Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Episode II : Attacks of the VideoConverters

Don't worry I won't be making uber-geeky references to Star Wars all the time. Maybe.

Where was I? Yeah. lLppy, telly - get em talking that's right.

If I'd had a desktop with a serious video card that had a composite or s-video output none of this may have happened. HA! of course it would, just that the first bit of the quest would have been as follows : 'I went and bought an s-video cable and connected them. It worked. The End'
In fact that's still part of the story [everyone needs and s-video cable] but there's some more boring stuff before it. And probably after.

So I did not have any of those outputs.
All I had was a lousy VGA output, and that was not even on board - it was on an expansion port.

So I did a little searching and thinking and decided that I needed a VGA to Composite converter.
I found various models aims at various levels from broadcast quality down.

http://www.digit-life.com/articles/guillemotconverterdeluxe2/ is an example of what i was after.

I got one from somewhere and it needed a wierd power adapter that was not supplied - so I sent it back.

So I found one at http://www.dabs.co.uk and got it. Unfortunately this one needed power from a PS/2 mouse port - which I didn't have, just USBs. Bugger. I did the obvious thing at this point and went and found a PS/2 to USB converter. This didn't give enough power (or any - never was sure) to run the damn thing.

So I sent it back.
But before I did - I hooked it up to another laptop that had a PS2 port, just for power mind you, connected the vga up to my viao and the composite to the telly. It worked a treat and I watched one of the worst films ever with it [what a waste]. And it looked so funny laptop piled up and external expansion ports and vga converters in a stack of wires and boxes - very neat.

This was not to be the way forwards.

As with all good stories - some time passes, about 3 years I reckon before the next episode.
I knew I'd refer to SW again in some form - dammit.

[entry not finished - be back after]

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Okay it wasn't that long ago and it wasn't that far away (London), but I think it was before Star Wars : Episode 1.

So the story begins when I got my ADSL installed by BT, which was nice and expensive - thanks BT. Anyhoo, it was on, hooked up, ready to amaze me with it's 512kbps and I was looking at it thinkin :-
'Sweet. Now what do I do with it?'
Ha-ha, download stuff of course. What else is ADSL for, no-one needs to browse the web that fast [well, I do, but 'whatever']

It wasn't long before I downloaded a TV show or film. It must have been from AtomFilms (see
http://www.atomfilms.com/ it's really quite good, HDTV shorts and all) cus anything else would be naughty bad stealing. Updated mediaplayer, probably updated some video and audio codecs and got it playing. Awesome! fairly good quality video on a computer. Fantastic.

Which was fine.

Apart from you have to watch it on a computer. And after a bit that can be pretty annoying - especially if you have a very small Sony Viao and 2 of you want to watch :)

This led me to the thought - 'surely there must be a way to watch stuff off my lappy on the telly?'

.....and so it started.

Welcome to my blog

This blog is essentially going to be mostly about my quest to connect computers to tvs. Mostly.

So, lets get fact number 1 straight - I haven't had the urge to mess with networks or do anything more intelligent with my computer than downloading stuff, for a long time. I thought those particular urges had long faded.

Then Jim mentioned wireless media servers. [goddammit]

I'd never heard of them, but realised instantly that it was what I'd been after ever since I downloaded my first trailer off the internet when I first got ADSL in the UK.

But this is a long story, and one that hasn't finished, so we should start from the start.......in the next entry.

(There is no fact number 2)