Thank you for reading the 48th edition of the DVD Catalyst / Tools4Movies Newsletter.
It was iPad3 week this week for many people. Officially available since last Friday, over 3 million people spent most of their time (ab)using their fancy new iPad. Of course I spent some time with mine as well, but more about that a bit further down in this newsletter.
Of course last week, Dish Network released their Hopper & Joey system, but you don't see much about that on the web for some reason. More on Hopper & Joey further down as well.
Not much tech news this week:
Of course the tech websites had some news, but there just wasn't anything that caught my attention.
Last week's new iPad release was a big one of course, but its "just" a new iPad. The main thing for me on it is the Retina Display, but that is pretty much it.
Then there is of course the new Apple TV, but again, it isn't that much of an upgrade over the previous one.
Angry Birds Space was released yesterday. This time, rather than a theme-change (Rio, Seasons), Rovio added some interesting twists to the classic game. With gravity around small planets and the lack of gravity outside of the planets, the gaming formula of Angry Birds has received a nice refresh.
I briefly played Angry Birds Space on my DroidX yesterday, and it is pretty cool
Yesterday I updated MovieGallery to v1.5.2. It is a small bugfix release, but it took some work. The visual changes are minimal. A few people contacted me on the folder-selection in MovieGallery, so I made it use a different color for the selected folder. There were also some complications with the image-scrolling, which sometimes gets stuck. I made a few tweaks, which should reduce that.
DVD Catalyst 4:
Currently in testing, a small and big update for DVD Catalyst 4. In addition to a "Global" CRF setting, I had quite a few people ask about being able to use different settings for different devices, so I added a CRF option in (with Power User enabled) "Modify". If you use DVD Catalyst 4's "Multi-Device" system, or if you want to run conversion tests using different CRF settings, you can now set a different CRF value for each device in the list. This setting overrides the "Global" CRF setting.
In addition to that, since it produces the best quality conversions, I enabled the CRF setting by default for all HQXT conversion profiles.
This update for DVD Catalyst 4 will be available later this week.
I have most of the image-loading code from MovieGallery ported over, and am currently in the process of tweaking some settings. Hopefully somewhere this upcoming week it will be ready.
Of course after posting the newsletter last week, I played with the new iPad, and shared some of my experiences:
Some iPad3 Pictures
Unboxing pics, as well as some comparison shots of the iPad3 next to a variety of other popular tablets.
iPad3 vs Xoom video playback comparison – black borders
My first video-playback experience on the iPad3, compared to the same movie on a Xoom.
iPad3 Video Settings
After trying a variety of different settings, I came up with the settings that I believe work best for the iPad3.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) DVD
I was a bit confused when I opened the box of this DVD, but after that was over, I ran it through its paces in DVD Catalyst 4.
Toshiba Thrive – AVI DVD M2TS MKV (and BLURAY)
For some reason, this week, I got quite a few people with questions regarding the Toshiba Thrive. Since the guide was a bit outdated, I updated it on the tools4movies.com website to make it easier for the people who want to watch movies on it.
Is the Vita dead already?
When it came out, the web was overflowing with articles about the PS Vita, games features etc, but now you don't see that much on it anymore. Is it the same as to what happened in Japan when it came out, first week great, but then, not so much? Is it, similar as the 3DS on release, over-priced? I don't know what it is, but it seems like even game developers are not too interested in it anymore. There are a few top games lined up for it, such as Metal Gear Collection, Gravity Rush, but those are so far away, it makes me wonder if the Vita will make it that far, and then, if those games are out, what and more importantly, when will there be more?
Of course this week I spent quite some time with the iPad3. As I mentioned in some of my previous newsletters, I skipped the first 2 iPad's because I didn't see them offering much value over an iPod Touch, but after seeing my wife grabbing it and find her way around it with ease, it is clear to me why Apple is so successful with them.
Of course for my own use, the screen ratio is a big issue, but if you look past that, the iPad just works.
I love my non-Apple devices. I have a fair collection of Android phones and tablets, including a Xoom, Acer A100, Galaxy Nexus, Kindle Fire, NOOKtablet and I even have a Blackberry Playbook for good measure, but they all require some fiddling in order to get them to do what you want them to do. With the iPad, not so much. Of course there isn't much you can do that Apple doesn't let you do, but for your daily use, there is not much need for that. For a quick web-search, email check or a game, it just works a bit easier.
Dish Network Hopper & Joey.
After using it for about a week, I am quite pleased with Dish Network. My wife is still switching back and forth between the TiVo on Cable and Dish DVR, but with all her shows recording on both now, she spends more time on Dish. The TiVo suggestions part is something that always introduced new shows to us, so that will be missed, but Dish' PrimeTime, which uses 1 tuner to record the local channels during the evening, makes up for it quite well.
I'm still getting used to how the "season-pass" recordings work on Dish, but overall, it works better.
This week we had some bad weather as well, and I haven't noticed any glitches or outages, which was my biggest worry, so all is well. I still have about a month or 2 left on Cable, and then, only Dish.
With the Dish hookup, I also got HBO. For years, I was using basic cable, but with the Dish deal, I managed to get the premium channels on top, and still pay a bit less than cable. Since my wife and I don't have much in common when it comes to TV shows (aside from American Pickers, Amazing Race, Survivor and Storage Wars), I usually end up watching movies on one of my tablets. With Dish I also got the Sling Adapter, which enables me to watch actual TV/DVR on some of my tablets, and, with HBO, I now get HBO Go.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get it working on my Xoom or Acer, however, it (of course) works really well on the iPad.
The service itself is great. Similar to Netflix, but with their own shows like Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Band of Brothers, The Pacific and True Blood, and a large collection of movies, I actually like using HBO Go better than watching it on TV. The on-demand aspect just rocks. Even without their TV channels, the HBO premium charged by Dish is worth it for HBO Go alone.
Well, that is it for this week's newsletter. Thank you for reading, and have a nice weekend. I'm currently dealing with the flu, so hopefully I don't end up stuck in bed for most of it.