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Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Camera Connection Kit with iPad and iPhone Review

June 25, 2010 13 comments

The main accesory I wanted to buy with my iPad was the camera connection kit. Unfortunately this was sold out in New York, so I tried again on launch day in the UK. When the kit sold out in a couple of hours here it was time to place an order through the Apple online store and wait three weeks like everyone else. I’ve now had the kit for two weeks and can give some thoughts on it’s use.

The camera connection kit comprises two small adaptors that plug into the iPad dock connector, providing an SD card slot and a USB socket.

The intended use for these two items is to transfer photo and video content from your digital camera to the iPad for viewing, storage and subsequent transfer to a computer. The first thing I tested when the kit arrived was its ability to import media from my Panasonic LX3 camera. Jpeg and RAW images preview and copy to the ipad correctly, and the camera’s 720p video is also fully supported. This wasn’t a huge surprise as much has already been written about the functionality of the kit, but being able to copy party video’s quickly to the iPad for immediate viewing was one of those ‘wow’ moments for the guests. Read more…

The Hackinfireplace

June 21, 2010 2 comments

I’ve been working on my latest hackintosh for a while now, with the last finishing touches taking much longer than anticipated. They’re all in place now so it’s time to reveal the hackinfireplace. That’s it in the video above, showing a couple of the HD videos that are launched using the function keys of a small wireless keyboard/trackpad. There’s a kitchen plinth heater hidden behind a removable piece of skirting under the display for those rare occasions when a bit of extra heating is needed.

The birth of this project was a visit to a DIY superstore as part of gutting and decorating the Lounge/Living Room. The choice of wall colours was easy, Oak floor agreed on and a new Leather Sofa and chairs a given. The choice of fireplace was more problematic. The existing fireplace was old, but not in a good antique way. Modern hang on the wall electric fires can look tacky with their fake flame effects, and the more expensive electric and gas wall mounted fires can get very costly. Most of those I saw with relatively easy fitting hung on the wall, protruding anywhere from four to six inches. They look fine from the front, but not so good from the side. What I really wanted was a fire flush with the wall, but that’s the point the cost starts rocketing. While in the DIY store myself and Mrs Basshead saw an LCD wall hung fire. A 19 inch screen played video’s of various fire’s, and there were also a few other scenes available. A remote control selected the video’s and also operated the 2kw heaters . A nice idea, but still wall hung not flush. The available video’s were also not great quality and the screen was not very high resolution. Read more…

1:10 scale Saturn 5 rocket launch

April 29, 2009 Leave a comment

American Steve Eves unveiled his 1/10 scale Saturn 5 model rocket last year, and video is now available on Youtube of the successful launch. I also found some photo’s of this impressive piece of engineering. The only thing that concerned me about the video was how close the road in the background looked (and the spectators appeared close as well), given this is a large lump of metal moving very fast.

Categories: geek, photo, video Tags: , , , , , ,

HD Holiday Workflow

April 17, 2009 Leave a comment

I recently returned to the UK after two weeks in San Francisco and Las Vegas. Unfortunately the free WiFi in the SF hotel was nowhere near as reliable as hoped with my Macbook so there were no updates while abroad. The hotel in Las Vegas wanted $15 a day for WiFi internet and while there are a few free access points (the two nearby Apple stores being the main ones) I didn’t want to spend my holiday lurking around these.

I now have a lot of photo’s and 1080p video to edit, and it’s a fairly straightforward task. I’ve listed my method here to help anyone else in the same position, as this is the easiest way of managing large AVCHD files I have found. Read more…

iMovie 09 AVCHD import problems

March 23, 2009 10 comments

Another freshly fixed problem that had me puzzled for a couple of days is my iMovie 09 crashing when trying to import AVCHD video. This problem hasn’t always existed as I was able to import AVCHD format video from my Canon HF100 in January, but trying again a few days ago resulted in an iMovie crash whenever the Video Camera was connected by USB (or the SDHC card connected via card reader). I’m not sure if this is a new problem with iMovie 09 or if another update caused the issue. Making an image of the card and then mounting it gave the same result, and the problem existed on both the hackintosh and HTPC.

Much searching of insanelymac suggested the problem was fixed by use of a different AppleSMBIOS.kext. I had version 1.1.1 installed to start with, and 1.0.13/1.0.11 didn’t change anything. I eventually came across a post by Andy Vandijck that contained a couple of modified files.The AppleSMBIOS_MacPro.zip file fixed the problem for me, and was easily installed using the OSX86Tools install kext tool.

One way of figuring out the problem with a crashing app is to launch it from the terminal so any error messages are displayed there. To use the example of iMovie, open a terminal window and type

cd /Applications/iMovie.app/Contents/MacOS/

then

./iMovie

Plugging in the USB card reader and SDHC card gave an error message as iMovie crashed:

Error getting a reference to /options.

This lead to the AppleSMBIOS threads at insanelymac so proved to be a good starting point for getting the problem fixed.

Hackintosh HTPC part 2

January 31, 2009 5 comments

Having decided to build a hackintosh HTPC in part 1, the next step is picking hardware. This would normally include a display and this project is no different. The display this time though is an LCD television instead of the usual LCD monitor.

I had a short list of potential TV’s and the top was occupied by a couple of Sony models, the 40V4000 and 40W4000. The decision on which to go for would depend on what deals were available as the spec is similar, with the 40W4000 being a 10 bit panel (instead of 8 bit) and adding some multimedia features. Next on the list were Samsung’s 6 series models. A local retailer had an older Samsung 46″ 5 series and a Sony 40L4000 (a cut down 40V4000) hooked up to a Vista PC through a KVM switch, running at something like 1366×768 resolution. I increased the resolution to 1920×1080 and to my surprise the Sony showed an unsupported display mode message while the Samsung looked fantastic. Read more…

HD here I come

December 21, 2008 Leave a comment

hf100While picking up Mrs Bassheads last few presents yesterday I popped into Jessops to have a look at the special offers. I’ve had my eye on a Canon HF100 for a while now, and intended to order one from Amazon after Christmas. The price on Amazon.co.uk recently dropped from £550 for £450, then shot back over £500 before I had a chance to order one. It’s currently sitting at £476, and Jessops had the HF100 for £499 witha £50 cash back from Canon. Even better, when I paid the system said the price was £489 so the total after cashback is £439. I could order from Amazon and get one for £426 with the cashback but it’s in my hand and I can now shoot HD christmas video to bore the family.

Compared to my last video camera (Sanyo Xacti HD2, soon to be appearing on Ebay) the HF100 is stunning. Easy to use menu’s, responsive screen and an easy to control yet fast zoom make it a pleasure to use. The footage doesn’t disappoint either. I set the camera to 25p mode and used shutter priority at 25 to get amazing low light performance. The Xacti would just go black and fuzzy in low light, and although there is still noise in the Canon’s footage there’s also a lot of detail. Read more…

Categories: hackintosh, macintosh, video Tags: , , , , , , ,

Going HD

December 3, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking about upgrading a lot of my AV equipment for a while now. I had my eye on a Sony 40W4000U LCD TV that just keeps getting cheaper (at least there is one small benefit to the credit crunch) then they had to go one better with the 40W4500U. An even better LCD TV for a little bit more cash. It’s now number one on the wanted list, but that’s where the easy decisions end. Read more…

Viewing AVCHD on a Mac

June 23, 2008 5 comments

How hard can this be? Sample video from the Sony HDR-TG3E (TG1 in the USA) has started appearing online and I’ve downloaded some to have a look at on my Mac. The video files are in an AVCHD format with an .MTS file extention. Quicktime doesn’t recognise the files, and VLC tries to play a few seconds then crashes. This post says some of the VLC nightly builds will play the video, so I downloaded several that were recommended as working. All played the video files poorly, freezing and jumping constantly. Mplayer wouldn’t even open the files.

Further searching revealed the only current way of viewing .MTS AVCHD files on the Mac is using Roxio’s Toast 9. Toast opens the Toast Video Player (©2008 Elgato) which plays the video’s smoothly. iMovie and Final Cut Express/Pro can import the video files direct from the recorder, but not plain files on your hard drive.

For anyone looking to view some sample’s on a Mac here are some links that should help.

Tracy & Matt’s Blog – sample video file

Akihabaranews – sample video files

iMovie ’08 camcorder compatibility at Apple.com

Fileinfo.net compatible software for .MTS files

Download a trial of Toast 9 from Softpedia

Sony HDR-TG3 review and prices

May 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve previously mentioned Sony’s impressive TG3 HD camcorder, and it’s now available in the UK. Dixons in the Gatwick departure lounge had it for £499, and while I wouldn’t agree that it’s the size of a mobile phone it is compact. The Rejuvenated Simplydv.co.uk have a good review that praises the TG3 for image quality and lists the only negative points as a fiddly zoom control and having to use the touchscreen for most adjustments.

While in the Dixons store I also got my hands on the Sanyo Xacti HD1000, which surprised me by its size. This is one camcorder that won’t be going into your pocket which is a major change for the Xacti series. The small size of my Xacti HD2 is what keeps it in my travel bag while the Nikon D50 and Canon MiniDV camcorder stay at home, so I won’t be upgrading to the HD1000.

Categories: photo, video Tags: , , , , , , , , ,