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Showing posts with the label Ultra TV

Review - WOW Ultra TV vs. DirecTV HR34 Genie

Here in the Chicago suburbs, we had two options for whole-home DVR services. We initially went with WOW Ultra TV, and after about 4 months, we switched to DirecTV's HR34 Genie system. (Neither Verizon FIOS nor AT&T UVerse were available in our area, so we can't review those. I haven't used Dish's Hopper, either. This is a straight compare/contrast review of WOW vs. DirecTV.) Both Ultra TV and Genie have their plusses and minuses. Both offer 1080p output, but that's primarily for the menus, as most TV content is provided at lower resolutions.  Both systems have a similar design architecture - a central hub, with multiple tuners and a large hard drive, recording and storing all TV shows, and distributing them to televisions around the house upon request.  Both systems also bring a number of "add-on" apps and have ways of accessing "on demand" content.  We've had each system for enough time to really put them through

Review: Three Days with WOW Ultra TV (UPDATE: Now with Photo/Video)

Ultra TV Grid Guide It took a couple of days and a half-dozen false starts, but after getting the primary box replaced, we have a fully operational Ultra TV setup. We are going to keep it for at least a few months. Here is the rundown: 1. Install was a bit of a trial. We have a very new home, so this shouldn't have been a wiring issue... But for the first couple of days, WOW simply could get high definition to work. They'd reset the box remotely (or I'd unplug it), HD would work for a couple minutes, and then a black screen and a "Signal Loss Detected" error message. We got a box replacement, and a $10 statement credit. Fair enough! 2. The channel lineup is a bit on the slight side . It's not bad, mind you - but there's no way to get NFL/NHL/NBA networks, no Bravo HD (SD only, which is just odd...) and a number of channels I'd expect to see in "basic" are on the "signature" tier, which I don't get. We also woul

Assessing Project 1 After Move-In

Well, that wasn't easy. But the move is (mostly) done. We'll be unpacking our boxes for some time, but our house is starting to feel like our house . Except that home theater. It's barely even started. (I'll add pictures later tonight.) After a weekend of false starts, WOW! Ultra TV is now up and running, and I'll have a full review ASAP. In the meantime, we're dealing with a few Project 1 issues that are going to take some problem-solving. 1. There's no easy way to get HDMI cabling to the TV . The living room features a fantastic fireplace, with built-in shelves on either side, pre-wired for a TV to be placed on (or hang above) the mantel over the fireplace. But that wiring is part of the problem. We have a power outlet, and a coax connection - this would have been ideal even 10 years ago, but it's completely inadequate for what we're planning - I need a minimum of 4 HDMI cables between the TV and my various components. (We could attempt ONE H

One Day More - Packing for the Move (And More about Apple)

We close tomorrow afternoon, and we'll be furiously packing today, and furiously unpacking on Friday. I'll probably be occupied with moving through the weekend.  Starting Friday, Project 1 kicks into gear. While it will be a series of "good-enough" half-measures at the start, we should be able to review WOW Ultra TV by Saturday, and (if I get the coding right) have a static page for Project 1 (Home Theater) started shortly thereafter, which will have photos of the space and a mockup of what the final design will look like, a checklist of items to be completed, and links to the various posts detailing each stage of the project.  In other news: The Apple Store is now selling the Nest Thermostat .  I love the look of this thing, but it's the functionality that sets it apart. It's iOS controllable, and completely self-learning and programming. Plus, it looks like a Star Trek control panel for your house.  Sony sells their 3D glasses on the