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1041  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anyone have Apple TV? on: May 20, 2008, 09:07:41 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 20, 2008, 09:02:42 PM

Is it actually shipping now?  This might be a good Father's Day gift for me. 

It is in fact shipping now. Our intial stock was around 2500 unit I think and from what I've been told we expect to run through that in another day. We have plenty more coming to the warehouse though.

Quote from: Jag on May 20, 2008, 09:03:48 PM

Wow, that's pretty cool Jimmy. BTW I totally understand the concern about being viewed as a viral marketer, so the disclosure is welcome. I work for a vitamin company, but also belong to some vitamin forums (yes they exist) so i'm very careful not to be viewed as a viral promoter.

I'd also like to know if and when an external HD would be available for playing your own content (home movies, ripped dvds, etc). That would be the ultimate Apple killer.

More importantly when is DTV going back with Tivo?! slywink

The way the box is designed there is no possibility of attaching a hard drive. This is strictly a box that does streaming video. The box has no fan. It's a 5 inch x 5 inch x 1 inch cube so it's very small.

I don't have any inside info on DTV and TiVo getting back together, but my gut feeling is that it will happen. The president of the company that acquired DTV from Rupert Murdoch is good friends with Tom Rogers, the CEO of TiVo.
1042  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anyone have Apple TV? on: May 20, 2008, 08:59:48 PM
FINALLY, I can talk about the Roku player!

Just so no one thinks I'm some sort of evil viral marketer, I've been a member on these boards for a while now. I used to work at TiVo, but went to  Netflix last September when this box was still an internal project there. Our group got spun out and acquired by Roku, Inc several months ago, where we've been working on this set top box in complete secrecy until now. I'm part of the QA group that did all the testing of the Netflix player, so if anyone has any questions about the product I'll do my best to answer them.

For me, on a personal level, this is probably the most exciting product I think I've ever worked on. Not so much for what it does now, which is still pretty cool, but for what it could potentially do in the future. Let's just say that it's a Netflix only player now, but there is nothing technical that could prevent it from playing any other streaming content available on the internet today. Regarding the HD question, the hardware itself is HD capable, enabled through a quick downloadable firmware update. The content coming from Netflix however needs to be available in HD. Their instant watch stuff isn't HD yet, but it will be at some point soon. Sorry, I don't know exactly when yet. Currently though the box does scale anamorphically, so if you have a 16:9 HDTV, if the movie being streamed was encoded in 16:9, we will display the video in the correct aspect so you don't get the dreaded "postage stamp" effect (black bars on sides and top/bottom). To me video quality, at its best, is about equal to standard def DVD.

If you read the numerous reviews of the box on the web a lot of them compare us to AppleTV, which we expected would be the case. I wouldn't say we are a head to head competitor. For one, the subscription models are completely different and admittedly, there is a big difference in size and quality of movie titles between the two services. I think our little box would like to eventually be on par with AppleTV, but there's still work to be done to get to that point. However, if you think the Netflix instant watch stuff is a nice secondary addition to the DVD delivery part of the service, then a $99 box I think would be pretty compelling.

Anyhow, like I said, if anyone has questions I'd be happy to answer as best I can...
1043  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Indy 4 Just Hooked Me on: May 19, 2008, 05:41:00 PM

Quote from: msduncan on May 19, 2008, 12:13:41 AM

Apparently the standing ovation was for the movie BEFORE it started. After it was over, the audience gave it significantly more subdued applause.

Reviews seem to be all over the map.
1044  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: American Idol 2008 on: May 15, 2008, 07:39:20 PM

Quote from: Graham on May 15, 2008, 05:59:28 PM

I can't stand Fantasia, and I heard that she looked ridiculous on stage last night.  Does anyone know of a video of her performance last night?  I hear that Simon's expression is just priceless.

Don't have a video, but this screenshot says it all!

1045  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GTA4 impressions thread - stores are receiving them! on: April 27, 2008, 05:50:28 PM

Quote from: StitchJones on April 27, 2008, 05:26:49 PM has a great video review.

Wow, after watching that review, I am SO ready for this game. They review the Xbox 360 version and if you look closely, you can see some minor texture pop-up, but the game looks so polished and so slick, it doesn't really matter.

The only thing to figure out now is whether to get the PS3 or 360 version...
1046  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GTA4 impressions thread - stores are receiving them! on: April 27, 2008, 05:35:58 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on April 27, 2008, 04:54:43 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on April 27, 2008, 04:43:30 PM

Anyone know if the PS3 version does a preinstall to the hard drive, and if so, how large an install it is?

kotaku have just reported saying it has a 3.4gig install that takes about 7 minutes 20 seconds

Thanks. Just enough time to go make a sandwich! icon_biggrin
1047  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GTA4 impressions thread - stores are receiving them! on: April 27, 2008, 04:43:30 PM
Anyone know if the PS3 version does a preinstall to the hard drive, and if so, how large an install it is?
1048  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: The Chronicles of Spellborn MMO in closed beta on: April 24, 2008, 06:18:35 PM
Don't know if the game will be any good, but I am a huge fan of Within Temptation, the Dutch symphonic metal band that did some some sort of music tie-in with the game. They have a link to the band's website on the Spellborn site.
1049  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Any word on that Lair patch? on: April 16, 2008, 05:51:40 AM
Thanks Bullwinkle for confirming the d-pad controls. Based on your impressions with the new control scheme, I'll pick up a used copy of the game, even though the gameplay still has issues. The concept of flying a dragon is too good to pass up.
1050  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Monster Cable invokes Writ of Douchebaggery on: April 15, 2008, 11:32:55 PM
In light of all this, I find it amusing that Monster posted this job opening on their website:

Of course, they left out the most important qualification needed to adequately do the job: 'applicant must be a colossal douchebag'.  icon_smile
1051  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Any word on that Lair patch? on: April 15, 2008, 07:32:51 PM
Apparently the controls for doing a 180 and boost are mapped to the d-pad. From some posts at gamefaqs:

"left/right on the dpad are 180 and boost, respectively"

Maybe Bullwinkle you could give that a shot to confirm if this is true. I don't have the game, but am very interested in getting it if the new analog patch improves it greatly.
1052  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Viking: Battle for Asgard Intro Movie on: March 28, 2008, 04:18:38 PM
Kato pretty much summed it up well. The game is pure hack and slash, taking elements from a bunch of other hack and slash games. To add to his impressions, I will say that the graphics are quite nice, although the shadow effects are rather odd in that they do weird things to peoples' faces. Adjusting the in-game gamma setting doesn't seem to help much either. There are combo moves that you can purchase at combat arenas, but so far I find that I don't use them all that much. 95% of the time I'm just button mashing the A button. Voice acting is mediocre, sometimes cheesy but it doesn't detract from the game. The flow of the game so far is very linear. You go from one map location to the next to rescue your fellow soldiers, battle mini-bosses and collect artifacts. Sections of the maps are blocked off until you complete other specific locations.

For me, it's a fun, if derivative game. I love the Viking mythology theme which is something that isn't attempted much in games. The carnage is over the top with flying heads, limbs and torsos, and generous amounts of spraying blood. I get a chuckle every time your character hacks off an enemy's arms and he stands there dazed, like the black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Then you swing your weapon and slice the head clean off sending it flying up in the air. That never gets old. icon_biggrin

I've completed the first map which took me about three and a half hours. Judging from the progression of what you have to accomplish, it looks like there are only 3 or 4 world maps to play, which makes the game last around 11 to 13 hours total. It's strictly single-player only with no co-op modes (unless it's an unlockable feature). I can see that once the game is compete, there really is no replay value, so it's definitely worth a rental. I'd hesitate to play full price, $60, for it, but if it's on sale for, say, $40, it's definitely worth picking up.
1053  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Xbox 360 Noise on: March 19, 2008, 04:10:27 PM
I was on my SECOND 360 and had it for a year and four months until this past weekend. The DVD drive always made a whirr-clunk sound on power up. Well several weeks ago, the entire system started locking up whenever I played Lost Odyssey. The weird thing is that it always locked up within the first 10 minutes, I'd reboot it, the RRoD would appear, then I'd reboot again, and then it was fine after that. Sort of sounds like a heat issue now that I look back at it. Then last week, it locked up when I was playing an Arcade Live game. A disc wasn't even in the drive. On sunday, I went to play Lost Odyssey again, and it didn't even want to start up. I got the RRoD immediately. I packed it up took it back to Best Buy, where I had purchased a two year extended warranty, and exchanged it for a new unit.

It seems that these crappy units only last about a year. My original launch day unit lasted about a year before going RRoD, although it was a dashboard update that bricked it. My new unit was manufactured in Sept. 2007 and has an HDMI port, so I  think it is a Falcon unit. No matter, I got another extended warranty for it, so when it dies in a year, I'll get yet another one.

I love the 360 but Microsoft is beyond incompetent when it comes to hardware quality control. One funny anecdote: when I took the unit to Best Buy, while the sales guy was processing the exchange I asked if they had taken a lot of warranty returns on the 360. His response was to laugh. I guess BB is really getting burned on 360 returns.
1054  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: HT Showdown: Yamaha vs Sony on: March 14, 2008, 05:48:46 PM
I have a Yamaha, although not that same model. It's been great. No problems and nothing about it that annoys me. Don't know about the Sony as I have never owned a Sony receiver.
1055  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: So close, you can smell the garlic fries: The MLB 08: The Show uberthread on: March 04, 2008, 10:01:46 PM
I just picked it up from Best Buy. There's a coupon in it with a code that you can redeem online for a free baseball cap. Bonus!!
1056  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Microprose back from the netherworld on: February 29, 2008, 11:27:02 PM
Straight from the category of "wtf" is this:

Someone bought the Microprose name from Atari and is resurrecting the name as a new company making-- joysticks and HDMI switchers??? However, on the 'about the company' page, there is a small bit at the bottom about some sort of sim software development going on under the new Microprose name.

All we need is for someone to resurrect the SSI name and it'll be 1989 all over again.
1057  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Has anyone gotten their 5 free blu-ray movies? on: February 28, 2008, 10:26:43 PM
It took roughly three months to get my 5 free movies.

There is a phone number you can call to check the status: 1-800-598-9671.
1058  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Big Star Trek map on: February 27, 2008, 01:07:22 AM
He can't. If he did, his crazy mother in law is liable to drive the family car into the Romulan Star Empire.
1059  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dads... Recommend a convertible carseat? on: February 22, 2008, 05:54:13 PM
We have two Britax car seats. I also highly recommend them. They're built like tanks, feel really secure when installed properly, and are very comfortable for the kid to sit in. If your car is a 2002 or later model year, you'll have the metal clips in the fold of the back seats that makes installation literally a snap. The removable seat cover is also very easy to take off and put back on. We've had to wash it several times after some vomitous accidents. The Britax seats are generally regarded as the best quality seats and have fewer recalls than their competitors.

Oh, and the nut protector is pretty handy as well.  icon_biggrin
1060  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Daehawk puts in his applications on: February 21, 2008, 10:39:23 PM
I have to agree with Ike. If the MIL is obviously such a danger to herself, not to mention anyone else who is at home, it might be time to get the state involved in taking care of her. It's tough having to do that to a loved one, but what other alternative is there?
1061  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Daehawk puts in his applications on: February 20, 2008, 09:51:31 PM
Good luck. Hope you get the job. Just answer the questions honestly and don't second guess your answers. You'll drive yourself crazy doing that.
1062  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Which of these HDTVs Would You Choose? on: February 12, 2008, 07:13:34 PM
For what it's worth, I got a Sony Bravia 52" W3000 LCD about 3 or 4 months ago and I don't have the clouding issue that has been reported on the AVS forums. Stunningly beautiful TV too.
1063  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Devil May Cry install-Yay or Nay? on: February 08, 2008, 06:02:46 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on February 08, 2008, 05:48:25 PM

I don't think many people are actually playing this game.  I literally have more people on my friends list playing Culdcept than DMC 4.

That's because they're all waiting for the install to the hard drive to finish. icon_lol
1064  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel : Ultimate Alliance 2 and other Activision news on: February 08, 2008, 05:57:09 PM
TWO new Guitar Hero games?? Activision is doing a great job of channeling 3DO and their ability to run gaming franchises into the ground.
1065  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Is the SNES the Best Game Console Ever? on: February 08, 2008, 12:13:22 AM
I'm probably in the minority saying this but I actually think those old Genesis/SNES sports games still hold up today. Modern sports games like Madden are so complex and have such elaborate controls that they become a bit overwhelming. Sure the old sports games are nowhere as detailed or realistic, but they were easy to play and the controls were nowhere as complicated and thus much easier to just pick up and immediately start enjoying without needing to memorize a ridiculous number of moves.
1066  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Is the SNES the Best Game Console Ever? on: February 07, 2008, 10:45:56 PM
I had both the Sega Genesis and SNES back in the day. To me, it's near impossible to say one is better than the other. The Genesis was all about the EA sports games, particularly the NHL games (watch me make little Wayne's head bleed!) as well as the Sonic games. The SNES was the RPG heavy console, especially the Squaresoft RPGs. I look back very fondly on both systems.
1067  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: February 06, 2008, 11:59:28 PM
That makes more sense I guess. Too bad the reviewer wasn't clear.

Then again, unless my memory is failing in my old age, Master of Orion 2 which is arguably the pinnacle of the 4X space strategy genre, didn't have a campaign mode either. Just set up the parameters of the game, jump in and annihilate the enemy AI.
1068  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: February 06, 2008, 11:19:02 PM
The Shacknews review says there is no single player campaign, but if you set up skirmish mode with multiple AI opponents, how is that not a single player mode? I'm confused by what the reviewer is expecting.
1069  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 Disconnects --FIXED on: February 06, 2008, 06:19:13 PM
A friend of mine is getting his 60 GB PS3 replaced under warranty for a problem where his system locks up all the time. When he called Sony Customer Service, he was told that if it gets replaced, it will be with a 60 GB refurb unit.
1070  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Indy 4 Just Hooked Me on: February 03, 2008, 07:28:39 PM
I hope to god that it doesn't involve Midichlorians.
1071  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: eBay - no more negative/neutral feedback system on: January 31, 2008, 01:41:34 AM
Is this a retroactive change? Meaning, does negative feedback already associated with a user simply disappear off their profile?
1072  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Daehawk puts in his applications on: January 31, 2008, 12:10:49 AM
Thanks honey, I love you too.
1073  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Daehawk puts in his applications on: January 31, 2008, 12:05:06 AM
You know, I've already said what I wanted to say. I'm not going to derail this thread any further.
1074  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Daehawk puts in his applications on: January 30, 2008, 11:54:46 PM
I am referring to this attitude some people have that Daehawk is somehow not trying hard enough. Sometimes it's not the effort one puts in but the situation that dictates what a person can or cannot do, and I think he explained adequately what he has to go through with the home situation. If people want to give him suggestions, that's great, but people shouldn't be so quick to judge him if they don't know what he's going through. The only reason I say this is because I've gone through the experience of having to home care for a loved one, so I can identify with what Daehawk has to go through, and believe me, your personal life becomes completely secondary to the situation.
1075  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Daehawk puts in his applications on: January 30, 2008, 10:53:08 PM
You guys make it sound so easy for Daehawk to go get a full time job. Have any of you gone through the experience of long term care of a family member? That in itself is a full time job and it is mentally and physically exhausting. Oh but why doesn't he hire someone to do it? Because it's ridiculously expensive and even if he has medical insurance, it doesn't cover everything. This isn't like taking care of a pet dog that you can just leave at home for the afternoon.
1076  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XBLM] Turning Point: Fall of Liberty demo is up! on: January 27, 2008, 11:52:16 PM
Why can't gamers have high expectations? The games market is flooded with countless mediocre titles that can't be returned once opened. If the demo is poor, then I'm not going to lower my standards and waste my money in the hopes that it COULD be decent. If the reviews for this game surprise me, or those brave guinea pigs (like Bullwinkle) who get it have favorable impressions, then I'll reconsider, but just based on this  demo, I think it is perfectly fair to judge it as is in comparison to the many other FPS games available.
1077  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XBLM] Turning Point: Fall of Liberty demo is up! on: January 27, 2008, 07:32:40 PM
I think the gameplay is decent, if not particularly interesting. However the graphics are terrible. It looks like a leftover from the original Xbox days. They were probably better off releasing this as a budget title on Xbox Live.
1078  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Endless Ocean Impressions? (Wii) on: January 23, 2008, 08:47:44 PM
Is the game displayed in 4:3 or 16:9 aspect on HDTVs?
1079  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need a parents advice, help, suggestions on: January 21, 2008, 07:40:42 PM
I second the suggestion of martial arts classes. It teaches discipline, self defense, and self confidence. Look around your area for small private clubs or gyms that give kids classes. I go to a kick boxing gym in the evenings and the class before mine is a kids class. The youngest a kid can be to sign up is five years old. The idea is not to turn your kid into a ass kicker who will take no prisoners, but to let him do something that instills some self confidence in him so he won't be such a shrinking flower. Plus, it's fun for the kids to learn how to hit without getting yelled at.
1080  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dog slow cable modem access...any ideas why? on: January 20, 2008, 05:10:46 PM
Well it can't be the second thing. No one is even home when the connection is running at normal download speeds. I had a Comcast tech come out to my home. He said the modem was fine. He also did some minor work on the cable inside the walls, like removing some ancient splitter that splits the signal between upstairs and downstairs (which disabled all the cable lines upstairs). He did something outside the house at some junction box. Even after all that, he said he wasn't sure if all that would fix the problem, but if the slow download speed was still happening at least all the inside wiring was check out okay.

After the Comcast tech was there, my DL speeds were still horrendously slow in the evenings. A couple of days after that, the problem magically disappeared. I though I was home free and had a fast connection for a week. Then this past week, DL speeds went into the tank again. At this point, I am not interested in going back and forth with Comcast for weeks on end trying to fix this, and their support people are beyond braindead. I ordered DSL service a couple of days ago and will cancel my cable internet service once DSL is up and running. I know that DSL has its own problems, but before I got cable internet, I had a slower level DSL service for almost 10 years and it was rock solid, so I'm hoping reactivating DSL but at the 6 Mbps speed will be problem-free.
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