Aug 24, 2009

It's Like Christmas in August!

August 28th 2009 will be like Christmas...only in August... and not cold and raining...

Anyway, 2 great things happen on August 28th that I feel compelled to share with you:

1) Snow Leopard will be released, and the world will be a better place. And the best part? The OS upgrade is only $35 for a single user licence (in Canada). That is cool. I am about to phone my local Apple Reseller and pre-order a copy so I can pick it up on the way home from work on Friday.

2) The newest D&D Penny Arcade podcast begins on the 28th, and the world will be a happier place. If you haven't listened to the previous sessions, you really should. No really, go listen.

Season 3 of The Guild will be released on August 26th! You don't have to be an MMO player to enjoy The Guild, so go watch seasons 1 and 2! I command you!

Ahh, Snow Leopard, D&D PA podcast, and The Guild all in one week... all is well in my world!

Aug 1, 2009

I Had A Cunning Plan

But was it cunning enough to put a tail on it and call it a weasel? I think not. For you see, my plan has failed, and here is where I need your help.

The Background:
I recently canceled my cable TV subscription, I just torrent the few TV shows I like to watch. I have the media files on a USB external hard drive attached to my PC. I have a wireless home network, with the PC, PS3, XBox 360, and a MacBook laptop.

The Current Situation:
Using Windows Media Player I stream the video to both my PS3 and my XBox 360 so I can watch on my HD TV and make use of the surround sound system. This is working well. However, I had to go and want more. Why? 'Cause that's just how I roll.

What I Want:
I want many things, but to keep on topic: I would like to also stream the video to my MacBook, and attach the laptop to the TV in my bedroom. It seemed like a simple desire.

The Setup:
I stopped by my local Apple reseller Simply Computing to get a Mini-DVI to Video connector. Why didn't I go to an official Apple store you ask? Because I live in a city without one. Confession time: I have NEVER been to an Apple store. This makes me sad. But I feel closer to you all now that I have that out in the open. Thanks.
Anyway, then I went to to get a couple of cables. I bought a 6 foot m/m s-video cable and a 6 foot 3.5mm stereo to RCA audio cable. I really recommend Monoprice if you need any cables - their prices are great, shipping to Canada is reasonable, and they fill the orders quickly.

The Test:
It was like Christmas. The cables arrived, I brought everything into the bedroom and set it all up. It worked! I had video and audio from the laptop through the TV. The resolution isn't spectacular, but workable. I played a DVD, laying in bed controlling the playback with the apple remote. I was ecstatic. For about an hour. I know, typical woman!

The Issue:
I can't find any software to run on the MacBook that will receive the wireless stream from my PC. I don't want to copy the files to the MacBook, I want to stream them. Quicktime doesn't seem to do it. MPlayer doesn't seem to do it. I installed Windows Medial Player for Mac, but that didn't seem to do it. And I felt dirty putting Windows software on my Mac. Sorry MacBook.
I installed TVersity on the PC and tried streaming that way. The user interface for receiving on the Mac was ugly and awkward, and when I tried testing a stream in Firefox it would open the page but won't play. I Am Sad.

So: does anyone have any suggestions / solutions? Please send help.