Archive for February, 2012

Improve your home security with CCTV

15 February 2012

There are now very affordable CCTV solutions available if you want to improve security at home or in your office.

I recommend one of the EyeSpy range of cameras which include:

1. an HD internal camera
2. an external camera
3. an internal moving camera
4. a budget camera

For cameras 1 -3, night vision is included.
Only option 2 can be used externally
Option 1 offer best quality image
They all offer two-way audio (but I personally would not rely on this feature)
options 1 and 2 offer wifi

The will all offer to store photos / video images online and allow you to view a location remotely.

For a comparison of the current models please look at this link.

If you would like further advice on installing one of these devices within your home or office, please contact us on 020-8209 2675 or email us support@friedmanit.co.uk

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Affordable media box – BOXEE

15 February 2012

Recently I purchased a media box called Boxee.

This “media box” connects to any television with HDMI and opens up a wide-range of new features.

These include:

1. Web search – just type on the remote control and search the web!

2. Apps – access to a huge library of applications available such as radio stations and BBC iplayer (UK only)

3. Music streaming – access to your music library that could be sitting on a computer elsewhere in your home

4. Photo streaming – access to your photo library that could be sitting on a computer elsewhere in your home (you can view these on the big television while playing music)

5. Movie / TV Show streaming – access to your digitised movie library that could be sitting on a computer elsewhere in your home. It also gives you access to a variety of movies/tv shows online (often with advertising).

It supports a variety of movie formats – see technical spec at the bottom of this blog.

With movie streaming:
(a) it will summarise your movie collection in production date order or alphabetical order
(b) show you ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes
(c) access to online trailers and descriptions of the movie
(d) access to a variety of subtitles

Boxee comes with a remote control (see below) which has a complete keyboard making tying relatively easy.

As an affordable solution to modernise your lounge, I highly recommend this. NOTE: you will need to connect Boxee to a storage device to benefit from access to your media. This could be an external USB drive, an external hard disk or access to your computer using a home plug for example.

If you would like further advice on installing one of these devices within your home or office, please contact us on 020-8209 2675 or email us support@friedmanit.co.uk

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Technical Details

Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 4.6″
Language Support: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Network Protocol Support: IPV4, ARP, TCP, UDP, ICMP, DHCP Client, DNS Client, DDNS Client, HTTP Server, Samba Client, RTP/RTMP, VPN: PPTP, DLNA 1.5 (DMP)
Wireless: 802.11n/g/b
Ports: HDMI 1.3, 10/100 Fast Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, Optical Audio (S/PDIF), Analog Audio (RCA L/R);Memory Card Support: SD, SDHC up to 32GB, MMC
Audio Formats: MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AIF/AIFF, AC3/AAC, OGG, FLAC, DTS, Dolby Digital/Dolby True HD
Video Formats: Adobe Flash 10.1, FLV/On2 VP6 (FLV/FV4/M4V), H.264 AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MP4), VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV), MPEG-1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG), MPEG-2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/TS/TP/ISO/IFO), MPEG-4 (MP4/AVI/MOV), DivX 3/4/5/6 (AVI/MKV), Xvid (AVI/MKV), WMV9 (WMV/ASF/DVR-MS)
Image Formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF
Playlist Formats: M3U, PLS, WPL
Subtitle Formats: SRT, SUB, SSA, SMI, ASS
Supported Resolutions: H.264: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps
WMV9/VC-1: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps
MPEG4: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps
MPEG2: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps
Two-Sided RF Remote: with 4-way navigation and full QWERTY keypad

Digitising your movies – DVD Ripping

14 February 2012

Digitising music has become very popular. People are trashing their CD’s and keeping them on laptops, desktops, Tablets, mobile phones and MP3 players.

This saves space and allows you to carry a massive music collection with you wherever you are.

A similar concept can be carried out with your DVD collection with a process called “DVD Ripping”.

Digitising your movie collection has the following advantages:

1. Trash your DVD’s – save space

2. Trash your DVD player

3. Carry a large movie collection with you on the move e.g. on a Tablet such as an IPAD

4. A media box such as BOXEE will change your move viewing experience by collating your movies for viewing on a large television. It  offers movie summaries, trailers, ratings and various subtitles.

The process of transferring a DVD to a computer is called “DVD Ripping” and is done using software like AISEESOFT DVD RIPPER – A license costs approx $30 and purchase link for PC here and purchase link for MAC here.

I have only recently tested this software (there is such a wide-range to choose from) and it seems to be very user-friendly and offers optimal outputs for different devices such as an IPAD.

As you can see in my example, it is choosing to export a DVD as an AVI file for viewing on an XBOX 360. There are a wide range of choices here such as MP4 format for IPAD.

Happy digitising! (I prefer that term to Ripping!)