The "New Toys" Thread

Blind_Io

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So when it's sold again? :p
That's not very likely, the plan is to eventually replace the Xterra with something that will be less off-road focused so the Jeep can take over the technical trails.
 

Matt2000

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Ordered a VIOFO A129 Pro Duo in the Prime day sale, with a significant discount. Although I can't put a camera in the back window of the Mazda I went for the duo anyway, I have other ideas and knowing myself I may change cars before the camera becomes obsolete. I'm still using my first dashcam from 2015/16.

1657717395580.png

I also got a call from the camera supplier I placed an additional Z9 order with at the end of May to say I had one allocated, that's a month and a half to get my name on one compared to a 6 and a half month wait from my original supplier without hearing a dicky bird. The system is broken but I'll exploit this once. Should arrive in the store next week where I can pay for it and then have it delivered to me.

It's exciting and while the long wait has worn me down, having issues with my D7000 last week (low light noise, card corruption, battery grip errors) increased my want to replace it.
 

Blind_Io

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In installed a dual camera system on my mom's 4Runner - which is a challenge since the rear window rolls down. I fabricated an aluminum tab that I attached to the roof with one of the headliner press-fasteners, then attached the camera to that. Now the camera can see out the back and the window can be rolled down without a problem.

I wonder if something similar might be an option for you? Just attach the camera to the fixed part of the roof facing backwards or mount it lower on the body just poking up to the rear window?
 

Matt2000

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That's definitely a possibility, I could mount it behind the wind deflector or attach it to one of the roll hoops as people have done with GoPros. 3D printing something shouldn't be too hard. Thanks for the suggestion.

I actually thought about using it as an in-car camera, I've been experimenting with a GoPro on a mount between the seats and the results have been OK but need work. GoPros are just so unreliable, at least the ones I've had are. The secondary camera on the A129 is only 1080P though, I might be OK with that or might hate it.
 

Blind_Io

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You could even mount it above the rearview mirror, see out the back and get some in-car coverage at the same time while drastically simplifying installation and cable routing.
 

Matt2000

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After just over 8 months since I made the first order, my Nikon Z9 finally turned up today. This wasn't from the original pre-order, I got wind that making an order in a store of the big chains would get me a camera sooner than waiting for an online order from the same company. Made an order at the end of May and got it today, which is messed up but there's nothing I can do about it. The way they're splitting up stock just makes no sense.

Anyway it's here and it's every bit as nice as it should be, I've missed many of the chances I would get to use it this year but I'll definitely be taking the 200-500mm lens out for some wildlife shots when the weather cools down a bit.
 

Tram

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I might've accidentally a 2014 Mac mini off of eBay. It was actually an auction, I submitted my first bid while drunk, nobody submitted any bids afterwards. So I ended up, more-or-less accidentally, buying a Mac mini.

Not my first Mac, and I've been using Macs at uni, but it will take a bit of getting used to. The first impressions are: damn this thing is tiny and silent! Not something I can say about my 'gaming'/workstation Xeon rig with a blower-style GTX 1080 in it. Speaking of the workstation, it will stay for uni purposes, but this will also be hooked up to the same monitor whenever I don't need the power.

I do need to source a keyboard for this, though. While I could theoretically use my Model M with an adapter and some key remapping software, I'd rather get something that has the same layout as the Mac keyboards at my uni (which are all A1243 Apple wired aluminum keyboards). Too bad Apple's keyboards hold their value so good, even when they are prone to failure. While I know I could use just any USB keyboard, I'd prefer something that has a Mac layout.
 

leviathan

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There are Mac layouts from other manufacturers, most popular keyboards have a Mac variant. Should be easy enough to find one by Logitech, Cherry or some other usual suspect.
 

Matt2000

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Yep nobody got fired for buying Logitech. Well, not unless it's a really snooty company. Their Mac keyboards look very nice, they aren't necessarily cheap either but I believe that you get what you pay for.
 

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Hulu sent out an email that starting with their October update, my 2015 Samsung TV will no longer be able to support any version of a Hulu app.

So rather than switching to the smaller, worse TV fr the bedroom, I thought I would see if I could find a streaming stick on Facebook or Craigslist for free. I managed to find someone who would trade the 2nd gen Fire TV stick for a 6-pack of Budweiser. So after trading the beer to him in the packing lot *behind* the gas station parking lot, to him in his 1987 Monte Carlo, I plugged in the smells-like-old-cigarette device.

If I had known the Fire Stick remote could power on/off the TV and control the volume (my first gen Roku back in the day couldn't do either), I would have done this much sooner.

The TV's built-in OS took minutes to warm up enough that opening any app and playing a video wouldn't crash it...and it still would sometimes.

The remote is creaky, trash, but at least its responsive. First order of business: ordering a silicone sleeve/cover for it so that I can attach the wrist strap/lanyard so that the remote never hides under a pillow or slips between cushions. Thankfully they are only like $7 on ebay or Amazon.

Fire OS. *sigh* so, the whole thing is designed to shove Amazon content down your throat. That is *very* clear. It's too many buttom presses to get to an app that isn't in your "quick list" of 6 primary apps. After singing in to all of the apps, I've come to the conclusion that Roku's OS and remotes are better...but I can't complain about the trade I got.
 

GRtak

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Hulu sent out an email that starting with their October update, my 2015 Samsung TV will no longer be able to support any version of a Hulu app.

So rather than switching to the smaller, worse TV fr the bedroom, I thought I would see if I could find a streaming stick on Facebook or Craigslist for free. I managed to find someone who would trade the 2nd gen Fire TV stick for a 6-pack of Budweiser. So after trading the beer to him in the packing lot *behind* the gas station parking lot, to him in his 1987 Monte Carlo, I plugged in the smells-like-old-cigarette device.

If I had known the Fire Stick remote could power on/off the TV and control the volume (my first gen Roku back in the day couldn't do either), I would have done this much sooner.

The TV's built-in OS took minutes to warm up enough that opening any app and playing a video wouldn't crash it...and it still would sometimes.

The remote is creaky, trash, but at least its responsive. First order of business: ordering a silicone sleeve/cover for it so that I can attach the wrist strap/lanyard so that the remote never hides under a pillow or slips between cushions. Thankfully they are only like $7 on ebay or Amazon.

Fire OS. *sigh* so, the whole thing is designed to shove Amazon content down your throat. That is *very* clear. It's too many buttom presses to get to an app that isn't in your "quick list" of 6 primary apps. After singing in to all of the apps, I've come to the conclusion that Roku's OS and remotes are better...but I can't complain about the trade I got.


eARC HDMI ports allow this sort of thing. I use my ROKU in one.
 

Matt2000

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eARC HDMI ports allow this sort of thing. I use my ROKU in one.
My LG C2 keeps offering to take control over the cable STB I have connected. No I don't want that, the TV remote is missing all of the important buttons. Stop asking! I'm not sure it was as common in 2015, my previous Samsung didn't seem to have that option.

This C2 is going very well, the black levels and motion smoothing are just amazing when watching something like The Expanse. The motion smoothing struggles a bit with star fields, which is unfortunate but hopefully they can fix it.

I wish there was a way to get a direct HDMI output from the processor because this thing does smoothing much better in real time than the Topaz Labs software does rendering frame by frame on my PC. I suppose one could set up a camera, lens and shroud to record the TV but that sounds like a whole hassle.
 
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Matt2000

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And here I always thought that was already a crazy workaround to get a working ambilight bodge without using a 250€ hdmi-box from philips...
I hadn't seen that before, partly because I never got the whole Ambilight thing and prefer my TV edges to blend into blackness. Works better when the blacks on the screen really are black and cover all edges, so something on the screen is just floating in black space. Interesting idea though, probably a really poor camera because it just needs to get patches of colour.

I'm talking about old school cinema piracy style filming the screen in full resolution. I won't go into details on some of the setups I have for retaining copies of media from streaming services. :p
 

eizbaer

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Interesting idea though, probably a really poor camera because it just needs to get patches of colour.
Honestly, to me, the whole thing seems incredibly daft! In what nightmare of tech have we ended up, if it's easier and cheaper (by a factor of 4!) to actually film the screen (with a shit cam, ok) and analyse the result of that to get nice ambient lighting than it is to lift the signal from the bloody signal cable? sound like a super dumb solution... but as often is the case, the dumbest shit works best.

:hammer: thanks HDMI I guess...
 

Matt2000

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I suppose it's more common (as with @NecroJoe 's situation) to have no external devices plugged in and just use the built-in streaming apps now. Some TVs like Sky Glass are specifically designed for that. Unless a mirrored HDMI output was available as I want, a camera is unfortunately the only way. Unless the TV has specific lighting software installed already to run lights over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, that just bumps up the price of the product though because manufacturers can charge what they like for the gimmick.

If it was like PC RGB setups where you just plug a compatible lighting strip into the 4-pin header and off you go, it would be simple. But TV companies wouldn't make enough money from that.
 

NecroJoe

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If it was like PC RGB setups where you just plug a compatible lighting strip into the 4-pin header and off you go, it would be simple. But TV companies wouldn't make enough money from that.
I wonder if Phillips has any connections to currently-relevant TV manufacturers? Could they partner on a co-branded "TCL + Phillips" TV line with an LED header for a streamlined line of accessory RGB LED luminairs, from vertical free-standing sticks, to LED strips, to up-firing desktop spot lights and lamps...
 

eizbaer

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Oh another annoyance in this space, maybe a fun bit: Philips Ambilight TVs have zero interactivity with Philips Hue. Totally independant systems, because Philips Hue and Philips TVs are two completely separate companies (which both have nothing to do with Philips anymore, they just bought the name for lighting and TV, afaik). This in turn means: if you have Ambilight TV and want to sync up your Hue? Tough luck, no dice. You have Hue and want to have Ambilight for maybe some decorative lighting with the TV off? NOPE!

I'm all sorts of mad, because both of those make so much sense and would make me buy an Ambilight TV without any further thought... but no. Not possible. Monkeys.

edit: I feel like I've typed this exact rant somewhere in here before. See how much it annoys me? :D
 

gaasc

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Embrace minimalism. Tell these companies exactly what you feel about that by not getting into this nonsense. Ambilight is overrated anyway :p
 
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