It’s Fashion Week… For Guys

This is the week of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. If you like high tech toys, it is the place for you! This year, 2,700 companies will exhibit, most introducing new products or lines of products.

There’s lots of buzz about the marriage of entertainment and portable devices. That might mean a phone which receives digital television too. Who knows?

New technologies evolve. This year’s losers might set the ground for next year’s breakout.

Will Apple get back into the handheld field? Lots of people say yes, but what shape this ‘thing’ will take is anyone’s guess, from an always secretive Apple.

I’ve never been. My closest Las Vegas foray was demo’ing products for a weather graphics company at the National Association of Broadcasters convention – another huge high tech show.

I’d like to go, though I’m not sure it’s a practical dream without someone else picking up the tab. doesn’t send correspondents to report… yet.

I’ll keep an eye on what comes out. If any thing’s really cool, I’ll mention it here… just before my birthday.

Liking My 8000 Explorer… Sort Of

It is nice to have the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) from Comcast. For the last week I’ve been playing with my Scientific Atlanta 8000 Explorer.

I have been recording like a drunken sailor. Last night I watched Hannah and Her Sisters (which had run at some inconvenient time). I’ve taken to seeing Letterman when I get home from work… even though the show is already in progress. Right now, I’m watching a documentary on water (please, I know how exciting that makes me sound)&#185.

I will have to learn that I’m under no obligation to watch what I record.

The user interface on the DVR to be kludgey at best. There are too many menus which are unreachable directly and must be reached by navigating through other, more general, menus. The listings of recorded or to be recorded show don’t show enough entries at once. As far as I can tell, there is no direct access to see the beginning of a show which is being recorded (In other words, if I walk in at midnight and want to watch Letterman from the beginning, though the recording continues in the background)

Digital TV is always slower in tuning than analog. So the click, click, click of a remote control doesn’t quite have the same speed or satisfaction. I have found this unit even slower than my non-DVR digital tuner. This might be because everything is actually being viewed after having been recorded – even live TV.

Some of the problems have been significant enough to force me to write Scientific Atlanta, who built the box.

Form Confirmation

Thank you for submitting the following information:

name: Geoff Fox


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My 8000 has shown some strange behavior. Last night, during the playback of a movie (with no other recordings in progress) the playback stopped on three separate occasions. The video just froze – and then returned a few seconds later.

Also, this morning the unit is very slow to respond to channel changes. If, for instance, I enter a “1” on the keypad, it can be nearly 5 seconds before that shows on the LED readout. So, I have no idea whether the signal was even received by the unit.

Thank you, Geoff Fox

I’ll report back on their response… if any.

&#185 – A few seconds after I type that, I had had enough. It’s off and erased.