Apple to dominate the streaming world?

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jul 24, 2012 in Apple, Films, Tech

Before you read, this isn’t based on any official news, just my speculation.

Over the past couple of years in the UK, more and more steaming companies have been popping up and as ¬†internet speeds rise in the UK, it’s becoming more practical for the like of BBC, ITV, Channel4, Channel5 and various other terrestrial providers to offer a steaming service. Youtube now host many TV programs and films, and it won’t be long until they offer a monthly set fee subscription model.

Personally I cancelled my Sky ‘normal TV’ subscription over a year ago now, and have been fed my visual entertainment via streaming and rental services.

Until recently, I had the Lovefilm streaming service as well as Netflix, however I made the choice and decided to kill off Lovefilm. Personally I prefer a ‘all you can eat’ service if I’m paying a monthly fee, not a monthly fee plus an additional ‘pay for anything that’s worth watching’ fee.

Sky have recently released NowTV, offering either pay as you go model or a set fee ‘watch as much as you want’ service. This currently only has movies, but they plan to add everything Sky subscribes have been able to access via SkyPlayer.

This all led me to think, why the hell don’t Apple offer this kind of service, I assumed it was some kind of licencing, however as of Friday, all my previously purchased movies were available to stream from the iCloud, which hopefully they’ve now signed whatever contracts are needed to allow movie streaming in the UK (and 35 other countries).

Apple do have a huge range of TV programs and Films on a ‘pay as you go’ rental and buy model (probably a larger library than Netflix and Lovefilm put together (in the UK)), and if they offered this at a reasonable monthly price, this would surely increase the sales of Apple TV, as well as collecting a monthly subscription.

I hope that Apple doing things the Apple way, possibly, hopefully in the near future Apple will offer a streaming service ?

Fingers crossed!

ps, I would however like to point out my previous prediction of the AppleTV being Apples game console haven’t yet come try….but I live in hope.

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Create Channels for you Wii Games

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 28, 2010 in Nintendo

If you are like me, and got very lazy and modified your Wii so you could play your games from a Hard Drive, then this takes laziness to the next level.

Even with the mod, you had to fire up the homebrew channel, or fire up the CoverFloader, or WiiCoverFlow or whichever channel you had for accessing your hard drive, then select the game, then load….you can now remove a step, and have your games as channels, and below I’ll show you how.

Assumed prerequisites.

You have a Wii

You have a homebrew channel installed

You have your games installed to a compatible hard drive connected to the Wii

Assuming you have the above, lets continue.

Download the latest version of WBFS Manager if you don’t already have it installed.

Download the latest version of Loadstructor (Torrent link here)

and finally the common-key.bin (Torrent Link Here)

Once everything is installed, connect your hard drive to you PC. This should appear in my computer but you won’t be able to access it, this is normal.

Fire up WBPS Manager, and select the external hard drive with you games on it from the drop down box, and click load. You should see a list of your game, if so move onto the next step.

Unzip the Loadstructor zip file and copy the common-key.bin into the root of this folder.

Run the Loadstuctor.exe and you should be met with the below screen.

I personally left all the setting as default.

Click on Add from WBFS, and select the game you want as a channel, using the CTRL key you can select multiple games

Once you have your games selected hit the RUN! button, this will create the wad files on your chosen output folder.

Once complete (took around 20 seconds a game on my machine) you will have a number of wad files in the above folder. Copy these to your Wii SD Card into a folder called wads on the root.

Now we head back to the Wii, take your external hard drive and SD Card with you and plug them into your Wii

Fire up your homebrew channel, then run WAD Manager (assuming you still have this on your SD Card from installing your homebrew channel, if now version 1.5 can be found here or here

Select the newly created wads, and install, that’s it, jobs done ! You will now have Wii Channels for all you favorite games

Final Note :

If your game won’t load and you sat looking at a screen saying Loading ISO, try disabling the Fix 002 Error, as not all games need this, and it seems to be switched on by default, and secondly, I’ve found that I have to completely power off my Wii between games, I can only assume something gets cached.

Anyway, hope this of some help. If you get stuck, drop me a comment and I’ll give you a hand.

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Harmony remotes FTW

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 15, 2009 in Tech
logitech-logoAs time goes on, and I buy myself more and more gadgets, these obviously come with more and more remotes. Over the last couple of years I’ve tried various “All in One” remote controls, from the cheap “enter the device ID, and hope for the best”, to a Cambridge Audio MI+ “Smart Remote”

I’ve been more than happy with the Cambridge MI+ however I made the mistake of leaving another remote on top of it, which drained the batteries….

As I couldn’t really be bothered reprogramming it all (which took me ages to get everything how I wanted, also all the macros I had set up), I decided to give the Harmony remotes a try.

Logitech_Harmony_515I found a good deal on Amazon, and got one of the basic Harmony 515 remotes just to give them a try. The major selling point to me, was that it backed up the remote to an online database.

A couple of days later, the remote arrived, very simple PC/Mac GUI interface, pick your devices and bobs your uncle !
One of the limitations of the 515 remote, was the fact that it will only run up to 5 devices, however this is where the limitations end.

The major thing that makes the Harmony remote series stand out from all the rest, are the way they work. On the “All in One” remotes, you basically switch on device a, then device b, then device c, then switch device a to channel d, etc etc. The Cambridge remote did attempt to combat this, by giving you the option of macro, which meant with 1 button press, you could macro “switch on device a, then device b, then device c, then switch device a to channel d, etc etc”.
The setup of the Harmony creates Activities. Once you have set up your devices, it will give you a list of suggested activities based on your devices. An example of this would be “Watch TV”. The setup runs through, and asks the following question.

Assume you want the TV on (and what channel, AV, etc), the PVR on, do you want the amp on, if so what channel, when the activity is complete, do you want the volume controls to control the amp or the TV, etc. Once done, you plug your remote into your PC/Mac and download the information to it, and your done. When you then click the “Watch TV” activity, it turns on the TV, switches to my HDMI channel, turns on the Sky HD, turns on the amp, and switches to CBL/TV, sets the control to emulate the Sky+ remote, and the volume control to control the amp.
This setup works for DVD, PS3, Xbox, and anything else I throw into the mix !

logitech_harmony_oneWith being so impressed with the 515 remote, I treated myself to the Harmony One remote, and moved the 515 up into the bedroom. This gave me chance to use the “Replace Remote” function within the Harmony software, plugged in the Harmony One, clicked Replace Remote, and within a few minutes it had configured the new remote with my configuration, all the devices worked as before ! Brilliant !

The advantage of the Harmony One, is that it can control up to 15 devices, has a colour touch screen and comes with dock/charger, and to be honest looks the business.

If you are looking for a smart, all in one remote, look no further than the Harmony series !

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