Search Results for Category: Movies/TV

Plex – The (Near) Perfect Solution for Personal Media


I have a lot of media.  I own several thousand DVDs and Blu rays.  I have collected a lot of media from the internet.  I prefer to OWN (and store) the media I have.  I don’t like Netflix and I don’t like Hulu.  These aren’t solutions for me.  I am paying a lot of money a month for a fast internet connection and I have a lot of stuff I’m storing on my own – not the cloud.  I don’t want to have to UPLOAD my stuff to the cloud to get it …. I AM my own cloud.

… and I’m not alone.  Millions of others prefer to buy, store, rip and maintain their own private collections – for a variety of reasons (see my article on Digital Distribution for my thoughts).  Unfortunately, the issue with being your own cloud …?  Companies aren’t interested in writing top quality software to let you access it.  Your options tend to rely on some proprietary media friendly NAS (like a Synology Diskstation) which suffers from fairly immature software on mobile devices or some sort of specialized delivery system for ONE component of your media (like Subsonic; great music gateway – poor video gateway).

Worse yet, if you plan to SHARE your content with family and friends?  A whole new can of worms is opened.

Take all of these issues and then try to solve ubiquitous playback from TV, web, phone and tablet?  This has been a pipe dream for some time.

Enter Plex Media Server Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Ten Tech-Related Things I Hate


Certain things about technology make me mental.  I constantly get asked, “What is your problem with x?” or “Why do you hate y?”  I figured it would save time if I could just link to an article that explain what makes me crazy about tech-related services and concepts.

This is the mind-numbing technology that I would change in a heartbeat if I were In Charge(tm); in no particular order. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Television Intros: A Look at 25 All-Time Greats


Before we look at twenty five of the greatest TV show introduction videos, I’d like to put forward that these aren’t THE TOP 25 intros of all time. Obviously, these lists are always subjective – usually determined by what the writer remembers from his own frame of references. Much like video games, music and other forms of entertainment – you’re always going to be more likely to target those examples that you favor. As a child of the 1980s, TV was a huge part of my youth.
Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Miscellaneous, Movies/TV

DVDFab Media Player: This is not the droid you’re looking for …


 

Blu-ray is a great format for high definition playback without compromise; especially if you use consumer Blu-ray set top box players.  Unfortunately, the Blu-ray format is also littered with copy protection.  This is seamless to end users with set top boxes, but for those of us trying to get these movies to play on our Blu-Ray ROM equipped PCs – this copy protection stops us from enjoying our legally owned high definition movies.

Until recently, you’ve really had two choices in dealing with this.  One, install multiple media players on your PC and hope that ONE of them will play the latest title you brought home or two – spend the cash and buy SlySoft’s AnyDVD HD product – which has proven over the years that it is THE definitive copy protection removal tool against Blu-ray. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

The Six Million Dollar Man DVD Box Set


The late 70s and early 80s were popular times for superhero TV shows.  We had it all;  Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, a live action Spider-Man – and of course The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

History

The Six Million Dollar Man (SMDM from now on) started off as a TV movie loosely based on the Martin Caiden novel Cyborg – about Steve Austin, a near-dead astronaut crash victim given superhuman bio-mechanical limbs.  With his special new abilities, Austin is conscripted into a government organization known as the OSI (Office for Scientific Intelligence – ran by Oscar Goldman) where be acts as an agent for difficult and often secret missions.

The movie was so successful that they made two more movies and eventually parried the movies into a full-time series that subsequently ran five seasons.  The show spawned The Bionic Woman spinoff featuring parachute accident victim (and Austin’s high school sweetheart) Jamie Sommers (Lindsay Wagner).  Both characters visited the other’s TV series in what is known as a “cross over” episode.  Often a two-part episode would start on one series, then finish on the other show.

Bionics quickly became a household phrase and the SMDM (and to a lesser extent, the Bionic Woman) became firmly planted into pop culture.  Toys, lunch boxes, action figures – you name it – you could get it branded with a bionic superhero. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : DVD, Movies/TV

The Bionic Woman Season 2 (DVD)


History

Let’s face it – The Bionic Woman (TBW) never got the love that The Six Million Dollar Man (SMDM) received.  Oh sure, fans loved the character so much that they letter-bombed the TV studio demanding her resurrection when she was killed off in her debut on SMDM and the show ran a healthy three seasons; even ending with very good ratings – but the more “emotional stories” and “feminine perspective” didn’t win the young male market over.  They craved the astronaut-turned-super-spy plots of SMDM.  The producers cleverly created “cross-over” episodes that kept SMDM fans watching “part 2” of the latest show on TBW.  Even when the spin-off changed networks, the stars of each show shared the spotlight (unheard of, even today).

Despite the love for SMDM, many of us enjoyed TBW for what it was and have long awaited these episodes to be available to the home market.

After 30 years of legal hell, the original 1970’s bionic TV shows finally made it to the home video market in the United States (even abroad their availability was sketchy).  Earlier this year, Time Life released the ENTIRE SMDM TV show (including all five seasons, every movie and every “cross-over” episode with TBW – including the beloved KILL OSCAR Fembot three part episode) and we reviewed it here.  With a price tag of over $200, this collection got passed on by all but the die-hard fans – so those dying to see Academy Award Winner John Houseman play the evil Dr. Franklin would simply have to wait to see the beautiful (but deadly) Fembots. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : DVD, Movies/TV

Exploring Digital Distribution Part 4: Unsustainable Success Stories


Go to Part 3

In this multi-part article on Digital Distribution, we will explore various aspects of the digital distribution model along with successes, failures and speculate on the future of this model based on current and past trends. This series will be primarily aimed at video gaming and media such as film and television.

In our last article, we compared and contrasted the promised delivery of Digital Distribution and why they just don’t pass the test. In this final article, we will take a look at some of the success stories of current day Digital Distribution and discuss the future. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Exploring Digital Distribution Part 3: Fact or Fiction?


Go to Part 2

In this multi-part article on Digital Distribution, we will explore various aspects of the digital distribution model along with successes, failures and speculate on the future of this model based on current and past trends. This series will be primarily aimed at video gaming and media such as film and television.

In our last article, we discussed all the Good Things(tm) that Digital Distribution promises; both to consumers as well as Content Providers. Now we need a reality check on these points.

Content Providers believe Digital Distribution will provide them with several things; absolute control, anti-piracy measures, after-market resales, price/flow control and reduction in costs.

Absolute control requires complete anti-piracy measures and this simply isn’t possible. So, let’s look at that first. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Exploring Digital Distribution Part 2: Let the Sun Shine In


Go to Part 1

In this multi-part article on Digital Distribution, we will explore various aspects of the digital distribution model along with successes, failures and speculate on the future of this model based on current and past trends. This series will be primarily aimed at video gaming and media such as film and television.

In our last article we discussed what Digital Distribution is, how you have been living with it for decades and how it has affected the major areas of entertainment. In this article, we will look at the positive side of Digital Distribution from the point of views of both the content providers and consumers.

It is important to note that much of what we discuss here appears on BOTH the positive and negative lists. Before saying “you can’t have it both ways”, just remember there are two parties involved here – the provider and the consumer. Buying a $10 hot dog at a ball game certainly benefits the vendor but since you could make the same snack at home for about $.25 it really has a negative effect on the consumer. Keep that in mind. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Exploring Digital Distribution Part 1: The Nature of the Beast


In this multi-part article on Digital Distribution, we will explore various aspects of the digital distribution model along with successes, failures and speculate on the future of this model based on current and past trends. This series will be primarily aimed at video gaming and media such as film and television.

Every journey begins with a first step. In the first of several articles on Digital Distribution, we will start with documenting an understanding about what Digital Distribution is – using today’s real world examples. We will try to keep the hyperbole and conjecture to a minimum. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+