Likewise SageTV got bought out by Google and isn't selling any
more licenses or hardware.
I know a few people who swear by MythTV. Tried it myself for
awhile, but ran afoul of Linux and SQL Anywhere's security
settings. But others say they can't imagine what I'm talking
about... so go figure.
I also have heard from a few who use Microsoft Media Center and
are reasonably satisfied with it. I think Microsoft Media
Center is pre-packaged with at least one of the versions of
What was amazing to me is that if you didn't buy it with XP, if you'd
never even heard of it (as was the case with me), you couldn't get it
as an add-on later, even for money.
Is it still t hat way with Win 7?
I built a couple of XP-based servers by installing from the
Microsoft Developer Network DVDs but it was a real hassle and I
got the impression that the XP-based product was intended for
turnkey systems where it's all pre-installed and not for
after-the-fact installation by end users.
What turned me away from it was the flip side of being simple to
use: it was so dumbed-down that the UI made me crazy. Not
nearly enough information on a screen, for starters: too much
time spent drilling down and scrolling.
But I see myself as being on the lunatic fringe
consumer-satisfaction-wise (and maybe otherwise...).
My impression is that a lot of reasonable people use it and like
it - and that there are add-ons that mitigate the dumbed-down
No direct experience, but my impression from reading other
people's posts is that it's built-in and ready to go: just hook
up some tuners and configure it.
Maybe somebody with experience can comment.
If I used Mute, I'd forget to turn the sound on when the show started
again. I usually read the newspaper or work on the computer while
I'm watching tv, so I won't know when the show restrarts.
But I pretty much timer-record everything I watch, so I can watch it
when I want to.
Sometimes I wonder if FFing through the commercials, digitally, has
any effect on me. I don't buy most of the things they advertise.
quite a few commercials lately that have a period of silence. When
that is unexpected, it actually makes people look at the TV to see
what's wrong. Even after getting used to it, will that let the
advertisers play the rest of the commercial at a louder volume,
becasue the average will still be below the limit?
It's not just very lately. I'm sure that was going on more than 2
years ago. We all watch different shows in different cities and are
exposed to different commercials. But I haven't seen one with the
slience for at least a year.
I didnt think the new law was based on averages within the commercial,
only the average volvume of the tv show it self before the commerical.
But I could be wrong.
On Thu, 13 Dec 2012 19:23:41 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."
Yes, but I have heard that the commercials are louder in one's ear
because of style of speech they use, so they seem louder, but they're
not electronically louder. OTOH, that's not what I heard when this
law was passed. I think they were already supposed to limit the
volume of commercials and the news said that they made it the same as
the last minute, or 45 seconds of the tv show that was playing, and
now they were going to have to make the commercials the same volume as
the last 10, 15, ???, maybe minutes of the show. I guess the shows
cooperated by increasing their volume for the last minute. All of
this implies the volume is louder electronically and what I started
this paragraph with isn't true.
I hope someone in this thread explains it.
It has to do with "Dynamic range compression" for the audio. Here's a
link to a site that can explain it in detail. The section on TV ads is
down the page so you'll have to scroll down to "Marketing". ^_^
Don't bet on it. I see (on an O scope) and hear that the programming is
getting the odd bit of audio added that raises the technical level of the
program audio. when the commercial come along those element are not present
so the 'message' audio is at a higher level.
Without looking, the article specifies average volume, which means nothing
You can keep peak level equal, within 3 db, etc. Average is another thing,
which also depends on compression levels. I would have to read the FCC
I originally started using automatic volume controllers because the cheap
comcast cable had wide rage of volumes between channels. It's ok today. I
used to make and buy various controllers, including feeding through VCR's
automatic volume circuitry. I also used them to feed widely varying mp3's
It's been annoying the commercial volume often went up close to 10 db, or
twice the loudness. About time.
Easy to fix. Get a DVR and record the shows you want to watch. Just
FF through them and watch a one hour show in about 40 minutes with NO
commercials. About the only thing we watch in real time is the news.,
even that is delayed if we are eating dinner.
I watch GMA every morning. It is on from 7-9 here. I turn it on
at 8 and often have to watch it live by 9. I ff through
commercials, weather, and the 'we're going to tell you what we're
going to tell you' segments. . . and Nancy Grace.
Yes I do that. And I often watch the recording while I'm recording
it. I tune in 5 or 10 minutes after the timer starts the recording,
but play the recording from the beginning. Then I can FF forward
through the commercials. I usually replay a couple minutes of each
show so that puts me further behind, so more room to FF.
The FCC has granted extensions of time for smaller cable networks and
distributors to comply with the new rules.
Also, it is the "density" of the sound that is to be partially
controlled, not just the peak amplitude. If you are of an engineering
bent, read the actual FCC ruling to understand what it is that is
supposed to be happening.
Yes, the law was passed about two years ago, became effective a year
ago, and gave them a year to do it. I've been eagerly looking
forward to this. I'm tired of adjusting the volume, even in the
bedroom where I put in a wired volume control with a knob (a lot
easier to use than the remote. I use an add-on speaker with better
sound than the built-in speaker.)
For years I haven't been able to fall asleep to the tv because the
commercials were so loud, and sometimes the radio has nothing on it.
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