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Boblight Config Maker for Windows, MacOS X and Linux

Boblight Config Maker for Windows, MacOS X and Linux
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When I started building my own “AmbiLight” project, based on OpenElec (XBMC) and Boblight, the first problem I ran into is finding a tool to create a Boblight config files for use under MacOS X. Naturally, there are quite a few great tools out there that do a good job, but it’s either a script, web-based or limited to Windows users (Boblight Config Tool), and again … not for MacOS X …

Creating a config file for Boblight can be quite tedious when you have a large amount of LEDs (I had 290 LEDs), when you mix up the orientation of your LEDs (pretty common issue), or when you do not have your LEDs spread out evenly.

So here is my tool, for Windows, MacOS X and Linux, written in Lazarus Pascal – enjoy!
UPDATE: Another minor bug fixed, added test video and Boblight Config Maker can now also be found at Alternativeto.net.

How to run XBMC on Boxee Box

How to run XBMC on Boxee Box
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Boxee Box, a Linux box from D-Link that runs a fork of XBMC called Boxee, is dead … maybe we will see some of it return in a re-incarnation with Samsung, but I wouldn’t hold my breath … I’m sure others agree with me that Boxee went the wrong direction and I’m sure quite a few of us Boxee owners have returned to XBMC, or a XBMC variation like OpenElec.

So what are we doing with the old Boxee Box? Trying to sell it, toss it in the garbage, or … run XBMC on Boxee Box as if it’s a regular HTPC …? I gave the later a try and to my surprise it works pretty well …

How to play video from your phone on your TV …

How to play video from your phone on your TV …
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TV’s become “smarter” and cell phones and tablet more capable, and with that the question arises:
How do I play video from my phone on my TV?

In this article we’ll cover the playback of videos on your TV, from your cellphone or tablet, for both Android and iOS (iPhone etc) devices.

For this to work you will briefly touch on the use of cables, but then show you a way that’s completely wireless …

Watch 3D Movies without 3D TV …

Watch 3D Movies without 3D TV …
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To watch a 3D Movie, you’d need a 3D TV or a computer with 3D capable video-card and/or 3D capable monitor, and not everybody has one of those.

With a few simple tricks however, modern 3D movies can be viewed on a regular TV or computer sans 3D capable display.
To maintain the 3D effect, or better said the depth perception, the good old red/blue glasses will be used (Anaglyph).

This trick works for Windows, MacOS X and Linux.

How to create 3D pictures … (red/blue glasses, or 3D TV)

How to create 3D pictures … (red/blue glasses, or 3D TV)
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While writing an article on how 3D movies work, I couldn’t help thinking back about the red and blue 3D pictures from back in the day (anaglyph). They were considered pretty cool and how difficult would it be to make them yourselves? Sure, you might not want to stare at them the whole day, but cool none the less.

After figuring that out, I was started to wonder if it would be possible and how difficult it would be to create 3D pictures for 3D capable TV’s (see also: How 3D Movies work).

So in this article I’ll show you how to make a 3D picture with your own digital photo camera for either the good old red and blue 3D glasses, or for use on a 3D capable TV in full color.

MovieScanner – Quick overview of Movie File Details (Win/Mac/Linux)

MovieScanner – Quick overview of Movie File Details (Win/Mac/Linux)
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Every now and then you’d like to see if the movie of video file that you have is the one with a particular resolution, or the one with subtitles embedded, or not. Specially when you’ve ripped your DVD collection in the past and now you’re doing the same with your Blu-Ray collection.

For this purpose I threw together a simple front-end for FFProbe, a tool from the ffmpeg project, which rather quickly scans a movie file for it’s details.

MovieScanner is completely free, and available for Windows and MacOS X. Under Linux however I ran into some impracticalities … so no Linux version. Sorry.
Keep in mind that it was written for personal use and to try a few things with Lazarus Pascal, so don’t expect any super miracles.

How 3D movies work … a quick intro.

How 3D movies work … a quick intro.
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After the era of regular 2D TV, the era of the red and blue glasses, and all kinds of other attempts to get 3D movies, we’ve now reached the era where most of us have a 3D capable TV at home.

It’s a fun experience to watch a 3D movie, maybe once or twice. It remains a gimmick for now and I suspect that it’s not here to stay, specially when looking at the latest developments of 3D TV without the need for special glasses, and the fact that current 3D movies are not really 3D, it’s just the illusion of depth perception …

In this article a quick intro how it works, the variations, and … how to play 3D movies on your TV with applications like XBMC.
You’ll find some info on Dual Play for computer games as well.

How to connect your PC to your TV …

How to connect your PC to your TV …
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One can have numerous reasons why one would want to connect a PC to a TV …

The most important one is probably to playback Movies or TV Shows using XBMC (I use OpenElec), or a slide show of photographs, but I’ve also used it for presentation purposes at work (PowerPoint slideshows) or for Skype sessions with family members and business meetings.

In this article I’ll try to cover as much as I can, covering different “PC’s” (desktop, laptop, tablet, etc), different Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS X, Linux) and as many connection types as I could find.

On our old website, we already had an article describing how to connect your PC to your TV. It’s unfortunately an old and kind-a outdated article, so I decided to write a new article for Tweaking4All with more up to date information.

MacOS X – How to remove iTunes DRM from your purchased TV Shows and Movies …

MacOS X – How to remove iTunes DRM from your purchased TV Shows and Movies …
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For those of you who buy their moves from iTunes, you might run into a little snag when trying to view the movie (or rental) on your TV, Android devices or otherwise non-Apple device. I even heard that playback from an Apple MacBook (over VGA) to your TV doesn’t work. Well that sucks …

I fully understand the need for minimizing the illegal copying practices of music, movies and TV series, but come on! You should be able to watch the movie you purchased on your TV or any other non-Apple device!? Isn’t this kind of protection promoting illegal downloads …? After all those would be free and come with zero hassle …!?

In this article I’ll show you how you can remove iTunes DRM from your legally bought iTunes movies for MacOS X.
Windows users should read the “Windows – How to remove DRM from iTunes movies” article.

Windows – How to remove DRM from your iTunes movies …

Windows – How to remove DRM from your iTunes movies …
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For those of you who buy their moves from iTunes, you might run into a little snag when trying to view the movie (or rental) on your TV, Android devices or otherwise non-Apple device. I even heard that playback from an Apple MacBook (over VGA) to your TV doesn’t work. Well that sucks …

I fully understand the need for minimizing the illegal copying practices of music, movies and TV series, but come on! You should be able to watch the movie you purchased on your TV or any other non-Apple device!? Isn’t this kind of protection promoting illegal downloads …? After all those would be free and come with zero hassle …!?

In this article I’ll show you how you can remove iTunes DRM from your legally bought iTunes movies for Windows.
MacOS X users should read the “MacOS X – How to remove DRM from iTunes movies” article.

The difference between Blu-Ray and DVD

The difference between Blu-Ray and DVD
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Back in the day, DVD was quite a thing. Excellent picture quality, very good sound. Light years ahead of the good old (and analog) VHS, Video 2000 and BetaMax tapes that had been around for years.

It seemed though that DVD wasn’t “good enough” and other formats like HD-DVD and Blu-Ray emerged (2009). HD-DVD lost the battle and Blu-Ray and regular DVD’s are the current “standards” (with an upcoming Ultra Blu-Ray format for even higher resolutions: Ultra HD or 4K video).

So what is the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD?
Besides the fact that anything Blu-Ray will not play in your loyal DVD player, and more expensive videos of course …

iTools – Copy video to iPad or iPhone WITHOUT iTunes

iTools – Copy video to iPad or iPhone WITHOUT iTunes
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You probably already know by now that you can copy a movie to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone with iTunes or the Camera Connection Kit.

But what about copying a movie from your DVD or Blu-Ray onto my iPod, iPad or iPhone without iTunes or Camera Connection Kit?

In this article, I’ll show you in a few simple steps how to do this under Windows or MacOS X – it also allows you to copy files from your iPad/iPod/iPhone back to your computer! Unfortunately I have not been able to find a similar trick or application for Linux (suggestions are most welcome) …

Copy a movie to your iPad or iPhone with iTunes

Copy a movie to your iPad or iPhone with iTunes
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For those of us who have an modern iPod, iPad or iPhone: These devices are very capable of video playback, which is practical when you’re traveling … independently watch your movie selection, on the go, on your own device!

The question now is how do I get a movie from my DVD or Blu-Ray for example onto my iPod, iPad or iPhone (or other iOS device like the AppleTV).

In this article, I’ll show you in a few simple steps how to do this under Windows or MacOS X.
Unfortunately, there is no iTunes for Linux …

Video – Adding movie information (Metadata) to your MP4 or M4V

Video – Adding movie information (Metadata) to your MP4 or M4V
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Adding Metadata (additional information like: poster/cover image, chapter titles, movie synopsis, actors, etc) to an existing MP4 or M4V file is not a requirement. It does however make your MP4 or M4V shine when viewed on devices or programs that read the metadata.

You might have seen it when you bought a movie or music clip from iTunes: It has a nice little poster, with proper title and movie description, actors, proper chapter names, etc).

In this article I’ll show you how you can do this adding of metadata or “Tagging” yourself under MacOS X, Windows, and even Linux.

DVD Region codes and Blu-Ray Region codes

DVD Region codes and Blu-Ray Region codes
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DVD and Blu-Ray Region codes ….

I’m not sure if you have ran into this problem at some point in time, with DVD or Blu-Ray discs, but I have:
You buy a movie online, say from Amazon.com in the US (Region 1), and you’re living in say The Netherlands (Region 2 – but there is no Amazon to be found here). You get a good deal, but shipping costs kind-a even it out in the end, but who cares; you’ve got that specific movie you’re looking for and you did everything legit.

At least that’s what you think … in this article: The DVD and Blu-Ray Region Codes horror and a very few details on other “copy protection” stuff.

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