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, France and more. So if you are considering to watch satellite TV online, here are some quick tips to get you started.

A PC satellite TV software is needed to power up your computer to receive satellite TV channels. Of course, an internet connection is the other part that completes the equation. There are probably a dozen of software resources online that offer satellite TV software to watch satellite TV online. But not all can do without satellite dish installation. A few of the packages out there still requires some hands-on set up of hardware equipment. But you can skip these ones and only go for those that can give you instant access to watch satellite TV online without any hardware installation.

While you might be so excited to watch satellite TV online now, there are a couple of things you really need to know when looking for the best offer for PC satellite TV software. One key factor is the internet connection speeds the software supports. It will become a big headache and nightmare to you when you realize that the software you just bought does not support low speed internet connections. Be sure to double-check on the requirement for the internet connection. Those who are using dial-ups should pay extra attention to this. For others who are using broadband, this is less of a concern as most software are compatible.

The next point when looking for software to watch satellite TV online is to compare the number of TV channels they provide as part of the package. It can vary from hundreds to thousands of channels. In most cases, there should be a price range difference as well. Expect to pay more for more channels. But I would advise you not to pay for something that costs you above $70 or charge a monthly subscription. You can easily find cheaper options to watch satellite TV online that give you more value-added benefits such as bonus media files etc.

All the PC satellite TV software tend to be able to perform the same function, that is to allow you to watch satellite TV online with your computer. But the setup or installation may be a bit different. Even the user interface can vary which is expected since they are developed by different companies. No one likes to dabble with messy installation or hard to read instruction manuals. We are impatient creatures, or rather most of us are. Asking us to read through a 100 page instruction booklet just to learn how to install and use the software is going to be painful. Fortunately, there are several software packages which are pretty much plug and play. Downloading and installing the software takes no more than an hour even for the most inexperienced user. After that, you can quickly enjoy the movies and TV programs when you watch TV online.

One big pull factor to watch satellite TV online is perhaps the choice and variety of TV programs you can find online. From movies to sports events and even radio, you can search and find a program that you would love to watch. Local TV stations may not screen programs round the clock. But when you watch satellite TV online, you are basically tuning into global channels. These channels are broadcast around the clock 24 hours a day. So whether you are a late night movie viewer or an early bird, you can still catch your favorite sports news and games, or TV entertainment show from some corner of the world. And you can always save the channel in your bookmark and come back to watch satellite TV online later at your own convenience.

Discover more about how you can watch satellite TV online can always sign up for my satellite TV mini-series for some quick information.

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Lessons Learned From A TV Appearance

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Since launching my first book Apprentice to Business ACE, I have been consistently profiled in the media. It’s been a fantastic vehicle to raise my profile, enhance my credibility and build my brand. Just recently I was invited on to Sky Business News and had the opportunity to answer viewer’s questions on branding and PR for small business. So I would like to share some lessons I learned from my TV appearance.

You Know Your stuff

TV hosts and producers don’t want to give you too much information about the questions. Why? Because they don’t want you to sound stilted and rehearsed when you give answers. You are generally there because you are the expert (or say you are) on that particular subject and because you do know your subject better than anyone else you will be able to answer questions spontaneously.

But you should think about some possible questions they may ask and prepare answers beforehand. Ask your partner or a friend to ask you a few questions and have a rehearsal ‘ practice. You can find out what angle are they taking? What are they expecting from you ‘ what are the question areas?

Research

Watch the program beforehand to get a feel for the type of show it is if you can. At least look up the website and perhaps view a video clip or listen to a podcast. Find out as much as you can about the program on which you’re being asked to appear ‘ is it live or pre-recorded? Is the audience completely general, or is it targeted at housewives or business people? Think about the points you could make which are most interesting, useful and relevant to that particular audience.

Arrive early so you can meet and chat with other guests, hosts, producers to feel a bit more comfortable and familiarise yourself with the surroundings.

Get to the Point

Do try and get to the main point of your answer quickly without wafting on. A short, sharp, interesting point works best in the media especially for television and will be easier for viewers to remember. If you don’t give enough information the interviewer will simply ask a follow-up question.

If you have something to promote (such as a book) keep it in mind and look for an opportunity to get your point across. All well and good being great media “talent” but you could use the opportunity to at least promote your business name. Try and be in control and use every opportunity to get your message across.

Have Something to Say

Be aware of the latest news, gossip or current affairs stories particularly that relate to your topic. Read the papers, listen to radio and be as informed as you can because you never know what might come up during the interview. If there are controversial issues in your area of expertise, work out where you stand, and what you should say. It is better to respond rather than say “no comment”. Don’t be afraid to put your point of view across. If you don’t know the answer, say so.

Make It Interesting and Descriptive

Make your answers more memorable by using real stories and descriptive words. Cut through the clutter with words that paint a picture in the mind of the listener. As an example in a radio interview I did, I told a story about a young journalist interviewing a well know media personality and used the word “hyper-bowl”, the media identity kindly corrected her and said the word is pronounced “hyper-bo-lee”. We made it a fun, interesting reference to the issue being discussed.

Friendly and Attentive

Remember that what you’re really doing is having a conversation. Listen to the interviewer’s questions. The host will appreciate your attentiveness. Use the interviewer’s name to make it more personable when answering questions.

If you’re doing an interview face-to-face use eye contact and try and interest the interviewer in what you’re talking about rather than thinking ‘ do I sound OK ‘ do I look alright on TV. If your eyes flicker around during a TV interview, you look uncomfortable, and possibly a bit shifty. If you keep your eye-line focused on the interviewer, you will come over as being in command of your subject. Just try and relax and take your time. And remember to smile, you will look and sound a lot friendlier.

Animation and Gestures

Be bright and buoyant in your answers. You need to be slightly more animated and larger than life. Pep up your delivery so that it is energetic and enthusiastic, rather than dull and low-key. Television is entertainment after all and broadcasting is a performance! The more engaging you appear the more interested and involved the audience will feel. It’s perfectly okay to move, rather than sitting stiffly and looking unnatural. Just be aware of exaggerated movements or unconscious movements such as flicking your hair or tapping your fingers. If you always ‘talk’ with your hands, like I do, that’s okay; just don’t over do it. Also be aware of knocking your microphone, movement or other sounds that may interfere. Look & Sound Good

Always take time to warm up your voice. You will come across as more articulate and authoritative. It will help prevent a “frog in the throat” during the interview. Sip room temperature water before and during the interview. Never drink anything too hot or cold and nothing with milk in it otherwise you’ll be constantly clearing your throat.

Dress well and look your best.

Take your cue from the presenters on the show you’re appearing on. Perhaps it’s business casual for a morning show or more business corporate for a news show. Wear make-up. OK guys maybe just a touch of powder to eliminate shine.

If you stumble, or slip-up, or use the wrong persons name like I did during my interview, just forget about it and move on. Even top TV presenters make mistakes.

Did I manage all of the above in my interview? Probably not. But the key is to relax and enjoy the interview as much as possible ‘ after all it is your opportunity to promote your business, product or service and hopefully raise your profile and profits.

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Snappy Sound Bites Will Turn a Tv Appearance Into a Huge Success

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Anyone wanting to be a guest on Oprah or Good Morning America must learn to master the fine art of generating sound bites for television. Television thrives on sound bites – those brief, quotable remarks that will be repeated again and again on television news and talk shows. Sound bites are the pearls that flow out of our mouths into the ears of TV producers and onto the airways.

If you want to be quoted, you must convert the message points in your book into sound bites. To do this remember that analogies, bold action words, emotions and personal examples, attacks and absolutes make good quotes and sound bites. The highly personal, classic sound bite has action, emotion, and attacks – all of these elements will work to make reporters swoon.

My experience as a publicist and book marketing consultant has taught me to shy away from humor which can be a tricky business. What seems funny to colleagues, friends, or family at 5:30 p.m. may not seem so funny the next morning when you read your comments in USA Today. Sarcasm and teasing types of humor usually don’t work well in the media because you lose control of context and, in the case of print media, you lose the ability to communicate with your voice and facial expressions. The humor that is most effective is self-deprecating humor.

What about YOU? Are you skilled enough in producing sound bites to earn an interview on local or national TV? If you’ve not had media training, believe me it’s too late once you get the call. You may have to get in a car or on a plane within an hour’s notice. It’s too late to get the training then. That’s why you need to be prepared before you get the call. When my clients agree to media coaching, my first choice for them is TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide.

TJ Walker is one of the leading authorities on media training in the world. With more than 20 years of media training experience, Walker has trained thousands of CEOs, authors, and experts, including leading government officials in the United States, European Prime Ministers, and African diplomats.

Here’s TJ Walker’s Sound Bite Checklist:

1. Create sound bites that are 10, 15 and 30 seconds.

2. Work an example into the sound bite.

3. Clichés make good quotes and sound bites. Reporters can’t write clichés, but they love quoting other people using clichés.

4. Humor makes good quotes and sound bites but the problem with using humor in front of the media is that someone somewhere is likely to be offended, resulting in a permanent public record of your remarks. So, quip if you must, at your own expense and your own risk.

5. One great way to get your message quoted by reporters is to state your ideas in the form of a rhetorical question.

6. Opposition quotes make good quotes and sound bites. Opposition quotes remain a favorite of reporters, but use them only if and when they are appropriate to your message.

7. The first letters from the following: Analogies, Bold action, Emotions, Attacks, Clichés, Humor, Pop culture, Rhetorical questions, and Opposition quotes spell out A BEACH PRO. The higher number of A BEACH PRO elements you use, the greater your chances are of being quoted. If you have not used any A BEACH PRO elements, you will not be quoted.

8. Absolutes are absolutely quote worthy. If I say “We will be the next champions” that has a better chance of landing in the story than “We are hoping to win.” Saying “Our company is the top performer in this field” would be another example.

9. Recycle your quotes. If one worked well with another media interview in the past, use it again.

10. Populate your quotes with pop culture references.

11. Put analogies in your answers, use bold, action-oriented words, let your emotions flow freely, and attack your way to the headlines.

Memorize that checklist but understand that a sound bite is only one aspect of a successful television appearance. You also must be concerned about your total message, the knowledge you display, and the self-confidence you demonstrate.

As a book publicist I’ll prepare questions for our clients ahead of time and include those in our press kits emailed to the stations. Often times the television host will read those questions right in order. Other times they refer to our questions and include some of them. That’ll help you because you’ll know what to expect and you can respond with the “sound bites” you’ve already developed.

The bottom line: Prepare some clever answers and snappy sound bites ahead of time, rehearse them every day and you’ll sound like a pro turning your TV appearance into a huge success.

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LDS Art and Media

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In 1986 – 1987 the Mormon church released films to the dating back from the 1940s to more contemporary. The films were placed in a series which is commonly called “Church Films”. These films were in a 27 VHS set. At this time not everybody had a VCR and DVDs were not invented. Most churches in North America were setup with a television and VCR. Each library was stocked with these films. They were available to the general public, however, most individual homes were not equipped with home theater systems. Most LDS church libraries still have these films or at least a portion of these films. Many youth in the 1980s and 1990s will remember “Johnny Lingo” or “The Phone Call”. However, these films did not actually replace filmstrips, an older technology, until the late 90s.

Films strips are 35 mm still framed images that are projected by light onto a wall or white screen. An audio tape provides the sound. When the slide needs to be changed you simply turn a dial on the projector, and a small beep or buzz indicates at what point during the presentation the slide needs to be changed.

As VHS tapes were replacing film strips, the Mormon church authorized some film strips be converted to VHS; they were just still images that were transitioned.

Many people think that LDS cinema started with the film “God’s Army”; however the LDS church has been producing films since the 1940s. These films might never have been released in conventional theaters, but film has been an important part of LDS culture for many years.

LDS films are a form of art. The LDS motion picture studio is located in Provo, Utah and actively creates films to this day. Many of these films can be seen in Salt Lake City as a way to introduce people to the Church. There have been three major films played exclusively in Salt Lake City.

  • “Legacy” – a film about the early pioneers
  • “Testaments” – a historical drama of Christ’s visit to the America’s from the Book of Mormon
  • “Joseph Smith The Prophet of the Restoration” – a film on the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith

LDS art can be in many forms, and one great form of art is film. LDS people love film and believe that it is a medium for sharing their faith with others as well as to strengthen their own testimonies.

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International Copyright Protection

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Copyright Intellectual Property can be protected at National and International. Copyright has international protection such as Berne convention, universal copyright convention, WIPO copyright Treaty, Rome convention, Brussels convention etc.

The International union for the protection of literary and artistic works was established in 1886 in Berne, Switzerland. It is popularly known as Berne Convention. It entered into force on 5th December, 1887 and it has been revised for five times. It is administered by world intellectual property organization (WIPO). The Berne convention has 38 articles and special provisions for the developing countries. The convention has established a minimum of protection of life plus 50 years or an alternative of fifty years from publication of anonymous work and pseudonymous work. India is a member of the Berne convention.

One of the International copyright protections is Universal Copyright Convention (UCC). The universal copyright convention was signed and entered into force on September 6, 1952. It was revised on 1971 at Paris. The protection given is for published as well as unpublished works. The member countries must grant a minimum copyright term of 25 years from publication, or life of the author plus 25 years. The foreign authors of other member countries must be granted exclusively rights for at least seven years.

The next International Copyright protection for the performers, producers of phonogram and broadcasting organizations is Rome convention. The Rome convention was completed on October 26, 1961 and entered into force on may 18, 1964 basically intend to protect the neighboring rights. Phonogram is a sound recording. The rights in respect of phonograms and performances and broadcasting are called neighboring rights.

The benefits of this convention are performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasters. The protection is granted for twenty years term will vary according to the nature of work. The eligibility to participate in this convention is that a state must be a member of either of the Berne convention or the universal copyright convention.

Another International Copyright protection is WIPO copyright Treaty. It was adopted by the diplomatic conference at Geneva on December 20, 1996 and entered into force on January 1, 1996. This convention is for the protection of rights of performers and produces of phonograms. The term of protection is fifty years.

Some treaties convention gives protection for the unauthorized duplication. On October 29, 1971, the convention for the producers of phonograms against unauthorized duplication of their phonograms is signed at Geneva. The main purpose of this Geneva Convention is to fight against the practice of piracy by third parties.

The convention relating to the distribution of programme- carrying signals transmitted by satellite and audio- visual works is Brussels convention signed on may 21 1974. The main purpose is to battle the misappropriation of satellite signals on an international level. The treaty on international registration of audio-visual works Geneva signed on April 20, 1989 at Geneva. It deals with the registration of audio- visual works at the international level.

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Sling Media Technologies For Satellite TV Viewers

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Now you will be able to watch your favorite live or recorded television program even when you are not in your home. The service providers of satellite TV have entered in a long term business venture with Sling Media to introduce some of their technologically superior products for its subscribers. The introduction of these high tech devices has completely changed the way of watching TV contents.

Sling Media is a California based Technology Company that came in to existence in the year 2004. Their first product Slingbox was launched in the US market soon after the formation of this company and become huge popular among people. Slingbox is a first of its kind product that is capable of streaming live or recoded television contents over the internet. With the help of this device, people can see their TV shows either on their notebook PCs or on their smartphones. Seeing the immense popularity of their Slingbox hardware, the company launched many variants of Slingbox. The variants are Slingbox Solo, Slingbox 700U and Slingbox PRO-HD.

The Slingbox hardware’s are equipped with a unique technology called Placeshifting. In fact this is the technology that is enabling you to take your TV along with you. With the help of this technology, the recorded or live TV programs are streamed via high speed broadband internet connection. Therefore you can enjoy your chosen show either from a hotel, restaurant, coffee shop or even half way across the world. Just think for a while, you need to attend an important business meeting and on the same day one of the biggest collage football event is about to take place. You simply cannot skip the meeting nor do you want to miss the game. You might have faced such problems like this in your life.

The problem can be solved only when you get one of the Slingbox devices in your home you can get this amazing hardware from your satellite TV service provider. Simply connect the Placeshifting with your existing DVR enabled receiver by using the composite AV cable. After that you need to connect your network router with the Slingbox device by using the supplied Ethernet cable. This is how you must connect your Placeshifting enabled Slingbox devices with your DVR and network devices. But it is always advised to go through the instruction manual thoroughly before proceeding forward.

To watch your favorite TV content on your notebook PC or smartphones then you need to install Sling Player software on both devices. SlingPlayer software is a product of Sling Media and is available for Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Macintosh. It is also available for various mobile platforms such as iPhone OS, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile and also for Symbian mobile operating systems. Once this software is installed on your PC or Mobile then your device becomes ready to play the streamed contents from your satellite TV receiver.

So here you can see that satellite TV service is all about technology. The service providers have introduced this amazing technology so that you cannot miss any of your favorite TV show.

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Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference Kicks Off in Australia

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A major international conference on agricultural biotechnology starts in Melbourne, Australia, today (August 6, 2006).The Agricultural Biotech International Conference (ABIC) brings together representatives of biotech companies, agricultural researchers and policy makers from across the world.

The theme of this conference is Unlocking the Potential of Agricultural Biotechnology. Some of the topics to be discussed include:

* Importance of biotechnology in meeting global food requirements.

* Application of agricultural biotechnology in biomedicine.

* Commercialization of innovative biotechnology.

* Practical applications of genomics to cereal crops.

* Using biotechnology to protect and enhance food supply.

* Biotechnology in developing countries.

Unlocking the potential of agricultural biotechnology is an issue that has been with us since the commercialization of the first genetically modified crop a decade ago. Developed countries, notably the U.S. and Canada, appreciate that agricultural biotechnology has been a prime mover of their economies. They have massively invested in it, effectively eclipsing the so-called conventional agriculture. The gains have been innumerable.

Farmers in these countries have almost doubled their income from cultivating genetically modified crops, that are usually high yielding and pest resistant.

In developing countries, the picture is different. Agricultural biotechnology remains a contested issue. Many developing countries would not embrace because of their distrust for the developed countries. Others have been fed with lies that agricultural biotechnology, and in particular Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), pose danger to the environment and the health of consumers.

Positive attributes of agricultural biotechnology must be played out at the Melbourne meeting for all to listen.

It’s encouraging that delegates from developing countries such as Prof. Jennifer Thomson (South Africa), Dr. Jagadish Mittur (India), and Dr. Rangsun Parnpai (Thailand) are attending this conference. They have a chance to learn firsthand how agricultural biotechnology has revolutionized the economies of such countries as the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. These delegates must explore how their countries can similarly benefit from agricultural biotechnology.

Since this is a gathering of experts in agricultural biotechnology, it’s expected that there will a productive debate on the potential of agricultural biotechnology. Delegates should conduct their deliberations with developing countries in mind. It’s here where agricultural biotechnology is in dire need.

Developing countries delegates are encouraged to view this conference as a window of opportunity to learn from as many experts as possible on the potential of agricultural biotechnology.

Once the curtains of this conference fall, delegates from developing countries must ensure that they share the lessons learnt with policy makers, scientists and farmers in their respective countries.

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Spokane TV Stations: From Analog to Digital

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Spokane TV stations are broadcast companies in Spokane Washington that transmits programs over a television (medium). The most recent technology promotes that broadcast signals will be switched to the new digital signal. There are a number of well-known TV stations in Spokane which is already broadcasting digitally. So it exactly means that they will all switch off the analog signals by next year. When switched to this latest innovation, viewers will discover that stations are able to add auxiliary channels.

Here is a list of Spokane’s TV stations that serves the Spokane television market provided with their corresponding channels:

  • KREM Channel 2

KREM Channel 2 is one of the television stations in Spokane, WA which serves the Spokane television market. This TV station is located in 4103 South Regal Street Spokane, WA 99223. The programming of the station is run by the CBS network. KREM operates with 893 kilowatts of power and is owned by the Belo Corporation.

  • KXLY Channel 4

KXLY is a television station which runs programming from the ABC network. KXLY is a digital full-power television station that operates with 23.3 kilowatts of power and is owned by Spokane Television Group, a subsidiary of Morgan Murphy Media.

  • KHQ Channel 6

This TV station has just completed its installation and testing of a new digital antenna to greatly improve the station’s signal strength last week. The station runs programming from the NBC network and operates 45.1 kilowatts of power. The station is owned by The KHQ Television Group, a subsidiary of Cowles Publishing Company, which owns The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

  • KSPS Channel 7

This TV station which broadcasts three channels, including channels 8 and 44 has modified its digital frequencies. This change will be effective next year. The station runs programming from the PBS network and operates with 21.6 kilowatts of power. KSPS Channel is owned by Spokane Public Schools.

  • KWSU Channel 10

KWSU is a television station in Pullman which runs programming from the PBS network. KWSU with 6.2 kilowatts of power and is owned by Washington State University.

  • KSKN Channel 22

KSKN is a television station in Spokane which runs programming from the The CW network and identifies itself as “CW 22”. KSKN operates with 250 kilowatts of power and is owned by Belo Corporation.

  • KQUP Channel 24

KQUP is a television station in Pullman, WA which runs Daystar programming and identifies itself as “KQUP 24”. KQUP operates with 57 kilowatts of power and is owned by Daystar Television Network.

  • KCDT Channel 26

KCDT is a television station in Coeur d’Alene, ID which runs programming from the PBS network and identifies itself as “Idaho PTV”. This television station operates with 38 kilowatts of power and is owned by Idaho State Board of Education.

  • KAYU Channel 28

KAYU is a television station in Spokane, WA which runs programming from the FOX network and identifies itself as “FOX 28”. KAYU operates with 91.4 kilowatts of power and is owned by Northwest Broadcasting.

  • KGPX Channel 34

KGPX is a television station in Spokane which runs programming from the ion network. KGPX is a digital full-power television station that operates with 104 kilowatts of power and is owned by ION Media Networks.

  • KHBA Channel 39

KHBA Channel 39 is a low-power TV station broadcasting locally on UHF. This TV station is the only local Christian station which runs programming from 3ABN. The station is owned by He’s Alive Broadcasting Association.

Get the latest news scoops that you want at Spokane TV stations.

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Western Digital TV – HD Media Player Review

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These days, everyone wants to be able to watch all their media easily. And of course, why not, with media coming from so many places… digital cameras, video cameras, cell phones and naturally, the Internet. You also don’t want to have to physically swap your DVDs or Blu-Rays discs because that’d be, well, un-North American! 750-something doughnuts a year, we Canadians eat. It’s gotta take a toll somewhere.

But in all seriousness, playing all the different media you might have is never an easy task. Let’s look at the options some of us might have.

XBOX 360 – Somewhat capable, but suffers from codec incompatibility, no built-in WiFi, loudness and other issues. Amazingly, the 360 is reported to be able to read HFS+ (Mac) partitions which I like for a number of reasons, while the PS3, a non-Apple competitor company’s product, cannot read HFS+ or NTFS. Even more amazing still, the 360 can’t read NTFS. I’d love to know what happened behind the scenes… was there a disgruntled employee(s) who said,”let’s stick to the MS man baby! HFS but no NTFS!! HAHA! There!” The menu, sorry, Dashboard works pretty well for a console, but not so much in my opinion as a media center. Finally, the 360 just uses too much darn power.

Sony PlayStation 3 – Considered to be a good media player by many, it doesn’t meet with the same sort of fanfare in my house. It can’t handle MKVs, even though the files within that container are usually OK for the PS3, it can’t take files larger than 4GB, it can’t stream these sorts of videos from a PC (and even if it could, its 802.11g speeds would hold it back). Also can get loud/hot like the 360, and it takes a lot of power. Aside from that, the PS3 having a Blu-Ray player is its saving grace. That, its Blu-Ray boot up speed and the fact that it can decode the lossless formats internally make it a decent player. I even like the XMB to a point where I don’t mind using it for organizing pictures and music, but since it can’t handle my MKV video collection, it too, unfortunately, has to receive a thumbs down.

Wii – Hah. I’ll discuss the 1080p media center capabilities of my original Game Boy next.

Popcorn Hour – This was one of the first proper media center thingys that had all the requisite features on paper. Hard drive, included, along with WiFi, RSS Bit Torrenting skills and the ability to play back MKVs and high-bitrate 1080p video. Only problem is, it didn’t do it well. First hand reports abound of the player stuttering, freezing, and generally sucking at playing back 1080p video.

Various other networked media streamers – These all work decently well for pictures, music and even SD video, but then again, so do the 360 and PS3 with TVersity. Nay, the real test is full-bandwidth 1080p video, and I’m afraid both the players and their skimpy wireless connections are not up to the job.

HTPC – This would be the only real solution for a long time. I even have posts detailing what they do and how to put them together. Why do these work? Because they’re just computers connected to TVs. Dual-core CPUs, lots of RAM and fancy videos ought to make short work of anything you can throw at them, at least in theory. Having owned HTPCs since I was able to connect an S-video cable to my Radeon 9700 Pro back in the day, I can tell you that the experience is not as smooth as it should be. Why? Because we’re using Windows! XP Media Center Edition was just XP, and Vista has Media Center built in, so that Media Center is just an application that runs on top. BSODs, freezes, slowdowns and other issues will still happen, especially if you use the box for other purposes, such as downloading in the background. That, and the incredibly complex setup procedure was seriously annoying. You have to of course install Vista, but then the codecs, and making sure that things are being upconverted and handled properly, sound is being output through the coax or toslink or HDMI the way it should, and then finally calibrating the video output was a chore and then some. Most of these problems go away when using Plex with a Mac as your HTPC. It’s one of the best media center frontends I’ve seen, and it’s incredibly efficient with its processing, playing video back smoothly that won’t in VLC or Quicktime with Perian. Still, it’s quite an investment (well, it’s actually a depreciating asset, but let’s not split hairs) to buy a whole PC, and that too a Mac. Your only aesthetically-acceptable option would be a Mac Mini, and their price-performance relationship is unheard of (in a bad way).

WD TV HD Media Player – Finally, that brings us to the object this review is about, the Western Digital TV HD Media Player. No one was expecting this thing, at all, at this price, and certainly not from WD. But none of that is important.

We’ve been led to believe that good things come in small packages, and it seems that this tiny device may be a proponent of that idea. It’s unbelievably small, at least to my eyes, which are used to seeing acceptable 1080p playback from big boxes that contain massive coolers atop multi-core CPUS breathing hot air, sucking electricity down and adding to the racket and sweltering heat produced by the other components inside that (usually) ugly box. This thing has no fans, is pretty green and gasp… actually does what its supposed to! Setup could not be easier, and I think no AV device in history has been easier to set up, physically. The power cable, the HDMI cable… and you’re done. Yes, this is also the case with many other HDMI devices, but this thing is tiny, and it only has a few jacks, so it’s very hard to mess it up. No physical buttons are on the unit, so it’s switched on by the remote. A more-white-than-blue LED lights up for power, and if you have a USB device plugged in, it’ll flash or light up, depending on whether it’s scanning the drive or is ready to go. I encountered a problem early on. After setting up the easy cabling and getting into the menu, I found that it would not recognize my external 1 TB hard drive. Alarmed, I immediately copied a 720p TV show to my Patriot Xporter flash drive and plugged it in. After a few seconds of inactivity, it started flashing and the videos came up. Still, if it wouldn’t read 1 TB hard drives, it’s not really an effective 1080p media center now, is it? I updated the firmware, and then it finally saw the drive. I noticed speed improvements as well! Hopefully this thing will get better and better with each firmware update.

This baby will play just about anything digital you can find. From old-school DivX encodings to the latest super-high bitrate 1080p MKVs, this will handle them all. More surprisingly, it seems to have no trouble playing them. They are no signs of a struggle! I put on a specially ripped version of the Godfather, barely compressed from the original, taking up about 20 GB. It started playing right away, faster than my gaming computer could start playing it(and that has a 4 GHz Yorkfield and 8GB of RAM). VLC and other players sometimes have a lot of visual imperfections playing back high-resolution high-bitrate video, but there was no such macroblocking, other than any present from compression. If you haven’t compressed your Blu-Ray rips much, or, you’ve just copied the stream file from a Blu-Ray disc (which it WILL play!), the video will look superb. Sound is as good as standard Dolby Digital or DTS gets (if you’re connected through composite, it won’t decode DTS though), but currently, it doesn’t do DTS-MA or TrueHD as far as I know.

The interface is a little like a simplified, vertical-scrolling Windows XP-coloured Sony PS3 XMB interface. Sounds a bit like Windows Media Center, right? It’s not unlike it actually. Though the menus are a little simplistic, they get the job done and I can’t complain much. The only issue I have with the interface is that each icon should have the corresponding text near it, not down in the bottom-right corner. A small niggle, really. The device has the ability to create libraries for you, but I disabled this feature as I have my own organizational structure on the drive, and also, it
seemingly takes forever to index a 1 TB drive. One more caveat here is that it can’t do this for HFS+ formatted drives, and I think it’s because it can read them, but not write to them.

After using the device for a few hours, I can say that I’m very satisfied with it. It switches between videos easily, resumes videos where you left them off, and never falters during playback, no matter how demanding the video file is. At this point, I have just one niggle… the remote is too small for adult male hands, and the buttons require a lot of effort to push. Sounds like a small issue, which can easily be resolved by using other kinds of remotes (programmable, Harmony etc.). At $139 Canadian, this is a great deal since it can do what HTPCs can’t do as reliably or as quick, for hundreds less. It also trumps every other media solution on the market, including the consoles.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

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Is the Long Island Medium SCRIPTED? Caution! What You Must Know About Psychics on TV

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How accurate are the readings on the Long Island Medium? Do they truly reflect the reality of the readings done, or are they edited to look or appear better than they really are? And are ANY of the TV programs that feature live mediums a good way of gauging how accurate they truly are….or do you need to go and see the psychic in person to know for sure? In this article we take a closer look at both the Long Island Medium TV show, and the truth about how many psychic TV programs (and other reality shows) are produced for the masses. Curious to know more? Continue reading as we take a closer look below!

But first… understand this to be true, because it is:

The psychic featured on the show, Theresa Caputo, has had a long history of offering some amazing readings in some pretty public places, WELL before she became well known, famous and a household name based on the TV show. As a matter of fact, as someone who publishes lots of information in the psychic “space”, I heard her on the radio many times when she was a relative unknown Long Island psychic medium, and her live appearances on the “Forever Family Foundations” website (a non profit organization that offers help to grieving families who have lost a loved one) always intrigued me as as result of her accuracy.

So she had already demonstrated a level of psychic ability beyond the average, even for professional mediums, and this certainly contributed to her appeal and rapid growth in psychic stature and popularity.

Next, understand THIS to be true as well… because it is!

TV is a very difficult medium (no pun intended!) to judge when it comes to “reality” of any kind. You have to remember that the people who push and publish these programs are about the 3 critical bottom line metrics for successful television – viewers, advertisers and dollars. They aren’t interested in how accurate (or honest) the readings are, nor are they concerned if editing the readings Ms. Caputo offers are done in a way that satisfies psychic believers OR skeptics.

They want viewers, plain and simple. And it’s NO secret that the more “unbelievably impressive” the readings are, the more viewers will tune in. So my feeling is always to watch these sorts of shows with a little bit of a skeptical eye, simply because unless you see an entire reading in an unedited fashion, it’s difficult to really judge how accurate it really was.

(I certainly don’t believe anyone “cheats” in any deliberate way, but to omit “misses” and only include the “hits” would certainly be something I’d expect, just because it makes for better TV)

Speaking with John Edward a while back in a small group setting…

He said the real reason he wouldn’t go back on TV when asked, was that he did NOT want to do a “reality based” show on his life, and simply wanted to give readings for an audience in front of a crowd or small group. According to his remarks, the TV executives didn’t think that made for the type of TV most people want to see these days, and are equally as interested in the back story, as they are in the actual psychic readings. (which seems to be the case with most reality TV programming these days… at least the popular shows we all know)

So what does that mean overall?

I say, keep an open mind, but always know that what you are watching is edited. Not necessarily in a bad way…..but any sort of editing, if you are a psychic “snob” like me, changes something about how seriously I can take the information that comes through. But for entertainment purposes…the Long Island Medium is A LOT of fun, and having seen Theresa Caputo do all sorts of other interviews as well, I think she deserves the success, too!

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