Motorola, leader in television, shows how TV can mean better behavior at home and better marks in school!
Own a Motorola and you know you own the best.
Does that clown look terrifying to anyone else?
In “House”, Season 8 Episode 5 (aired 11/7), we can see that the good Doctor has a 1937 Philco 37-620 Radiobar in his office. Unclear whether or not it has the original glassware. I’d love to have one of these in my collection, but they’re quite rare and expensive.
Philcoradio.com has some more about the history:
This Philco Radiobar sold for $252.50 in 1937 dollars, around $3800 in today’s money. This was a high end luxury for the wealthy to have in their homes, but out of reach of most consumers of the time.
After seeing the repair I made on the Samsung LCD monitor, a friend gave me a few-years-old Westinghouse LCD/TV that had quit working – it wouldn’t power on anymore. It’s a Westinghouse SK-19H210S, 19″ LCD accepting VGA or HDMI up to 1440×900 resolution (somewhat smaller than true 1080P) and can also tune ATSC and NTSC television signals to receive HDTV over the air.
It’s apparently a very known fact this one has a weak power supply – all over the web. I opened it up and grabbed the power board:
Tucked away all in the back is one capacitor that’s visibly failed, which means it’s likely several are bad or will be soon.
New parts arrived from Mouser.com:
Using my trusty Hakko, I replaced six capacitors. 4 caps in total showed signs of leaking from the bottom as well (discolored board below), 2 seemed okay but I replaced anyway because why not. I’m getting better at using the Hakko and doing this kind of PCB rework in general, the entire process from start to finish only took about 15 minutes this time.
1000uF 25V x 2
Interestingly (or maybe not), these bad caps were the same brand as the bad caps from the Samsung: CapXon. Obviously those have reliability problems, or are just the cheapest they could buy.
Reassembled and powered on. The first power-up would come online but drop off immediately and it was making a hissing noise; it turns out I hadn’t firmly connected the backlight leads. After fixing that, I snapped everything back into place. Consumer electronics these days aren’t made to be opened up, so the case doesn’t quite fit back together the way I’d like it to around the control panel on the side, but it’s not visible unless you look for it fortunately.
Another one fixed! This one was about $12 of parts. Looks like this one goes for around $80 these days, so I’m half-way to getting my money’s worth out of that rework station already.
My next TV repair will be somewhat more ambitious. I got this Samsung HL-P4663W, a 46″ DLP (720p) HDTV for free from Craigslist. It needs a new bulb, and some other rework, and it’ll be worth a few hundred dollars after I get it sorted. I don’t intend to keep this one (as I already have a 46″ Samsung LCD that does full HD resolution) but just to repair and sell most likely.
Following up on my complaint about Netflix streaming not having enough content, I’ve discovered something even more annoying: apparently content that’s previously been there is rotated or otherwise phased out.
I’d been working on translating the Greek text from the Japanese TV show via Netflix Streaming, but got sidetracked and didn’t get through the entire thing. When I went to go through a few more episodes today, I was helpfully greeted with this:
Not only is there a limited selection, apparently it’s not even consistent.
In Season 2, Episode 7 of television program “Babylon 5” (1994-1998), you can see a few antique radios in the space station’s Earth History Exhibit.
With the help of some other radio hobbyists, I’ve identified the interesting ones. On the top shelf left to right, the wooden Tombstone radio is an unknown Wilcox-Gay model from around 1934; next is a Zenith 5G500 portable radio with Wave Magnet antenna, the Red square is an Emerson model 560, and finally the blue peaking out of the frame on the right of the top shelf is a 1960s GE radio in the C430A family. None of those are particularly special radios now, although they are nice and interesting, and in the ’90s they were probably easier to find for cheaper.
There’s a lot of uproar about the Netflix price increases lately. I ditched my Cable TV subscription about 6 months ago and haven’t looked back, relying on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and television network sites to watch the shows over the Internet. Personally, I don’t care all that much as I’m not on a DVD plan – but I’m starting to think about cancelling my streaming-only service. It’s easy to use and has good video quality…but never has the content I’m looking for.
I jumped on their search for a quick check of what I could come up with. I searched for programs I’ve thought about/heard about/read about/talked about/remembered in the last week or two. The results?
- Babylon 5 (1994-1998) – Nope
- Futurama (1999-)- Partial (Stops at 2009)
- Harry Potter – Nope (Not a single one)
- Independence Day (1996) - Nope
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-2009) – Nope
- Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) - Partial (only part 1/3)
- Shrek Anything - Nope (and I shudder to realize there are in fact 8 Shrek movies)
- The Walking Dead (2010) – Nope
- V (1980s or 2010) – Nope
That’s a set of largely mainstream programming spanning several genres and market segments but they’re all long-running well rated television shows and several critically acclaimed high-performing feature films. And they’re not available. That doesn’t leave me with a lot of options for getting the content – I can buy it on DVD, but for something I’m only interested in watching once every few years, spending $50 on a DVD Box Set isn’t a good bet. (Not to mention, who uses physical media anymore?) It’s not available anywhere else for legitimate streaming, either. This leaves me with two options: don’t consume that content or download it from a file-sharing site. I find BitTorrent annoying for many reasons, so end up not doing anything followed by writing about it on the Internet.
Netflix really does need to do something, though. I haven’t actually used my subscription in the last 3 months because nothing I wanted to watch was available. It’s not going to make much sense to keep paying for something I “might” use for much longer. Netflix may end up losing another customer – not because of the price hikes, but because the news about the price hikes has made me really evaluate how much value I’m actually getting from the service. The answer seems to be “not much” – and since the monthly fee is about equal to two cups of morning coffee, that’s really not a very glowing endorsement.
There’s a fix for that!
I don’t like 3D movies. I can feel the amount of work my eyes are doing to focus on the movie the instant I put them on, and it gets tiring after only a few minutes leading to a great headache. This fact became especially relevant when going to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in IMAX 3D this weekend.
I’d rate the movie a 2.5/5, by the way. It was interesting, and pirate shenanigans are usually entertaining. But, it definitely had the sense of wringing as much money from the franchise as possible and the characters were considerably more one-dimensional than in previous films in the series, I thought.
I wasn’t looking forward to watching a 2 hour 16 minute film on a six story screen in 3D. Modern 3D projection systems use an image polarizer, with one lens polarized vertically and one lens polarized horizontally with the lenses in your glasses similarly polarized. The result is that each eye receives only the image intended for it and the stereo effect works. Armed with this knowledge, and with the fact that in my pocket were polarized sunglasses – with each lens having the same polarization – I wore the sunglasses instead of the 3D glasses, and both eyes received only one channel’s light. The result was a perfectly flat 3D movie, with none of the distortion or ghosting you see if you watch it with the naked eyes. The only downside is some very dark scenes were too dark, but I’d take the glasses off for those short segments.
If you don’t want the brightness reduction that comes with wearing sunglasses in a dark room, there’s a product that’s a pair of two similarly polarized lenses in each eye appropriately called 2d Glasses and you can have a pair shipped to your house for $10. I ordered a pair, more and more movies are coming out in 3D and I doubt it’s going away any time soon.
I usually just click the “delete” button, but I remembered to actually Unsubscribe from Comcast XFINITY e-mails when I received another one trying to sell me on watching on demand movies or the Oprah Winfrey Network. I’m not sure why they need my zip code to unsubscribe from their e-mails, though:
I entered a random five-digit number. It didn’t complain.
Note: Since it looks like Netflix pulled these episodes from their streaming catalogue, and I haven’t been able to locate another source, there won’t be any more translations for a while past these from the first 5 episodes.
There’s a lot of Greek in Last Exile, and not a lot of resources out there for translating it. I’ve managed to find a translation for two of the words on the side of the Anatoray airships, but that’s about it. I’m in the process of taking screen captures of every unique instance of Greek text that appears in the show, and will probably enlist friendly Greek-speaking anime fans on Reddit to crowdsource the translation process – they were very helpful in translating “dikaios” (“righteous”) and “poleo” (“trader”) on the side of the capital ship.
Update 1: I’ve worked through the first five episodes. They all seem to be Japanese, translated to English and transliterated into Greek more than actual Greek words.
“FATCHICKIN”, named after racer Fat Chicken who owns that vanship.
“A creature, righteous trader”
“RECONNAISSANCE UNION NO WEAPON”
The bottom line on the large segment of the survival medal, Μαραη Σηεζλπω reads as “Mara Sizelpo” and is styled like a name, possibly a placename.
WARNING Tunnel Inport (spelled “OARNING”)
I was watching Firefly the other day, and noticed something interesting. Firefly is set in the year 2517 centered around a small smuggling ship named Serenity manned by a crew of mercenaries, former freedom fighters, a pair of escaped convicts, a high class prostitute, and a comparatively normal mechanic and pilot. On one of their adventures in the second episode of the series titled “The Train Job”, space gangster Niska contracts the crew to rob medical supplies from a train. In the background of his office, you’ll notice something interesting:
In the lower left corner of the frame, you’ll see a 1940 Zenith model 10-S-464. It looks like it’s in good shape for being 577 years old, too. I wonder if there are any tubes left.