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ted (Television Episode Downloader)

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 8, 2010 in Apple, Microsoft, Tech

If you are anything like me (and god help you if you are :)), and use the internet as a PVR, then this software will be a god send to you.

I’ve just recently ordered a Mac Mini to replace my last remaining Windows machine, and thought I’d better check if I could still do what I do now.

Currently my Dell machine, sits in the corner, and is used as my media server, my iTunes server and my torrent machine. Currently I have uTorrent installed, which downloads each episode using the RSS Feed option. Each of the RSS feeds points to a particular RSS feed for my favourite TV program from eztv, and once a new episode is detected, it’s downloaded.

Once the episodes are downloaded, these get copied to a shared location on my NAS Box, which I can then stream to my PS3’s or Xbox using PS3 Media Server.

I did a little googling last night, and even though there is a Mac version of uTorrent, it’s still in beta, and missing a lot of the functions that the Windows version has, eg the RSS downloader.

After a little more googling, I found a tidy little piece of freeware software called ted (Television Episode Downloader). Essentially it has a list of all the TV episodes that you can select from, and when a new episode appears, it will download the torrent file, and open this with your default torrent client.

Ok, this that fixes the missing functionality of uTorrent, however the software is a lot smarter that the RSS Downloader function in uTorrent, as once you’ve added your favourite shows, you can choose to start from the next available episode, the previous episode, or even download every episode. You then have the option to select “HD Only”, which will only download episodes with the tag of HD or 720.

The interface will also show you the name of the next episode, and when it’s going to be aired.

The good thing about this software is that is available free of charge on Mac, Windows and Linux, and only requires that you have a torrent client installed (I highly recommend uTorrent, Mac and Windows clients available).

Now some people may have a problem with downloading episodes from the internet, I however don’t mind, as I tend to buy the boxsets once they are available. Also this is little different to using BBC iPlayer, or Sky Anytime.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts, and enjoy

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iPhone Dilemma

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jun 9, 2009 in Apple

As some of you may know, the new iPhone 3GS has been announced, and due for release on the 19th of June 2009.

Currently I have a 32Gb iPhone Touch 2G and a Nokia E90 running JoikuSpot so I have an internet connection wherever I go, however this does mean carrying 2 devices around with me.

So I’ve been eagerly awaiting the new iPhone announcement as it’s been rumoured for months now.

The new hardware specs are for the 3GS are

Improved performance
3-megapixel autofocus camera
Video recording
Voice Control
Digital compass
Cut, Copy & Paste
MMS
Spotlight Search
Landscape keyboard
Voice Memos

Compared to the below for the 3G

2-megapixel camera
Cut, Copy & Paste
MMS
Spotlight Search
Landscape keyboard
Voice Memos

Now I’m happy that I feel I need one in my life, to minimise the amount of hardware I carry, however below are the pro’s and cons

Pro’s

New Shiny iPhone
Contestant Internet connection
Only have to carry the 1 device
The E90 is quite an ugly phone

Con’s

£180 to pay off my existing contract
Another £187 for the iPhone on an 18 month contract.
No 3G signal in my home on O2 (but I would have wi-fi, so wouldn’t really matter)
Would loose my Vodafone Stop the Clock
Would have to pay for tethering which I currently get free with JoikuSpot
Would have a redundant iPod Touch

There is another dilemma, currently the iPhone is exclusive to O2, however I’ve read many rumours, and even been told by a guy at Vodafone this morning that O2 loose exclusivity of the iPhone this month, so expects them to be on all networks within the next couple of month, which if correct, I’ll stick with Vodafone. However, the clock is ticking, and in 10 days I could be holding in my hand an iPhone….

Although the Cons do seem worse than the Pros, it is a shiny new device, and over the past 6 month I’ve come to love the iPod Touch, and couldn’t imagine life without it, so I’m assuming having this in phone form would just be perfect.

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Belkin Powerline AV 200Mbps Networking Adapter (F5D4072uk)

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Feb 8, 2009 in Tech

Anybody who watches HD content, will know that streaming this across a wireless network is virtually impossible.

My upstairs network is wired, however downstairs (my Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3) are all wireless. This has been fine for gaming, web browsing, and everything else I normally use the Internet for downstairs, however it’s just not quick enough to stream HD content.

I’m a bit of a AV snob, and like the Video and Audio quality to be the best I can get. I like most people download TV episode from the web (just seems easier than recording via Sky, plus if you get them from the web, they tent to be a couple of days in front if the UK). I normally download the 720p version, granted they are over a gig in size, but the quality is so much better.

As you know from my previous posts about my Acer Aspire Easystore box, it’s got a Upnp Media server built in, which allows me to stream the content, and I normally watch these on my PS3 in the bedroom. If I do feel like watch the downloaded episodes downstairs, it normally means copying to a memory stick, then plugging into the PS3, then watching. This process has been fine up until recently. As I’m starting to build up a collection of Bluray Disks, I decided to look at converting these to mkv files, so I could stream these across my network, job done, a couple of films sat on my NAS Drive, converted into a readable format for the PS3. I’ve ripped these in full 1080p, and they are 11Gb+. Now my problem is, a, I don’t have a memory stick with 11Gb on it (8Gb is the largest I have), b, as you need to format the memory stick in FAT32 for the PS3 to be able to read it, I could only get 4Gb on it, and c, if I’m copying the film to a memory stick, I might as well put the bloody disk in, lol !

I’ve tested the films in the bedroom, and these work flawlessly, downstair was “play a couple of seconds, stutter, freeze, play a couple more seconds…….so decided to upgrade to the Powerline adapters (I know, I’ve finally got to the point !)

I spent Thursday morning reading through reviews, if I should go for the cheaper 85Mbps or splash out for the 200Mbps (Go on, have a guess which ones I went for, lol).

A lot of people dependant on their house hold power electrical wiring were getting on average 40Mbps connection speed through the 85Mbps ones, which wasn’t really much improvement on my Wireless, however the reviews for the 200Mbps were suggesting the people were getting 100Mbps, so went for the 200Mbps.

The strange thing is, even through the adaptors are advertised as 200Mbps, the built in NIC adaptor is only an auto sensing 10/100 card, after reading further at the specs, its 100Mbps each way (send and receive), making them a 100Mbps Full duplex.

Anyway, I got home, plugged them in, I end into a 10/100 Switch downstairs (which I then plugged in my PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii), and upstairs I plugged into the router. That’s it, done !, it worked straight away.

I plugged my MacBook into the downstairs switch and got a full 100Mbps transfer rate when copying from my NAS drive.

The ones I bought were £80, however well worth it for me, no drilling, no running cables, they just worked, I can highly recommend.

What’s in the box

Official Overview from Belkin

Powerline AV allows you to reliably transmit content from your Internet directly to your computer and other network devices through the electrical wires in your home. Transfer speeds of up to 200Mpbs makes Powerline AV ideal for streaming media to your home entertainment devices such as gaming consoles and set-top boxes.

Powerline is a great solution for areas in the home that are hard to reach by wireless connections, Powerline is the most reliable solution for providing secure Internet connectivity to these remote areas.

Setup of Powerline is simple with its plug-and-play connectivity. Connect one adapter to your router and plug it into an available electrical outlet. Plug the second adpter into an available wall outlet and connect the other end to any device with an available Ethernet port such as a gaming console, set-top box, or computer.

Official Features from Belkin

  • Includes extension power cables for the optional placement of powerline adapter away from the electrical outlet
  • Data speeds of up to 200Mbps
  • Ideal for surfing the Internet and reducing online gaming latency
  • Security: 128-bit AES link encryption with key management for secure powerline communications
  • Operating range: Up to 300m in wall powerlines
  • IEEE 802.3/802.3u
  • HomePlug® AV-certified

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