DVD Catalyst Newsletter 27
Thank you for reading the 27th DVD Catalyst Newsletter.
Not too much news this week unfortunately. As mentioned in the previous newsletter, this week, I had to do quite a bit of work on the bathroom, and as a result, articles on my website have been a bit less than usual. In addition to the home-improvement stuff, I did put quite a few hours in on development on DVD Catalyst, MovieGallery and ImageGallery, but more about that in a bit.
The web is still flooded with articles regarding the Galaxy Nexus. While the device looks cool and has impressive specs, I donít seem to get what the big deal is about it. Maybe I am getting old, or maybe because there is so much new but similar stuff coming out that it all seems to be a natural progression rather than something explosive. I was not impressed with the iPad2, nor with the release of the Droid Bionic or the iPhone 4S, but all of these were more or less an upgrade over the generation of devices they were intended to replace, but it just seems to be either underwhelming or predictable. I know people are working hard on implementing new tech and all, but when are we going to see something truly groundbreaking?
Blackberry is still having issues with the Playbook. Even at a reduced price, itís still not selling well. I actually like the PlayBook (my review: http://www.tools4movies.com/2011/10/blackberry-playbook-review/ ) but I only use a small portion of what it is capable of. When released, it was groundbreaking, but unfortunately, many of the features it should have and ones that were promised ďsoonĒ will be available in the 2.0 update planned for next year.
Sony is at it again. In order to satisfy their greed, the PS Vita uses yet another new memory card system, and on top of that, they limited the storage capability of the device itself to just downloads, so in order to play a game that uses save-games, you are forced to pay extra for a memory card. While I can understand the reasoning for using their own memory card format, it is just plain sad that Sony is always putting some sort of limitation on their hardware to get the most money from its customer base. With the PSP, the worthless UMD format, forcing you to purchase your favorite movies on DVD as well as on UMD, and of course a resolution-limited video-file playback capability (so you couldnít create video files that would come close to the quality of an UMD).
DVD Catalyst News:
As mentioned above, Iíve been pre-occupied with home-improvement and house work this week. The bathroom over the weekend, and a bunch of other, smaller projects. But I did find time to do work on my apps.
DVD Catalyst 4: I am finishing up on an update of DVD Catalyst. This week, I added some new device profiles, and did quite a bit of testing on a couple of new conversion formats. For some devices (like the Tegra2 tablets) a new (sorry, more confusing) profile will be available alongside fast,hq1 and hq2. The new profile, currently named HQXT (eXTreme) uses modified conversion settings that produce even better quality. Iím still tweaking the actual video quality settings in order to make the files smaller than HQ2, while retaining the same visual quality. It is a tricky process, because at this level of quality I have to look at the most demanding portions of video to compare, and even then it is barely noticeable.
MovieGallery: 1.3 was received with mixed results. While the new folder selection works great, a few people mentioned that they preferred the old way of selecting the scan/ignore folders by hand. Iím working on a mixture of both. In addition, a few people have reported some complications I cannot seem to replicate myself with the new version, so I am in a troubleshooting process on that as well. If you have an un-rooted Thunderbolt phone, and would like to help me, please send me an email.
ImageGallery: Very well received since it finally got activated by B&N last week. It took them a bit longer than usual, but with all the positive reviews, Iíve already started on tweaks to make it even better. One of the things on the list is to smooth the image-sliding, but also something to prevent certain folders from being scanned, such as a music folder with album art in it.
Only 2 this week.
Captain America (2011) DVD
Captain America was released on DVD and Bluray this week, and of course, it has the 99 tracks. Similar as Transformers 3, it just takes a minute or so to play the DVD in something like Windows Media Player or PowerDVD to determine the correct track.
Dinner for Schmucks (2010) DVD
An oldie, but for some reason this week I had 3 people mention it to me as having some complications. Besides the 99 tracks, this DVD also needs a small settings-tweak in order for it to convert successfully.
I wanted to do another review this week, but I didnít know what to pick. Check my device list here: http://gdgt.com/profile/dvdcatalyst/ and see if there is anything you would like me to write a review about. Otherwise Iíll just pick one at random for next week.
For a couple of weeks, Iíve been ignoring the 2.3 update on my Droid X. The X was rooted, and I wasnít sure if I needed to un-root first or something like that. Well, a few days ago, I tapped the wrong button, and it updated. To my surprise, the update process completed without any issues. Lucky I guess. I did lose root though, but I never use anything that needs it anyway.
The update itself seems to run fine, but I really need to adjust some settings regarding emails and such. It doesnít seem to sync on a regular basis.
I finally got my Celica back! It has been a while, but some of you might remember that about 4 months ago (newsletter 12 http://www.tools4movies.com/2011/07/dvd-catalyst-newsletter-12/), I got my #3 favorite car and it needed some work. Itís been sitting for a while, but I finally got it back yesterday. It has received some loving in the form of some engine work and shocks and stuff. Next year hopefully a nice paint-job and Iíll be doing something with the seats and the interior. The car came with a pimp-style purple car-radio, so I have a new one ( http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ers/DEH-7300BT ) on my list for Santa. I just hope Iíve been nice enough this year
Shower units. As mentioned, last weekend I spent most of my time on the bathroom. 3 years ago, we remodeled the whole thing. I wanted to get something simple, and have it professionally installed, but the wife figured it would be an easy job that we could do ourselves so she decided to go for a tub with jets.
Now, 3 years later, we are dealing with the result. Leakage has damaged the walls and the floors. So this weekend we had a shower-unit professionally installed. We got a full kit, and I would expect it to be like a box of Legoís, just follow the manual and it will fit. Not really. Most of it went fine, but when it came to the doors, a lot of cutting and bending was involved to make it right. In the end, all went in OK, but it was a lot more work than what I expected.
Cardboard DVD boxes. While I understand that Special Edition releases and collection box-sets often use custom boxes to include additional goodies/swag, many movies these days come with a cardboard wrap around them. It looks ok on the shelves in the store, but at home, it doesnít serve any purpose besides taking up space on the already crammed shelves, and is likely to get damaged.
If it was up to me, I would just throw them away, but my wife likes to keep them, so I store them, flattened, in a box for safe-keeping. Do you keep these cardboard covers?
And that is it for newsletter 27. Almost 7 months of newsletters on a weekly basis, and still going strong
Thanks again for reading, have a great weekend, and let me know if you have any ideas or requests,
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