Thursday, November 27, 2008

Technical Concerns

Here's where I babble about various technological gripes I have at the moment. Feel free to skip.

A few days ago I noticed some seriously dodgy signal quality from my new router (I still weep over the loss of my A1 revision with its green lights). I first attributed it to the numerous torrents I had going at the time and thought little of it. But then the torrents were done and the crappy connection continued. I checked the router connection and discovered it was there. Then I checked the logs. Lots of these gems:

Blocking incoming TCP request from to

Odd. Was someone trying to connect? Those were weird addresses. Hmm. Plus, with MAC filtering on, and my vertical placement (ie.- 7 storeys up), I figured it was unlikely a hack. After fiddling with various settings, and annoying a table at Stars with my constant disconnects, I gave up for the night. I returned last night with further research (difficult to do with a shitty connection) and found it was likely old torrent connections still trying to access my now closed downloads. I tuned on WPA2 along with the MAC filtering and the problem seemed to lessen. The log entries were still coming in, but now weren't able to fuck with my connection as much. I expect these will lessen over the coming days (especially with my router currently unplugged while I'm not home) and reliability will be restored.

I think I mentioned my desire to pick up a PS3. This is pretty much 99% for use as a Blu-Ray player. I'd much rather a 60GB original, with hardware PS2 compatibility, 4 USB ports, and a memory card reader, but those are hard to come by... and I don't have any PS2 games anyway. There are better players out there for the same price, but they don't have games, WiFi, 80+ gigs of storage, or lots of the other fun aspects of a PS3.

But the PS3 lacks discrete analog outputs, which my current receiver takes for 7.1 surround. This is a problem. Why? Because it means I need to hook up an HDMI 1.3a connection to my receiver to get full PCM 7.1. Sadly, my current receiver lacks an HDMI port of any kind, let alone 1.3a. So this means I either get a different player or buy a new receiver. I'm leaning towards a new receiver.

Now that's a fucking rabbit hole to go down. Receivers run everywhere from $300 to, well, some stratospheric high end. I think I paid $700 for my current Yamaha + 5.1 Athena speakers. I'll probably end up in the $500-700 range for a new receiver. The problem is, I have no idea which one. Looking for info is like walking through a funhouse maze of mirrors with thrash metal blaring during a laser show while on acid. Too much fucking information to process.

I've decided to keep my current TV though. 720p/1080i is good enough at 37" and 6' of distance I think. I still drool at 50" Kuro Elites, but it would be a waste of money for the amount I use my TV.

All this will require a dismantling of the current entertainment setup. Let's say 400lbs of TV, wood, components, and DVDs, and a terrible tangle of wires. While I'm at it, I'll grab more speaker wire and redo that as well. Maybe I'll get around to buying more DVD storage too... I can only stack the piles so high.

I guess all these concerns go away if I win the Megabucks in Vegas...

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